The Kingdom of Denmark, according to the constitution written in 1849, changed the governance of Denmark from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy with a representative parliamentary system. The monarch retained executive and ceremonial power. The Queen appoints the prime minister and the cabinet. Danish parliament is unicameral legislature with only one chamber, the House of Representatives. The main duty is legislation, although, the house also approves government spending and exercises control over the government. After enacting bills, parliament passes them on to the council of state, which is the body of advisors to the sovereign. The prime minister and cabinet exercise executive power on behalf of the monarch. Ideally, the prime minister is supposed to come from the majority party, but for a long time, it has not been the case, as most of them have come from a coalition of parties.

Queen Margrethe II has headed the monarchy since January 14, 1972. Margrethe II has been on the throne for 45 years now, making her the first female monarch after Margrethe I, who was the ruler of Scandinavian kingdoms in the 12th century. The current Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, took over from Hellen Thorning-Schmidt after the Social Democrats were defeated in the general election held in June 2015.

The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. The royal families occupy different residences during different seasons. In the summer, the queen and the prince occupy Marselisborg Palace, which is in Aarhus. In winter they reside at the Amalienborg, a palace in Copenhagen, a place the royal family has owned since 1794. In the spring, Fredensborg Palace is the residence of choice, located on the eastern shore of Lake Esrum on the island of Zealand - it is also a key palace because it hosts important state visits and Royal Family events. The parliament, or Folketing as it is called Denmark, meet in Christiansborg Palace which has been in central Copenhagen since 1849.

Constitutionally, parliamentary elections are scheduled after every four years. However, the prime minister can ask the monarch to call for early elections in case there is a no-confidence vote. Adult suffrage age in Denmark starts at 18 years. The House of Representatives has a total of 179 members, out of this, 175 are from Denmark, two from Greenland and two from the Faroe Islands, which together constitutes the Kingdom of Denmark. The Kingdom electoral system is based on proportional representation rather than majority vote. This system ensures that all divisions in the electorate are represented fairly in the elected body.

This page was last modified on November 22nd, 2017