A Copenhagen ballet production based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale has had a major brush with royalty, with its sets and costumes designed by Denmark's Queen Margrethe II.
The 67-year-old monarch and graphic artist was part of the creative team for the half-hour ballet The Tinder Box, which opens Saturday at the Pantomime Theatre in the city's famed Tivoli Gardens.
A 20-member troupe, featuring dancers hailing from Europe, South America and Asia, will perform The Tinder Box until September.
This latest endeavour was Margrethe's third time designing for a stage adaptation of Andersen's work at Tivoli Gardens.
In 2001, she designed the stage and costumes for Love in a Dustbin, a ballet work based on three Andersen tales. Four years later, she assisted with a ballet version of Thumbelina that was staged as part of the celebrations surrounding the 200th anniversary of the author's birth.
"It has been incredibly fun to try again," Margrethe told reporters on Thursday.
The famed Danish author wrote The Tinder Box in 1835, though it was never as well known as some of his other stories, such as The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid.
The Tinder Box centres ona soldier who finds a magical tinder box that brings him fortune, unites him with his love and protects him from a terrible demise.
However, like many of Andersen's tales, it contains a number of gruesome scenes, including violence and murder.
The Queen said she and her collaborators never considered editing these sections of the story.
"Can you imagine to censor works by Hans Christian Andersen?" Margrethe said, laughing.
"I have always accepted it when the soldier beheaded the witch. That's the way he is."
The monarch also said she is prepared for any criticism that may come.
"I know that when I have an idea that doesn't work, people will tell me. And that is how it should be, since our goal is to create a performance that works, that entertains and pleases the audience and which will be a success for the theatre," she said.
Margrethe is celebrated for helping adapt Andersen works for the stage, film and television. In 2004, she accepted an honorary Hans Christian Andersen Prize for providing illustrations for dozens of Andersen fairy tales since 1984.