Queen Margrethe II's Artworks, Including Her Illustration of The Lord of the Rings, Are Exhibited in Cahors

Queen Margrethe II artworks

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is one of the coolest monarchs in the world. She regularly mingles with the Danish people, she designs most of her wardrobe, she is an illustrator, and an accomplished painter! And her artworks are currently on display in Cahors, France.

The newly renovated Museum in Cahors, France, Henri-Martin Museum, offers the public an opportunity to view the unique paintings and original artworks of the Queen of Denmark, for the first time. 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

The exhibit, "Margrethe II of Denmark: Artist-Queen", will run from July 15, 2022, to March 5, 2023, as part of Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee Celebrations. A total of 70 works of The Queen, including paintings, watercolors, and decoupage will be on display. 

Cahors is a town on the Lot river in the Occitanie region of southern France. This French commune is popular for its deep red wine, elaborate municipal gardens, and the Pont Valentré, a medieval bridge with three towers. The old town features half-timbered houses and narrow alleyways. 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark paintings
The Queen's painting of  Château de Cayx
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
The Queen at Château de Cayx ©Hanne Juul, Billed-Bladet 

Among Her Majesty's paintings and other artistic works on display at the exhibit: a motif with orange mermaids, which the Queen had painted when she was only seven years old; a series of landscape paintings from the Château de Cayx, and the Queen's visual interpretations of Hans Christian Andersen's adventure, "The Snow Queen", through the old decoup. aesthetic technician.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark paintings
Queen Margrethe II's original painting ©Ville de Cahors
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark paintings
Queen Margrethe II's original painting ©Ville de Cahors

The Queen's daughter-in-law, Princess Marie, wife of her younger son, Prince Joachim of Denmark, gave a speech at the opening of the exhibit, "This is an exceptional exhibition, being both the Queen and artist - which is the title of this exhibition - is not necessarily that easy. But when you look at the works in the exhibition, you quickly forget that the artist is a queen. This is how great is the wealth and diversity of the Queen's mastery of art".

Princess Marie of Denmark
Princess Marie delivering a speech at the exhibit opening
©Pierre Lasvane/Maire Cahors Juul/Aller Media

The Danish royal family members who graced the opening of the exhibit on July 15, 2022, were Prince Joachim, Princess Marie, their two children Prince Henrik and Princess Athena, and Prince Joachim's second son from his first marriage, Prince Felix.

Prince Joachim of Denmark at the opening of exhibit
Family of Prince Joachim of Denmark at the opening of the exhibit

They also visited the Cahors library, La Bibliotheque Patrimoniale de Recherche, which currently exhibited Queen Margrethe II's 20 original drawings she created for J.R.R. Tolkien's work, Lord of the Rings.

The exhibition marks both Queen Margrethe II's 50th anniversary on the Danish throne and the close bonds between the Danish royal family and the area surrounding Cahors.

The Danish royal family has an estate in Cahors winery district, the Château de Cayx, bought by The Queen and her husband, Prince Henrik, in the summer of 1974. 

Prince Joachim of Denmark at Chateau de Cayx
From left: Prince Felix, Prince Henrik, Princess Marie, Princess Athena, Prince Joachim
at Château de Cayx ©Pierre Lasvane/Maire Cahors Juul/Aller Media
Prince Joachim of Denmark at Chateau de Cayx
Prince Felix, Prince Henrik, and Princess Athena at Château de Cayx
©Pierre Lasvane/Maire Cahors Juul/Aller Media

The estate originally belonged to the family of Prince Henrik. Since 1974, Château de Cayx is the summer residence of the Danish royal family in France and has been the venue of their holiday photo call and family reunions.

For more than 40 years, Prince Henrik produced and sold wine from Château de Cayx. In 2015, Prince Henrik leased out sale and production of the wine to the French company Vinovalie, which is an amalgamation of four châteaux in southwestern France. Prince Henrik’s father took part in establishing one of the wine cooperatives in Cahors after the Second World War.

The Painter Queen

Queen Margrethe II is an accomplished painter and has held many art shows over the years. Since her childhood, she has shown a taste for painting and other artistic works such as embroidery, scenography,  découpage, and designs of stage costumes. 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark paintings
Queen Margrethe II at Château de Cayx

Découpage is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and other decorative elements.

Her Majesty designed the costumes for the Royal Danish Ballet's production of "A Folk Tale" and for the 2009 Peter Flinth film, De Vilde Svaner (The Wild Swans). She also loves to design her own clothes and is known for her colorful and unique clothing choices. 

While still an heir-presumptive to the Danish throne in 1970, she made her own illustrations and drawings of the best-selling book, "The Lord of the Rings", then sent it to the author, J.R.R. Tolkien.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark paintings
The Queen's illustration of The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien was reportedly struck by the similarity of her drawings to his own style. So, in 1977, five years after Margrethe ascended the Danish throne, her illustrations were printed and published in the Danish edition of The Lord of The Rings as well as on a British edition published by The Folio Society and reissued in 2002.

Her Majesty also illustrated the poetry collection of her husband, Prince Henrik, called Cantabile. She used the pseudonym, Ingahild Grathmer, in her artistic works. 

An enthusiastic artist, Queen Margrethe II has no formal education in painting. She just learned it by heart, a passion she had cultivated since she was a child. 

Her paintings range a wide variety of styles and themes but The Queen admitted once that her favorite style is landscape painting.

“I’ve always loved the landscape, and as a child what I really wanted to do was draw landscapes when we had drawing lessons,” The Queen was quoted saying in the 2012 article by Reuters’ John Archer.

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