Category Archives: Contemporary History

In the widest context of this use, contemporary history is that part of history still in living memory. Based on human lifespan, contemporary history would extend for a period of approximately 80 years.

Margrethe II of Denmark (1940-Present)

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Margrethe II of Denmark

Margrethe Alexandrine Þórhildur Ingrid was the first female Monarch of Denmark since the 14th Century. She is the eldest of three female children of Frederick IX and Ingrid of Sweden. At the time of her birth, only the closest male relative could ascend the throne of Denmark. Prince Knud, her uncle was the closest male relative. Margrethe’s father began to change the constitution in 1947 so his daughter could inherit the throne after him. Margrethe’s mother could no longer have any more children. The Act of Succession if 1953 drove a wedge between brothers and destroyed an already fragile relationship.

Margrethe’s mother had her first child and daughter after five years of marriage, whereas Prince Knud and his wife had a daughter and two sons. Ingrid was advised to stop having children after her third daughter was born. Next in line should have been the eldest son of the Prince, the King’s brother. To add salt to the wound, Prince Knud was accused of maliciously stealing the name Frederick and Ingrid wanted for the son they had hoped for, “Christian.” Supposedly this is when things really got bad between the brothers. “Christian” was also a traditional name for Danish Kings. Frederick took it as a double insult, even though Christian was a second born son.

When the Act of Succession was presented, it was not as well received, but only needed a minimum of 45% of the electorate. The brother’s hardly spoke again after it was passed.

In 1967 Margrethe married Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, a French diplomat and she ascended the throne of Denmark in 1972. He husband was only granted title as Prince Consort. Her main duties are to represent the Kingdom abroad. Margrethe is an accomplished painter and her illustrations were used for the Danish edition of The Lord of the Rings. She also has a costume designing hobby. She has been vocal about speaking out against radical Islam. Denmark is also known as one of the most Liberal Countries in the World.

Contemporary History – Rania of Jordan 1970-Present

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Rania Al Abdullah

Rania Al Abdullah, Queen Consort of Jordan (1970-Present), was proclaimed by Harpers and Queen magazine as one of the most beautiful first ladies in the world. She was also named among the top 100 most powerful women, by Forbes Magazine

Rania, was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents. She and her family fled during the first gulf war to Jordan. She graduated from the American University in Cairo with a degree in Business Administration. She then worked at both Citibank and Apple Inc. She met her husband, Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein, King of Jordan shortly after. They have four children together (2 Princes, and 2 Princesses).

Rania, as a Muslim Queen, has a very unique position. She is the first openly declared Queen Consort in awhile. In fact I tried to research the last one since her. Even the King of Morocco’s wife is not titled as Queen Consort, but has Princess. Hurrem Sultan (also known as Roxelana to Slavs), was Suleiman the Magnificent’s Queen during the Ottoman Empire days, however, she could hardly be considered a Queen Consort. Although she held the title as Queen, she was not Suleiman’s only wife.

Rania does carry the title of Queen of Jordan, bestowed upon her by her husband, the King. This is unique in Muslim Society, as there is a general belief that there can be no actual Queens in Islam Kingdoms. In fact, Kings or Sultans are allowed to have several wives and/or harem wives. These women are usually shut away in the inner most confines of the royal palaces and do not show themselves accept to female or eunuch palace servants, their immediate family, and the King himself.

Queen Rania is very active, working hard for the Kingdom of Jordan. She is an advocate for religious tolerance, women’s rights, children, health, and education. She a very well respected all over the world. She even sometimes works as an ambassador for her husband when she meets with world leaders outside of the Kingdom of Jordan. In other words, she is a perfect and ideal Queen.

http://www.queenrania.jo/

She also has a Facebook and Twitter. 😉

Contemporary History – Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco 1978-Present

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Salma Bennani

Salma Bennani is the daughter of a school teacher father, (her mother died when she was young). After obtaining an engineering degree, she went to work for a holding company controlled by the Moroccan Royal Family. This is how she met Mohammed VI, King of Morocco.

Salma is the first Moroccan King’s wife in history to ever receive any kind of title and acknowledgement. The King bestowed on her the title of Royal Princess of Morocco and she is often seen in public. She also represents the King abroad, something very rare for a royal Muslim wife. For instance, she was at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate.

When Mohammed’s father, Hassan II, was king, his wives, (there were two official wives), rarely left the harem, and if they did they were never photographed, or they were heavily veiled. Hassan II also had a harem full of unofficial wives (hundreds). It is tradition that the new King take into his household his father’s harem and provide for them. When Mohammed became King, is released all the women in his father’s harem with pensions, and vowed to only have one wife. Also, Hassan II’s official wives were only known as “mother of the royal children.”

The new King is considered very modern and a reformist. Although it is not outlawed, polygamy is discouraged and regulated. Also, men are now made to pay alimony and child support in divorce situations, as children are not automatically given to the father. The King has also made many political changes and changes as to how the kingdom is run. This, and Morocco’s close relationship/friendship with the west has made Morocco and target for Muslim extremist.

The fact the Morocco’s King’s wife even appears in public and photographs is significant in itself and shows a very modern Muslim kingdom moving toward more modern ideals.