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What If I Told You Europe Will Have More Queens

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GWU chapter.

The Windsors are the most prominent royal family in American pop culture. Perhaps we may ponder back on how colonial life was like with divine rulers and wish they still had power over us. In reality, our fascination most likely comes from our shared language and just a little bit of that former connection as a colony. 

When Queen Elizabeth passed away, many probably thought that was the end of Queens in Europe for some time. While that may be the case in the UK, many other dynasties have Queens or female heir apparents.

Let’s take a look. 


While the current monarch of Belgium is King Phillipe, his heir apparent is his eldest child the Princess Elisabeth who will turn 21 in October. A decade before her birth, a new act of succession was put into effect in Belgium. Absolute primogeniture rather than patrilineal or male preferences primogeniture was installed. This meant that the eldest child would be first in the line of succession regardless of gender. If Elisabeth ascends, she will be the first female queen regnant of Belgium. 


It may be a surprise to some, but Denmark has a queen regnant and her name is Margrethe II. She became heir presumptive to her father in 1953, when a constitutional amendment allowed women to inherit the throne. The Queen is currently 82 and currently Europe’s longest serving head of state. She has two sons, heir apparent Frederik and Joachim. 


The current monarch of Norway is King Harald V and his heir apparent is Prince Haakon. Norway utilized male preferences primogeniture from 1971 until 1990 when a new order of succession was decreed. So while Haakon has an older sister, she is still excluded from preceding him in the line of succession. Haakon’s eldest child is Princess Ingrid who is expected to be the nation’s second ruling queen since the 15th century. 


While the current monarch of Spain is King Felipe VI, his heir apparent is his eldest child, the Princess Leonor who will turn 17 in October. If Leonor were to ascend, she would be Spain’s first ruling queen since the 19th century. 


Sweden’s current ruling monarch is King Gustav XVI whose heir apparent is his eldest child the Princess Victoria. Victoria has two children Estelle and Oscar. Estelle, her eldest child, is second in line to the throne. Victoria’s place as heir apparent was secured by Sweden’s 1979 Act of Succession. 

The Netherlands

While the current monarch of the Netherlands is King Willem-Alexander, his heir apparent is his 18 year old daughter Princess Catharina-Amalia. Willem-Alexander is the son of the former Queen Beatrix who abdicated the throne in 2013. Beatrix is the daughter of Queen Juliana who is the daughter of Queen Wilhelmina. To put this into perspective, the Netherlands had a ruling queen from 1890 to 2013, so roughly 123 years!

Olivia is majoring in Anthropology and in History. She is originally from Verona, New Jersey. She is big history nerd and loves learning about local history. In her free time she likes to walk, bike, and visit cool places to eat.