She wept openly at the funeral of her husband Prince Henrik two months ago.
But Denmark’s Queen Margrethe drew on the support of her family as she turned 78 without her spouse of 50 years on Monday, beaming and waving from the balcony of Amalienborg Palace surrounded by loved ones.
The Danish Queen appeared to be in a jovial mood as she greeted the crowds in Copenhagen flanked by her adorable grandchildren – and these images of the occasion suggest the high spirits of seven-year-old Princess Josephine in particularly may have proved infectious.
The playful Princess, who is the daughter of Margrethe’s son Prince Frederik and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, managed to steal the show with her cheeky antics for the cameras.
In contrast to her twin brother, Prince Vincent, who was impeccably behaved on the balcony, Josephine was snapped playfully covering her eyes and peeping out from behind her hands, apparently unbeknownst to her mother, who was standing behind her brood.
Josephine’s antics were eventually spotted by her laughing older sister, Princess Isabella, who quickly urged her younger sibling to uncover her eyes – at which point Josephine delivered a solemn wave to the crowd.
Royal support: Queen Margrethe, who turned 78 on Monday, waved from the balcony of Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, surrounded by her children and grandchildren
Playful Princess: Josephine, the daughter of Margrethe’s son Crown Prince Frederik and his wife May, cheekily covered her eyes as her brothers and sister waved from the balcony
Spotting what her little sister was up to, a laughing Princess Isabella, 10, appeared to urge her to uncover her eyes
Give us a wave! Princess Josephine, wearing a tweed coat dress and with a smart navy blue band in her hair, did eventually offer a wave – albeit with a very solemn expression on her face
At Queen Margrethe’s side on her special day were her son, Prince Joachim, his wife Princess Marie, and their two children; Prince Henrik and Princess Athena.
Fledgling runway model Prince Nikolai, Joachim’s 18-year-old son with his first wife, Alexandra, was also there, but their 15-year-old Felix was not present.
Also missing was the Queen’s eldest son and heir apparent, Crown Prince Fredrik, but his wife, Crown Princess Mary, and their four children, Christian, Isabella, and twins Josephine and Vincent were all at his mother’s side.
The Queen’s husband Henrik died on February 13 this year, following a short illness.
All smiles: The Queen of Denmark marked her 78th birthday in Copenhagen on Monday. She has been on the throne since January 1972
Crown Princess Mary, wearing a red dress, stood proudly behind her brood, (left to right) Princess Isabella, twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent, and Prince Christian
The Queen’s other daughter-in-law, Princess Marie, was also on the balcony with her husband Prince Joachim and their children Prince Henrik and Princess Athena. Prince Nikolai, the son of Prince Joachim and his first wife, Alexandra, and a fledgling catwalk model, was also there
Crown Prince Frederik was not seen on the palace balcony on Monday, but his wife and their four children were at his mother’s side on her birthday
Brotherly love: At one point Prince Christian appeared to gently remove something from his little brother Vincent’s face
Thousands of Danes lined the streets to pay their respects to Henrik, who died in his sleep at the age of 83, at his funeral.
Following his death, his coffin was taken on a stately procession through the streets of northern Copenhagen to Amalienborg Palace.
An emotional Princess Josephine was photographed being comforted by her mother, Crown Princess Mary, at the sombre occasion.