Breaking News: Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Announces Abdication

 Queen Margrethe II announces abdication

Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the current longest-serving monarch in Europe, and the only reigning Queen regnant in the world, used her annual New Year's address to the nation to announce her intention to abdicate.

The 83-year-old Queen announced her planned abdication on live TV. She will formally abdicate on January 14, 2024, the 52nd anniversary of her accession to the Danish throne. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2022. 

Queen Margrethe II announces abdication
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

Queen Margrethe II, who became Europe's longest-reigning monarch after the death of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, will be succeeded by her eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik. He will be known as Frederick X. His eldest, Prince Christian, who just turned 18 in October this year, will be the newest heir-apparent in Europe.

She revealed that the decision to abdicate the throne was made after a period of reflection following her back surgery in early 2023.

Here's part of Her Majesty's New Year's message:

"Tonight, I would like to express a very special thank you. Thank you for the warmth and devotion which I and my family have received throughout many, many years. 

In two weeks I have been Queen of Denmark for 52 years. Such an amount will leave its mark on anybody – also on me! The time takes its toll, and the number of “ailments” increases. One cannot undertake as much as one managed in the past. 

In February this year, I underwent extensive back surgery. Everything went well, thanks to the competent health personnel, who took care of me. Inevitably, the operation gave cause to thoughts about the future – whether now would be an appropriate time to pass on the responsibility to the next generation. 

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

Tonight, I first and foremost would like to express my thanks. Thank you for the overwhelming warmth and support which I have received during all these years. Thank you to the changing governments with whom the collaboration always has been rewarding, and thank you to The Parliament, who have always vested their confidence in me. 

Thank you to the many, many people who on special occasions and in everyday life have embraced me and my family with kind words and thoughts, turning the years into a string of pearls. 

The support and assistance that I have received throughout the years have been crucial to the success of my task. It is my hope that the new King and Queen will be met with the same trust and devotion which have fallen to my lot..."

The Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, thanked Her Majesty 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.

“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 II had been of “undeniable importance” to Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland, Frederiksen said, for which she is recognized “with equal parts gratitude and admiration”.

Queen Margrethe II announces abdication
From left: Prince Vincent, Crown Princess Mary, Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Christian, the Queen, Princess Isabella, and Princess Josephine

Fourth Abdication in Europe in the Current Times

Queen Margrethe II is the fourth European monarch in the current times to abdicate following Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands in April 2013, King Albert II of Belgium in July 2013, and King Juan Carlos I of Spain in June 2014. Also, Grand Duke Jean abdicated the Luxembourgian throne in 2000 in favor of his son, now Grand Duke Henri.

Queen Margrethe II's abdication means there is no Queen regnant in the world in the current times. We all have male Crown Heads! 

Europe, however, has four female heirs in line to succeed the throne directly after the reigning Kings: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, Princess Catharina-Amalia of The Netherlands, and Princess Leonor of Spain.

Unlike the former Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands who reverted to her princess style after her abdication, Queen Margrethe will continue to be styled as Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II, just like King Albert II of Belgium and King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Queen Margrethe II was the first woman in the House of Glucksburg to be allowed to inherit the throne in Denmark following the 1953 Act of Succession.

Queen Margrethe II announces abdication
New royal family in Europe. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary with their four children

A new era in Denmark as Frederik X Begins His Reign

New Year, New King! Queen Margrethe II's successor will be known as King Frederik X and his wife, Queen Mary. He will usher the Danish branch of the House of Glucksburg into a new era.

He was born on May 26, 1968, as the eldest son of then Princess Margaret and Henrik de Monpezat. He was only three years old on January 14, 1972, when he became the Crown Prince. Following King Charles III's accession to the British throne in September 2022, Frederik became Europe's longest-serving Crown Prince.

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