Although many of Europe’s monarchies no longer exist, there are several that are still going strong today — even if it is for purely symbolic reasons. Within those monarchies are a number of queens and queen consorts who serve as prominent social and cultural figures for the nations they represent.
Currently, the continent is home to seven queens who reign over a combined total of more than 20 countries.
Of course, it’s important to remember this list only includes queens who are currently reigning over their country or countries. It’s worth noting that there are many royal figures, like Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, who are no longer reigning due to their country’s rejection of the monarchy.
Here are all of the currently reigning queens throughout the European continent and how they ascended to the throne.
Queen Mathilde of Belgium is somewhat of a renaissance woman.
Mathilde Marie Christine Ghislaine d’Udekem d’Acoz is the daughter of a count and countess, which means she’s no stranger to Belgian nobility.
In 1999, she married Belgium’s Prince Phillipe and simultaneously became a princess and Duchess of the Netherlands. When her husband later ascended to the throne in July 2013, she became Belgian’s first queen consort of Belgian descent.
Queen Mathilde is committed to participating in public events that serve the betterment of her country. Currently, she is the honorary president for UNICEF Belgium and the Council for Sustainable Development.
In addition to having her drive to help others, she can play piano and has a deep love for music and the arts. She also holds a degree in speech therapy from the Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels, which allowed her to work as a speech pathologist for several years. She also fluently speaks four languages.
The official website for the Belgian monarchy also notes that the queen participates in several sports, including swimming, cycling, and tennis.
Current reign: Five years
Queen Letizia Ortiz of Spain was a successful journalist who turned into a royal icon.
Prior to the marrying into Spain’s royal family, Queen Letizia held a successful journalism career. Throughout her time working in news, she served as an editor, anchor, and reporter for a variety of media outlets.
The current queen met her royal spouse, Prince Felipe VI, while on a journalism assignment in 2002. They kept their relationship a secret and surprised the entire country with their engagement a year later. When they married in Madrid on June 19, 2014, Letizia became the princess consort of Spain.
When her father-in-law, Juan Carlos I, abdicated his throne, her husband became the King of Spain, which effectively made her Spain’s first commoner queen.
The couple also has two daughters, Leonor and Sofia.
Current reign: Four years
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark made history for her country by ascending to the throne.
In 1972, Margrethe II became the first sovereign queen of Denmark, after succeeding her father, King Frederik IX.
This was a massive departure from the previous Danish traditions that stated only men could ascend to the throne. Her ascension officially marked the change in succession laws for the country, as well as a move toward a more modern view of the monarchy.
In 1967, she married Prince Henrik, a French diplomat, and together they had two sons: Prince Frederik and Prince Joaquim. Henrik died earlier this year due to health complications.
Beyond her royal duties, Queen Margrethe II is an avid painter and some of her works are available for viewing in Danish museums.
Like many other queens, she has an impeccable command of multiple languages. In fact, she utilized this skill by helping to translate the Danish version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s „The Lord of the Rings,“ which she also contributed illustrations to.
Current reign: 46 years
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Source: Business insider