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Updated January 1st, 2024 at 15:45 IST

Denmark's Queen Margrethe II announces surprise abdication, marks end to 52 years of reign

In a surprising New Year's address, the queen of Denmark announced that she will be abdicating her Danish throne marking the end of her 52 years of reign.

Queen Margrethe II gives a New Year’s speech and announces her abdication from Christian IX’s Palace, Amalienborg Castle, in Copenhagen
Queen Margrethe II gives a New Year’s speech and announces her abdication from Christian IX’s Palace, Amalienborg Castle, in Copenhagen | Image:AP
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Copenhagen: In a surprising New Year's address, the queen of Denmark announced that she will be abdicating her Danish throne marking the end of her 52 years of reign. While announcing the news and leaving the whole country in utter shock, the Danish Queen revealed that she will be stepping down on January 14, The Guardian reported. The date will mark the 52nd anniversary of her accession and after the queen steps down, the throne will be left to her son Crown Prince Frederik. However, Queen Margrethe will continue to hold the title Her Majesty even after her reign comes to an end. 

“I have decided that now is the right time. On 14 January 2024, 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father, I will step down as Queen of Denmark. I leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik," the Danish queen said in her televised speech from Christian IX’s Palace at Amalienborg. The queen noted that her back surgery in February this year made her reconsider if she wants to continue or not. “Time is running out, and the ills are increasing. You can no longer overcome the same things as you once could,” she explained.

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Shortly after the announcement, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen released a statement in which he thanked the queen for her decades of 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. “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," he added. Frederiksen also noted that he is looking forward to the new reign of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. “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," she added. 

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The legacy of Queen Margrethe

While elucidating the legacy of Queen Margrethe, the Danish Prime Minister noted that she has been of “undeniable importance” to Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Margrethe II is touted as one of the most popular and influential public figures in the European nation. During the start of her reign, she won the admiration of Danes for her warm manners and her talents as a linguist and designer. During her initial year, she became a member of a Danish women’s air force unit as a princess and at the age of 70 she visited the Danish troops stationed in Southern Afghanistan in 2011. “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," the Dutch premier concluded.  

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Published January 1st, 2024 at 07:12 IST

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