Day job: Queen of Denmark. Side project: Netflix set designer.
Margrethe II, the Queen of Denmark and commander-in-chief of the Danish Defense, will supply set designs for Ehrengard, a new Netflix film which Danish Oscar winner Bille August (Pele The Conqueror) will direct.
This is not the Queen’s first commission. Margrethe is an accomplished painter and illustrator — her drawings, published under the pseudonym Ingahild Grathmer — were used for Danish editions of The Lord of the Rings back in the early 1970s, and she has designed costumes for productions at the Royal Danish Ballet, as well ad for Danish films and television series.
But with Ehrengard, the Queen’s designs will likely reach their widest audience yet. The feature film is a fantasy tale based on book by Karen Blixen (Out of Africa). Set in the fairytale kingdom of Babenhausen, the story follows a young, self-appointed expert on love who is hired by to help her secure an heir for the country’s Crown Prince. The love expert teaches the Prince the art of seduction and lovemaking but the plan backfires when his Majesty conceives a child out of wedlock.
“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. Fantastic (in the most literal sense) is our starting point for the film; we wish to use humor and elegance to create a devil-may-care, burlesque, fabulous and autonomous visual universe,” August said in a statement.
“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,” the Queen said.
Anders August has adapted Blixen’s book for the screen. Marcella Dichmann at SF Studios is producing Ehrengard for Netflix. Jacob Jorgensen and JJ Film have been developing the project for several years.
Netflix will release Ehrengard worldwide in 2023.