The Time the Queen of Denmark Illustrated The Lord of the Rings

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There are a lot of high profile fans of The Lord of the Rings out there, from Stephen Colbert to Barack Obama. But one of Tolkien’s favorites was a Danish illustrator who went by the pseudonym Ingahild Grathmer.

Grathmer sent Tolkien her interpretations of scenes from The Lord of the Rings in the early ‘70s. The hard-to-impress author absolutely loved them, and was taken with how similar they were to his own sketches. Grathmer’s art ultimately appeared in a 1977 Danish edition of Lord of the Rings, but by this time, the illustrator was preoccupied with another job: being Queen of Denmark.

Grathmer was really Margarethe II of Denmark, who took the throne in January 1972 after her father passed away. She sent Tolkien her Lord of the Rings drawings when she was still Crown Princess—but becoming Queen didn’t mean Margarethe slowed down on her extracurricular activities. To this day, the artist designs her own clothes, and she created dresses and scenery for the 2009 movie adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s Wild Swans. She's also a pretty stellar painter who occasionally exhibits work at major galleries. 

This is all in addition to running a country, of course.

Your move, Queen Elizabeth.