Prime Minister, Moderate Party Leader
Birgitte struggles to find an appropriate balance between playing lapdog and bulldog in Denmark's dog-eat-dog political arena. She becomes so consumed with her job that she all too often neglects her responsibilities as wife and mother, ultimately leaving her family in shambles. Her husband divorces her and her daughter develops an anxiety disorder.Portrayed by: Sidse Babett Knudsen
Birgitte's ex-husband, former professor at Copenhagen Business School. As Birgitte evolves as a prime minister, she devolves as a wife in her husband's eyes. First, the couple resorts to scheduling sex, then drops the witty (and often playfully dirty) banter that kept their relationship fresh, and finally stops spending quality time with one another. And after she asks her husband to make one too many sacrifices for her job, he finds solace in another woman's arms. He files for divorce and jumps into another relationship soon afterward, but Laura's mental breakdown seems to bring him closer to Birgitte.
Birgitte's press adviser/speech writer, Katrine's boyfriend. Although they initially fail to see eye to eye on many issues (in fact, Birgitte fires Kasper for his lack of morals), they eventually grow to be the most loyal pair in parliament. What he lacks as a boyfriend to Katrine and Lotte, he makes up for as an employee to Birgitte.
TV1 anchor, Kasper's girlfriend, former Express reporter. Birgitte and Katrine have a mutualistic relationship. They use each other for political and journalistic gain, respectively. And even when Katrine bombards her with unapproved questions, Birgitte comes out of the interview unscathed and often with an improved image.
Birgitte and Phillip's daughter. Birgitte is relatively absent from both her children's lives during her first year in office. They're usually asleep by the time she returns home from work. Naturally, Laura grows distant as a result. The pressures of her mom's job add to her personal pressures to be the perfect daughter, contributing to her nervous breakdown.
Birgitte and Phillip's son. Her little boy admires her success, but resents her diminishing presence at home. Birgitte blames herself for his new bad habit of wetting himself. She later feels threatened when Magnus takes a liking to his dad's new girlfriend, Cecilie.
Former Finance Minister (Moderate Party). Her mentor, best friend, and most trusted minister tells her when she takes office to abandon all her friends in parliament. He later wishes he could take that advice back when Birgitte crumbles under the Labor Party's pressure and forces him to resign from his post. The two ultimately turn against each other until Bent's health scare resuscitates their relationship.
Liberal Party Leader, former Prime Minister. Birgitte was tempted to join a liberal right-wing three party coalition with Hesselboe on the PM ticket before working up the courage to run for the office herself. Hesselboe has resented her ever since, clamoring for the opportunity to regain the coveted seat.
Express Editor-in-Chief, former Labor Party Leader. If Hesselboe hates Birgitte, then Laugesen abhors her. The two men were the favorites to win the election before Birgitte stole the show with her debate performance. It's unclear whether he even got wind of this, but Birgitte was also involved in leaking the racist emails that later led to his resignation as Labor Party Leader. He uses his new tabloid to launch smear campaigns against her and her cabinet, even sending a paparazzo to Birgitte's daughter's hospital.
Former Environment Minister, Green Party Leader. Birgitte can usually count on Amir's political support in parliament. Even though he's affiliated with another party, the Moderates and Greens often have overlapping culturally progressive agendas. However, her insistence on making concessions for the opposition leads to his resignation from both offices. He later returns briefly to politics at Birgitte's insistence to help negotiate a peace between two warring countries in Africa.
Solidarity Party Leader. Brigitte introduced Anne Sophie to politics. When her party headquarters is discovered to be bugged by the CIA, Brigitte seeks justice. But she's forced to let Anne Sophie fight her own battles when a compromising tape of her drunken kidnapping threats are released. She loses her friend and gains a semi-opponent as a result.
Former Foreign Minister, Labor Party Leader. Brigitte could have easily made an enemy in Bjørn when she withdrew her support for Labor once he became party leader, on track to becoming PM. However, the mild-mannered Bjørn forgave and forgot. Brigitte tries to offer advice and support when his own party backstabs him, pushing him out of office.
Temporary acting PM, Defense Minister, Labor Party Leader. Birgitte was on the brink of firing the minister when she discovered he took a bribe from the manufacturer of the fighter plane he chose for the military. His corruption draws media attention to her office, causing her to ask Phillip to quit his job for the company that's a subcontractor for the same manufacturer. But once her cabinet members start dropping like flies, Hans Christian becomes her right-hand man, even stepping in temporarily as PM.
Prime Minister's Permanent Secretary. The PM and her secretary start off on the wrong foot due to his allegiance to Hesselboe, but eventually form a professional bond. Birgitte wins him over with her commitment to the job.
Birgitte's personal assistant. Brigitte wants her fired from day one. But she soon realizes that what Sanne lacks in competency she makes up for with kindness and thoughtfulness. She later hires her back after Niels lets her go.
Freedom Party Leader. Svend once told her, "Everything you stand for I'm against. I am evil incarnate in your little intellectual world." Birgitte steers clear of him (arguably the most right-wing member of parliament) at all costs. She's forced to confront his bullying tendencies when he proposes a bill to lower the age of criminal responsibility.
Deceased former Foreign Minister, Justice Minister, Labor Party Leader. Although she collaborates with him to bring Laugesen down, Birgitte later realizes she can't trust Troels. He doesn't resign when she tells him to, but instead leaks the recording of Anne Sophie's boozy threat, thereby dodging backlash for authorizing her party headquarters' bugging. He masterminds Bjørn's downfall and assumes his posts, but doesn't live long enough to enjoy the newfound power. Troels commits suicide. Despite their differences, Birgitte fights to retain his honor even after his death.
New Right Leader. Birgitte doesn't join her coalition when running for office, but later strikes a deal with her to vote on a budget bill in exchange for increased police and military funding.
Finance Minister, Equality Minister, Labor Party Deputy Leader. Pernille is a thorn in Birgitte's side, constantly nagging until she gets her way. She helps Troels bring down Bjørn, cementing her villain status.
EU Commissioner, former Moderate Party Deputy Leader, EU Minister. Birgitte initially thinks he's the future of their party before finding out that he hid information about Bent's health from her in order to make her appear heartless to the pubic.
Laura's psychiatrist at Liseholm. After Lisbet asks Birgitte to remove Laura from the therapy program, she steps down as PM to regain her privacy and stop the flow of paparazzi to the facility. The psychiatrist also tells the supermom something she was anxious to hear for months: her job didn't cause her daughter's disorder.
Phillip's ex-girlfriend, pediatrician. Birgitte is intimidated by the blonde beauty whose won the hearts of her husband and children. Although she doesn't appreciate some of her parenting suggestions (encouraging her and Phillip to put Laura on "happy pills"), she's grateful that Cecilie's there to lend a hand.
Birgitte's personal assistant. Jytte doesn't inform her when Laura calls crying from camp. Instead, she tells her that Birgitte is too busy for her, potentially worsening her anxiety attack. When Birgitte confronts her about it, she says "this is the PM's office and not a kindergarten." And with that, she gets fired.
Like Borgen? Donate to KCET and choose a Borgen-related book, CD or DVD as a thank you gift.Choose a gift
What's my channel?
Type in your five digit zip code to find KCET on your local cable box.
Borgen is an award-winning Danish drama series about the fight for political power and the personal consequences for everyone involved.
Visit the show page
KCET donors are eligible for a range of thank you gifts and benefits--from books, CDs and DVDs of your favorite performers and speakers to concert tickets and frequent flyer miles.Donate