Danish monarch, Queen Margrethe II announces abdication

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II has announced her surprise abdication in a new year TV address.

She will formally step down on 14 January, which will be 52 years to the day since she became queen.

“I will leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik,” she announced.

The 83-year-old is the world’s only reigning queen and the longest serving current monarch in Europe, taking the throne after the death of her father King Frederik IX in 1972.

She revealed the decision was made after a period of reflection following surgery on her back in early 2023.

“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.

“I have decided that now is the right time,” she added, and offered her thanks to the Danish public for their support over the years.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen thanked Queen Margrethe II for her service.

New monarch

Unlike British royal tradition, there will be no formal crowning ceremony for Crown Prince Frederik, who is 55. Instead, his accession will be announced from Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen on the day.

He will take her place as King of Denmark and head of state in the country. It is a constitutional monarchy. Greenland and the Faroe Islands are part of the kingdom.


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Danish monarch, Queen Margrethe II announces abdication

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