February 22, 2024

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Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announces her abdication live on television

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announces her abdication live on television
  • Written by Jacqueline Howard
  • BBC News

Image source, Kjeld Naventoft

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Queen Margaret II announced her abdication during her annual New Year's speech.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announced her surprise abdication in a television New Year's speech.

She will abdicate the throne on January 14, 52 years to the day she became queen.

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

The 83-year-old queen is the longest-serving queen in Danish history, having assumed the throne after the death of her father, King Frederik IX, in 1972.

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

“The surgery naturally led to thinking about the future and whether it was time to pass the responsibility on to the next generation,” she said.

“I decided that this was the right time,” she added, thanking the Danish people for their support over the years.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen thanked the Queen for her service.

“On behalf of all residents, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Her Majesty the Queen for her continued dedication and tireless efforts for the Kingdom,” she said in a statement.

“Queen Margrethe is an example for Denmark, and over the years she has put words and sentiment into our identity as a people and as a nation.”

Contrary to British royal tradition, there will be no official coronation ceremony for Crown Prince Frederick, 55 years old. Instead, his ascension from Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen will be announced on the same day.

Queen Margrethe is a popular figure in Denmark, and many Danes expected her to remain on the throne until her death.

During her time on the throne she continued to work as an artist and was known for her love of the arts.

She also studied in the United Kingdom, spending time at Girton College, University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics.

Image source, Getty Images

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Queen Margaret II and Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

Every year on New Year's Eve, she gives a speech that is broadcast on television.

This year, apart from the announcement, she also spoke about the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as the importance of tackling climate change.

Facing similar challenges to modern society as other royal families across Europe, the Danish royal family decided to reduce the number of royals.

This led to a very public row last year after the children of Prince Joachim, the younger brother of Crown Prince Frederick, were stripped of their royal titles.

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