In a surprising turn of events, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II has announced her abdication in a New Year’s television address, marking the end of her 52-year reign.
The 83-year-old monarch, the longest-serving in Danish history, will formally pass the throne to her son, Crown Prince Frederik, on January 14.
The decision, unveiled with a mixture of gratitude and reflection, follows Queen Margrethe II’s recent back surgery in early 2023.
She expressed that the surgery prompted contemplation about the future and whether the time had come to entrust the responsibility to the next generation.
“I have decided that now is the right time,” she declared, thanking the Danish public for their unwavering support over the decades.
In response, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen extended heartfelt thanks on behalf of the entire population, recognizing Queen Margrethe II’s lifelong dedication to the kingdom.
The monarch, an emblem of Danish identity, seamlessly blended her role with a passion for the arts, maintaining her artistic pursuits during her reign.
In a departure from British royal tradition, there will be no formal crowning ceremony for the 55-year-old Crown Prince Frederik. Instead, the ascension will be announced from Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen on the designated day.
Queen Margrethe II, a popular figure, had been expected by many Danes to remain on the throne until her passing.
During her reign, she delivered annual New Year’s Eve speeches, combining this year’s announcement with discussions on global conflicts and climate change.
The Danish royal family, facing challenges akin to other European monarchies, has opted to streamline its members, resulting in a public dispute last year when Prince Joachim’s children lost their royal titles.
The abdication of Queen Margrethe II signals a new chapter for Denmark, with Crown Prince Frederik poised to carry the legacy forward.