Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II has announced that she will step down from the throne on January 14, 2024, after 52 years of reign. She will be succeeded by her eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik, who will become King Frederik X.
The 83-year-old monarch made the surprise announcement on live TV during her traditional New Year’s Eve speech, saying that she had decided that “now is the right time” to leave the responsibility to the next generation.
Why did Queen Margrethe II decided to abdicate?
She cited her successful back surgery in February as a factor that prompted her to think about the future.
Queen Margrethe II is the longest-serving monarch in Europe and the longest-sitting monarch in Denmark’s history. She ascended the throne in 1972, following the death of her father, King Frederik IX.
She is widely respected and admired by Danes for her tactful and creative personality, as well as her love of archaeology. She married French diplomat Henri de Laborde de Monpezat in 1967, who died in 2018. They have two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.
Crown Prince Frederik, 55, is married to Tasmanian-born Mary Donaldson, who will become queen of Denmark. They have four children, Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen expressed her gratitude to the Queen Margrethe II for her life-long dedication to duty and said that many Danes had never known another monarch.
She also congratulated Crown Prince Frederik and his family on their upcoming accession to the throne.
With this announcement, the Queen has marked the end of an era in Denmark’s history. She has been a beloved and respected monarch, who has served her country with dignity and grace. She has also been a source of inspiration and creativity, as well as a keen archaeologist.