Queen Margrethe of Denmark, 81, is hired to design the set for a new Netflix film adapted from a romantic fantasy novel by Out of Africa author Karen Blixen

  • Queen Margrethe will design sets for an adaptation of a romantic fantasy novel
  • Margrethe, who ascended to the throne in 1972, has had a long career as an artist
  • Netflix film Ehrengard will also not be the first screen credit for the Danish royal 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has been hired as the set designer for a new Netflix film, it has been announced.

The 81-year-old royal, who is the reigning Danish monarch, will design the sets for an adaptation of a romantic fantasy novel by Out of Africa’s Karen Blixen, one of Denmark’s most internationally recognised female authors.

Queen Margrethe, who ascended to the Danish throne in 1972, has had a long career as an artist; she has sketched the illustrations for Danish editions of Lord of the Rings and enjoyed exhibitions at galleries including the Arken Museum of Modern Art in Ishoj, southwest of Copenhagen.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark (pictured seemingly working on the film) has been hired as the set designer for a new Netflix film, it has been announced

The Netflix film, Ehrengard, will also not be the first screen credit for the monarch.

She was appointed the production designer on the 2009 fantasy fairy tale The Wild Swans, as well as the short film adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen in 2000.

Queen Margrethe II said: ‘Karen Blixen’s stories have always fascinated me, with their aesthetic tales, their imagination and their, to me, image-creating worlds – and I’m very happy to be part of this project.

‘You can feel that the author was a visual artist just like H.C. Andersen. But who is Ehrengard? One of Karen Blixen’s intriguing female characters and one of the few whose story ends happily.

‘The intrigues weave themselves in and out of each other and Blixen spins her spin around the characters until we (and they) are completely nonplussed. How will the riddle be solved?

The 81-year-old royal (pictured), who is the reigning Danish monarch, will design the sets for an adaptation of a romantic fantasy novel by Out of Africa’s Karen Blixen, one of Denmark’s most internationally recognised female authors

‘I have tried to interpret Blixen’s fantastic universe in the creation of the découpages and costumes and I’m looking forward to seeing the tale of Ehrengard come to life in this film.’

Ehrengard is set in the fairy tale kingdom of Babenhausen, where a young, self-appointed expert on love, Cazotte, is hired by the scheming Grand Duchess to help her secure an heir.

While searching for a suitable future Princess, Cazotte teaches the timid and introverted fictional Crown Prince the art of seduction and lovemaking. 

But their plan soon backfires, when an heir is conceived out of wedlock and the royal family has to seek refuge in the castle of Rosenbad. 

Queen Margrethe was reunited with her son Crown Prince Frederik, 52, his wife Princess Mary, 49, and their children Prince Christian, 15, Princess Isabella, 13, and ten-year-old twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (pictured together) for Easter

Here, as rivals within the royal family close in on their scheme, Cazotte himself falls in love with Ehrengard, the maid of honour, and gradually learns that in fact, he’s no expert on love at all.

The film, which has been developed over the last decade by Jacob Jørgensen and JJ Film, will be directed by Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Bille August. 

Since 1970, Queen Margrethe has actively engaged in a number of artistic modes of expression and is an honorary member of the Association of Danish Scenographers for her many years of work as a set designer in Danish film, television and theatre.

Director Bille August said: ‘The Queen has created the most fantastic decoupages for the occasion, and they will be the dominant feature of the film’s overall scenographic expression.’

Karen Blixen is mostly known for the works Seven Gothic Tales, Winter-Fairytale and Out of Africa, which was adapted to film in 1986, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, and won seven Oscars. 

Ehrengard will release globally on Netflix in 2023.

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