The Danish monarchy is constitutional, which means that the monarch cannot independently perform political acts. Although the monarch signs all acts, these only come into force when they have been countersigned by a cabinet minister.
As head of state, the monarch participates in the formation of new governments. After consultation with representatives of the political parties, she asks the party leader backed by the largest number of seats in the Folketing, the Danish parliament, to try to form a government and appoints this after it has been formed. She also formally heads the government and therefore presides over the Council of State, where the acts passed by the Folketing are signed and thus come into force.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs regularly report to the Queen to advise her of the latest political developments. The Queen hosts official visits by foreign heads of state and pays state visits abroad. She also formally appoints and dismisses civil servants. The Queen’s main tasks are to represent Denmark abroad and be a focus at home. She performs the latter task by for instance accepting invitations to open exhibitions, attending anniversaries, inaugurating bridges, etc. Exhibition openings abroad in connection with export campaigns are also often attended by royalty.
In addition, the Queen grants frequent public audiences, where citizens with a special reason can experience a few minutes alone with their country’s Queen.
Knud J. V. Jespersen, Professor, dr. phil.