Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II Declares Abdication on Live TV

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has unexpectedly declared her decision to step down from the throne in a televised New Year’s address.

She is set to formally abdicate on January 14, marking exactly 52 years since her ascension to the throne. “I will leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik,” she announced.

At 83 years old, she is currently the only reigning queen worldwide and Europe’s longest-serving monarch, having ascended to the throne in 1972 following the death of her father, King Frederik IX.

Following back surgery in early 2023, she decided to abdicate after a period of reflection. “The surgery naturally gave rise to thinking about the future: whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation,” she said.

She expressed her belief that now is the appropriate time to abdicate and thanked the Danish people for their longstanding support.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen expressed gratitude to the queen for her 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 in a statement.

She noted, “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.”

Unlike the British royal tradition, Crown Prince Frederik’s ascension will not involve a formal crowning ceremony. His accession will be proclaimed from Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen.

Upon abdication, he will become the King of Denmark and the head of state, overseeing Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands.

Queen Margrethe is beloved in Denmark, where many expected her to reign until her death.

A Danish journalist compared her significance for Denmark to that of Queen Elizabeth II for the British.

Queen Margrethe attended Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in 2022, and both celebrated jubilees that year. Originally not in line to be queen, she became eligible when Danish law changed to allow female succession when she was 13.

Years ago, Queen Margrethe acknowledged Queen Elizabeth II’s influence on her commitment to her nation.

The two were the last female sovereigns before Queen Elizabeth’s passing. Elizabeth reigned for 70 years.

She is the longest-reigning Danish monarch, surpassing King Christian IV earlier this year.

Affectionately called Daisy, she is recognized for her lifestyle choices, like avoiding mobile phones and the internet.

The Danish royal transition brings mixed feelings, according to Gotzsche, who notes the logical and sensible nature of Crown Prince Frederik’s succession.

Crown Prince Frederik shares environmental interests with Britain’s King Charles III and is prepared to lead Denmark forward.

His wife, Princess Mary, hails from Tasmania, Australia, and was a lawyer when they met.

They embody modern values and have raised their four children with an emphasis on normalcy, mainly attending state schools.

Throughout her reign, Queen Margrethe remained active as an artist, gaining recognition for her profound appreciation of the arts. Her interests also include archaeology, with active participation in excavations.

She studied at Girton College, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics.

In 1967, she married French diplomat Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, her consort until his passing in 2018.

Annually, she addresses the nation on New Year’s Eve, discussing various global issues like the wars in the Middle East, Ukraine, and climate change.

Facing challenges similar to those of other European royal families, the Danish royals have decided to downsize their family.

This decision caused a rift last year, particularly after the titles of Crown Prince Frederik’s younger brother, Prince Joachim’s children, were removed.”