UNDERVEJS – EN ROUTE
QUEEN MARGRETHE TELLS HER STORY TO TOM BUK-SWIENTY – MEMORIES 1940-1972
By Tom Buk-Swienty
In this unique new memoir, Queen Margrethe shares her formative years.
WHO WAS THE young woman who, in mourning attire on a bitterly cold day in January 1972, stepped out onto the balcony of Christiansborg Palace to be proclaimed Denmark’s next monarch? This question has been the focus of 14 moving conversations between Her Majesty Queen Margrethe and author Tom Buk-Swienty. The work is published in honor of the Queen’s 50th anniversary on the throne, but it is not about her reign. The book is about the time before Queen Margrethe became a queen.
IT IS THE story of being a child of the Occupation, growing up in a family with roots tracing back to Gorm the Old while also being connected to Europe’s major royal houses. A world of nannies, chamberlains, adjutants, cabinet secretaries, court chiefs, with three castles, a hunting lodge, the Royal Ship ‘Denmark’, a girls’ school in Copenhagen, and a boarding school in England as the backdrop to her upbringing.
EN ROUTE REVEALS a perceptive and intellectually curious young person who approaches life with an open and inquisitive mind, studies at universities in Copenhagen, Aarhus, London, and Paris, and falls in love with archaeology, going on excavations in exotic locales. Before her 25th birthday, the future queen embarks on educational journeys around the world, and parts of her travel diaries are published here for the first time. The book also unfolds the story of the great love that begins when the Princess meets the French diplomat Count Henri de Monpezat in London.
DURING THE CONVERSATIONS, Tom Buk-Swienty has posed hundreds of questions, which the Queen has answered with an eye for even the smallest details, always with a bubbling joy of storytelling, humor, self-irony, but also great seriousness, occasionally with tears in her eyes and at times with surprising candor.
ABOUT THE BOOK
First published by Politiken, Denmark 2021
“We probably won’t get any closer… It’s an extraordinarily good choice of author. Tom Buk-Swienty does the finest thing an author can do: makes himself available for the story instead of getting in its way. He manages to capture the Queen’s linguistic rhythm, tone, and humor.”
– Politiken, Christian Jensen, Denmark
“It earns a star for the Queen’s openness, a star for the flowing language, a star for Her Majesty’s reflective thoughts, a star for the good questions the author must have asked, and finally, a star for the rich photographic documentation in the book.”
– Kristeligt Dagblad, Henrik Hoffmann-Hansen, Denmark
“Rarely have we felt so close to the monarch.”
– Berlingske, Jakob Steen Olsen, Denmark
“When memoirs are as successful as they are in this case, it’s probably due to a good chemistry between the Queen and Tom Buk-Swienty. But it’s also because, in addition to her good memory, she’s simply a good and sympathetic storyteller.”
– Weekendavisen, Claus Bundgaard Christensen, Denmark