Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Announces Her Abdication

She will step down on January 14 and leave the throne to her son, Prince Frederik.
Queen Margrethe abdicates

After 52 years on the throne, the Queen of Denmark has announced that she will abdicate.

The Monarch announced the surprising news to the country in her New Year’s speech, when she said she will step down on the 14 January, which is also the 52nd anniversary of her accession to the throne. The Monarch ascended the throne in 1972, after the death of her father, King Frederik IX.

The role will be left to her son, Crown Prince Frederik, who will become King of Denmark. This also means Australian-born Mary Donaldson will become Queen.

Prince Frederik and Princess Mary will become King and Queen of Denmark.
Prince Frederik and Princess Mary will become King and Queen of Denmark.

The monarch announced her news from Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg, where she said:

“I have decided that now is the right time. On 14 January 2024, 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father, I will step down as Queen of Denmark. I leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik.”

In February, the Queen underwent surgery that made her reconsider her position, with the monarch stating, “The surgery naturally gave rise to thinking about the future – whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation.

“Time is running out, and the ills are increasing. You can no longer overcome the same things as you once could,” she said.

Mette Frederiksen, the Prime Minister of Denmark also acknowledged the Queen’s service.

“On behalf of the entire population, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Her Majesty the Queen for her lifelong dedication and tireless efforts for the kingdom,” she said.

“Although the duty and position of regent has been handed down for more than 1,000 years, it is still difficult to understand that the time has now come for a change of throne.

“Many of us have never known another regent. Queen Margrethe is the epitome of Denmark and throughout the years has put words and feelings into who we are as a people and as a nation.

“In the new year, Crown Prince Frederik will be proclaimed king. Crown Princess Mary will become queen. The kingdom will have a new regent and a new royal couple. We can look forward to all of this in the knowledge that they are ready for the responsibility and the task.”

Queen Margrethe is the world’s only reigning queen.

The monarch is not only the world’s only reigning queen but the longest serving current monarch in Europe. At 83 years old, the Queen remains extremely popular with the Danish people.

Unlike British tradition, there will not be a formal crowning ceremony for Crown Prince Frederik. His accession will be announced at Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen on January 14.

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