A party fit for a queen: Europe's royals roll out the red carpet for Denmark's Queen Margrethe at her dazzling birthday ball

Looking good: Crown Princess Mary, 43, and Crown Prince Frederik arrive for a gala dinner at the Christiansborg Palace last night

Royals from all corners of Europe have descended on Copenhagen to help Denmark's long-serving monarch Queen Margrethe celebrate her 75th birthday.
The celebrations kicked off last night with a glittering gala dinner at the Christiansborg Palace in central Copenhagen and continued this morning with a birthday serenade and balcony appearance.
Margrethe, whose birthday is today, was joined on the balcony of the Amalienborg Palace by heir apparent Crown Prince Frederik, 46, and her second son Prince Joachim, 45, while guests, among them Norway and Sweden's royals, looked on.
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Looking good: Crown Princess Mary, 43, and Crown Prince Frederik arrive for a gala dinner at the Christiansborg Palace last night
Gala: Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia put on the glitz on Wednesday evening  in Copenhagen
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Gala: Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia put on the glitz on Wednesday evening  in Copenhagen
Gala: Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia put on the glitz on Wednesday evening in Copenhagen
Regal: Denmark's Queen Margrethe is celebrating her 75th birthday today and kicked off celebrations last night
Regal: Denmark's Queen Margrethe is celebrating her 75th birthday today and kicked off celebrations last night
Queen Margrethe, who was awoken this morning by members of her family, among them four-year-old twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, cut a glamorous figure in her turquoise dress and waved delightedly at the crowds outside. 
But while further events are planned for later today, it was last night's gala spectacular that really caught the eye, with glamorous guests led in by Spain's Queen Letizia, 42.
The newest queen consort in Europe looked wonderful in a dress embroidered with traditional Spanish blackwork and smiled broadly as she was escorted in on the arm of husband Felipe, 47.
Joining them was the Netherlands' glamorous royal couple, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, who were back in Denmark for the second time in less than a month.
Also on the guest list were King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden and Denmark's own Crown Prince Frederik, 46, and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, 43. 
Making an entrance: Queen Margrethe (left) and Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Mary (right)
Making an entrance: Queen Margrethe (left) and Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Mary (right)
Making an entrance: Queen Margrethe (left) and Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Mary (right) 
Guests: Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands
Guests: Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands
Guests: Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands
Tiara: Queen Letizia, 42. opted for a striking, sleeveless black and white dress featuring traditional Spanish blackwork embroidery
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Tiara: Queen Letizia, 42. opted for a striking, sleeveless black and white dress featuring traditional Spanish blackwork embroidery
Family: Denmark's French-born Princess Marie and Prince Joachim arrive ahead of the gala dinner at the Christiansborg Palace
Family: Denmark's French-born Princess Marie and Prince Joachim arrive ahead of the gala dinner at the Christiansborg Palace
Looking wonderful: Queen Mathilde of the Belgians arrives in a spectacular purple dress on the arm of husband Philippe
Looking wonderful: Queen Mathilde of the Belgians arrives in a spectacular purple dress on the arm of husband Philippe
Striking: The magical Christiansborg Palace provided a spectacular backdrop for the event
Striking: The magical Christiansborg Palace provided a spectacular backdrop for the event
Striking though they all appeared, it was Queen Margrethe who really caught the eye in her striking scarlet dress featuring delicately embroidered petals and chiffon sleeves
She finished the look with jaw-dropping jewels including an oversized pearl-encrusted brooch, pearl earrings and necklace and an extravagant hair decoration featuring entwined silver leaves. 
Noticeable by their absence were the British royals, none of whom attended the event. This is thought to be due to the imminent birth of the Duchess of Cambridge's second child, although the UK's crowned heads have made something of a habit of missing out on European celebrations.
Most notable was the lack of British attendees at the funeral of Belgium's Queen Fabiola last December, which, despite seeing the Empress of Japan, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and King Harald of Norway attend, saw Britain send its ambassador alone.  
On the balcony: Queen Margrethe, her heir Frederik (left) and her younger son Joachim wave to the crowds
On the balcony: Queen Margrethe, her heir Frederik (left) and her younger son Joachim wave to the crowds
Enjoying her day: Queen Margrethe II waves to excited crowds from the balcony of the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen
Enjoying her day: Queen Margrethe II waves to excited crowds from the balcony of the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen
Enjoying her day: Queen Margrethe II waves to excited crowds from the balcony of the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen
Royal family: Future King of Denmark Frederik (right) on the balcony with his wife Mary and their four young children
Royal family: Future King of Denmark Frederik (right) on the balcony with his wife Mary and their four young children
Close: Crown Prince Frederik bends down to chat to his son Prince Christian, who stands next to his brother, Prince Vincent
Close: Crown Prince Frederik bends down to chat to his son Prince Christian, who stands next to his brother, Prince Vincent
All smiles: On a second balcony were Norway's King Harald (right), Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit
All smiles: On a second balcony were Norway's King Harald (right), Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit
Looking on: L-R Sweden's Prince Daniel, Crown Princess Victoria, Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf
Looking on: L-R Sweden's Prince Daniel, Crown Princess Victoria, Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf
Royal wake-up: Queen Margrethe awoke on her birthday to find a crowd cheering outside
Royal wake-up: Queen Margrethe awoke on her birthday to find a crowd cheering outside
Taking part: Frederik and Mary arrived early with their four-year-old twins, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent
Taking part: Frederik and Mary arrived early with their four-year-old twins, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent
Getting involved: They were joined by the Belgian and Dutch heads of state
Getting involved: They were joined by the Belgian and Dutch heads of state
Excitement: Many of the children carried Dannebrogs - the Danish flag which is brought out on birthdays
Excitement: Many of the children carried Dannebrogs - the Danish flag which is brought out on birthdays
Having a chat: Crown Princess Mary with Princess Josephine and Queen Maxima
Crown Prince Frederik with nephew Prince Nikolai
Having a chat: Crown Princess Mary with Princess Josephine and Queen Maxima (left) and Crown Prince Frederik with nephew Prince Nikolai
Well-wishers: Flag-waving crowds had gathered outside the Amalienborg Palace early in the morning
Well-wishers: Flag-waving crowds had gathered outside the Amalienborg Palace early in the morning
Delighted: When Queen Margrethe emerged onto the balcony, the cheers grew even louder
Delighted: When Queen Margrethe emerged onto the balcony, the cheers grew even louder
The grand birthday celebration comes just days after the Danish Queen, who has been on the throne since 1972, caused a stir by saying that immigrants don't have to like Danish food but they must respect the country's core values.
Margrethe made headlines after taking part a tense debate about immigration on Monday in Copenhagen. Her comments echoed similar thoughts expressed in 2005 in which she pointed out that tolerance must be a two-way street.
This time, Queen Margrethe's intervention saw her tell reporters that immigrants 'don't need to change religion or what they eat. It's not about meat balls. It's about adapting to the country they have come to.'
She was commenting on a weekend newspaper interview in which she urged newcomers to accept Denmark's 'mental climate' and cited the Jewish community as a 'beautiful example' of a minority adapting to Danish society.
Denmark's immigration debate intensified after February shooting attacks against a free speech event and a synagogue by a gunman with Jordanian-Palestinian roots. 
The attack, which came weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, claimed the lives of three people - including that of gunman Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, 22, who was shot dead by police.
Cheers: Crown Prince Frederik makes a toast from his seat beside Queen Anne-Marie of Greece (left)
Cheers: Crown Prince Frederik makes a toast from his seat beside Queen Anne-Marie of Greece (left)
Speech: Listening in was Dorrit Moussaieff, the Israel-born wife of Iceland's Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
Speech: Listening in was Dorrit Moussaieff, the Israel-born wife of Iceland's Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
Sitting pretty: Luxembourg's Grand Duc Henri was sat between Crown Princess Mary and Queen Letizia
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Sitting pretty: Luxembourg's Grand Duc Henri was sat between Crown Princess Mary and Queen Letizia
Cheers! Queen Margrethe sits between King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and King Harald of Norway
Cheers! Queen Margrethe sits between King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and King Harald of Norway
Cheers! The two Scandinavian kings toast their Danish counterpart during the gala dinner
Cheers! The two Scandinavian kings toast their Danish counterpart during the gala dinner
Looking good: Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife, Queen Silvia arrive for the gala dinner
Looking good: Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife, Queen Silvia arrive for the gala dinner
Emeralds: King Constantine of Greece and Queen Anne-Marie of Greec
Emeralds: King Constantine of Greece and Queen Anne-Marie of Greec
Glamorous gathering: The crowned heads of Europe sit together at the banquet
Glamorous gathering: The crowned heads of Europe sit together at the banquet

FROM MARGRETHE TO MARY AND MAXIMA: EUROPE'S ROYAL DYNASTIES EXPLAINED 

Although no royal dynasty is as famous as the British one, the continent has no shortage of crowned heads.
Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium are all constitutional monarchies, as are Luxembourg, Sweden and Norway. 
DENMARK
Led by 75-year-old Queen Margrethe and her French husband Prince Henrik, 80, Denmark's royal family is one of Europe's largest and easily one of its most popular.
Popular: Denmark's Queen Margrethe II and her French husband, Prince Consort Henrik
Popular: Denmark's Queen Margrethe II and her French husband, Prince Consort Henrik
Next in line: The heir to the Danish throne is 46-year-old Crown Prince Frederik (right)
Next in line: The heir to the Danish throne is 46-year-old Crown Prince Frederik (right)
Margrethe, who ascended the throne in 1972, is famous for her love of painting and costume design, and produced the illustrations that appear in the Danish version of Lord of the Rings.
She was also behind the costumes that appeared in a Danish Royal Ballet production of A Folk Tale and was also behind the costumes used in the 2009 film De vilde svaner [The Wild Swans].
Margrethe is also known for having strong, if sometimes controversial, views on subjects such as immigration and used her 2005 biography to tell her subjects not to tolerate intolerance with regards to Islam.
She added: 'For there are some things for which one should display no tolerance. And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction.'
The royal, who married husband Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat in 1967, has two sons, Frederik, 46, and Joachim, 45.
Frederik, who is notorious for his playboy past, is next in line to the throne and is married to Australian-born Mary, 43, with whom he has four children.
SWEDEN
Sweden's 'bicycling royals' are more grand than their laid back reputation suggests and none more so than King Carl XVI Gustaf.
Sweden: Prince Carl-Philip,  Princess Victoria, Queen Silvia, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Princess Madeleine
Sweden: Prince Carl-Philip, Princess Victoria, Queen Silvia, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Princess Madeleine
Married to Brazilian-born Queen Silvia since 1976, he has three children, among them his heir, Crown Princess Victoria.
The 65-year-old king is said to passionate about the environment and technology, but also has a penchant for fast cars and owns several Porsche 911's as well as a Ferrari 456M GT.
His love of cars has been passed on to his son Carl Philip, 35, who along with competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup, also competes in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship.
But it hasn't all been smooth sailing for Carl Philip, who will marry his former glamour model fiancee Sofia Hellqvist this June.
In 2012, the prince enjoyed his infamous 'Wild Summer' which included him being slapped during a night out in Cannes, hitting the Swedish party scene wearing an alien mask, losing his Gucci wallet and hitch-hiking his way to a motoring competition where he crashed his car in the first race.
THE NETHERLANDS
Headed up by the amiable King Willem-Alexander, 47, and his wife Queen Maxima, 43, the Dutch royal couple is one of the youngest in Europe and arrived on the throne in 2013.
Young royals: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima with their three young daughters
Young royals: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima with their three young daughters
Willem-Alexander's ascension came after his long-serving mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated and retired from royal life.
Since taking the throne, Willem-Alexander has proved popular, although even he struggles to match the popularity enjoyed by his Argentina-born wife Maxima.
The glamorous 43-year-old gave up a career in finance to marry the Dutch royal and is mother to three daughters, heir apparent Catharina-Amalia and her sisters Alexia and Ariane.
Maxima's current success is a far cry from the controversy sparked by news of her engagement and eventual marriage.
Born Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, she is the daughter of Jorge Zorreguieta, an agriculture minister who served in the government of the murderous Jorge Rafael Videla whose rap sheet includes throwing people out of planes as well as sparking the 1982 Falklands War.
As a result, he was barred from attending Maxima's 2002 wedding. 
SPAIN
Spanish royal couple King Felipe and Queen Letizia are the newest rulers on the European scene and came to power less than a year ago.
They follow the controversial King Juan Carlos who, despite restoring the Spanish monarchy after the General Franco dictatorship, was enmeshed in a scandal after photos of him on a hunting safari during the 2008 recession emerged.
More scandal has followed courtesy of Felipe's sister Infanta Cristina who could become the first Spanish royal to go on trial, following a tax evasion scandal.
Newcomers: King Felipe and Queen Letizia are the newest royals in Europe

As a result, Felipe has vowed to clean up the monarchy and has introduced rules banning royals from accepting lavish gifts among many others.
His wife Letizia is a former broadcast journalist who, among other things, reported on the 9/11 attacks.
The couple, who married in 2004, have two daughters: Leonor, Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofía.
BELGIUM
Like the Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander, 54-year-old King Philippe of the Belgians took the throne in 2013. 
A former military man, he spent four years in the Army and eventually achieved the rank of second lieutenant before leaving to pursue his studies at Trinity College, Oxford.
Delighted: King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians after their coronation in 2013

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