Denmark's Queen Margrethe II Hosts Final New Year's Banquet in Her Reign

Queen Margrethe II hosts New Year Banquet 

Every New Year, the Danish monarch hosts a traditional New Year's Banquet for the Royal Court and Government. Queen Margrethe II has done this for the last 50 years, but this year is extra special as this will be the last time she will host the New Year's Banquet as monarch. 

On December 31, 2023, during her New Year's Address to the nation, she made a surprise announcement to abdicate in favor of her eldest son and heir, Crown Prince Frederik, who will start his reign as King Frederik X on January 14, the day his mother formally stepped down. 

Queen Margrethe II hosts New Year Banquet
Queen Margrethe II and her son, Crown Prince Frederik

Princess Benedikte, Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Prince Joachim, and Princess Marie, joined the Queen for her last New Year’s Court and Banquet. It was held at the Christian VII’s Palace, Amalienborg in Copenhagen. 

For the event, Her Majesty wore her favorite pink gown, her favorite Pearl Poire Tiara, and her Pearl necklace. Her daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Mary, who will be Denmark's first commoner Queen consort, wore a burgundy velvet dress and her favorite Ruby Tiara. 

Queen Margrethe II abdicates
Soon to be King Frederik X and Queen Mary

Queen Margrethe II emphasized the reason for her decision to abdicate in her New Year's Address. It's due to health reasons, saying after she underwent back surgery in February 2023, she pondered on the thought of relinquishing the throne to the Crown Prince to serve the country better. 

Unlike in the past centuries when setting up a Regency was very common in most monarchies, it's no longer popular in modern times, and most monarchs who suffered poor health conditions - such as King Albert II of Belgium and King Juan Carlos I of Spain, chose to voluntarily abdicate.

Queen Margrethe II abdicates
Queen Margrethe II arrives in the banquet hall

Queen Margrethe II is the first Danish monarch from the House of Glucksburg to abdicate and the second in the history of Denmark since Eric III The Lamb (1137-1146) in the 12th century. Eric III abdicated the throne to become a monk.

Queen Margrethe II is also the first female Danish monarch since Margaret I (1387-1412). She is the second longest-reigning Danish monarch in history following King Christian IV from the House of Oldenburg who reigned for 59 years.

Queen Margrethe II abdicates

Queen Margrethe II abdicates

In September 2022, Queen Margrethe II was largely criticized for her decision to strip her four grandchildren of their royal statuses. Members of the public felt the children of Prince Joachim were stripped of their identities as royal grandchildren in the male line. 

A family rift between Prince Joachim, his mother, and his brother, the Crown Prince, was reported, and they did not spend the Christmas Holiday that year.

However, in 2023, the family reconciled and Prince Joachim began attending family events in Denmark. His family also spent Christmas and New Year in Denmark.

Queen Margrethe II abdicates
Prince Joachim and Princess Marie attend New Year's banquet

Queen Margrethe II abdicates
Princess Benedikte attends New Year's banquet

Queen Margrethe II abdicates
Queen Margrethe II

Queen Margrethe II abdicates
New Year's Banquet. Photo credit: Danish royal family

New Year's Banquet. Photo credit: Danish royal family

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary attend New Year's banquet. New Year's Banquet. Photo credit: Danish royal family

Queen Margrethe II abdicates

New Line of Succession

With the decision of Queen Margrethe II to abdicate, the Line of Succession to the Danish throne will also change comes January 14, 2024. When the Crown Prince becomes Frederik X; the line of succession will be:
  1. HRH Prince Christian (son of Frederik)
  2. HRH Princess Isabella (daughter of Frederik)
  3. HRH Prince Vincent (son of Frederik)
  4. HRH Princess Josephine (daughter of Frederik)
  5. HRH Prince Joachim (second son of Margrethe II)
  6. HE Count Nikolai of Monpezat (son of Prince Joachim)
  7. HE Count Felix of Monpezat (son of Prince Joachim)
  8. HE Count Henrik of Monpezat (son of Prince Joachim)
  9. HE Countess Athena of Monpezat ((daughter of Prince Joachim)
  10. HRH Princess Benedikte (sister of Margrethe II)

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