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Frederik X is the new king

Denmark has a new king. The previous monarch Margrethe II signed her abdication certificate – her son Frederik follows on the throne. Thousands of people cheered on the new regent on Palace Square.

Denmark's Queen Margrethe II has abdicated and handed over the throne to her son Frederik after 52 years of reign. The 83-year-old signed her declaration of abdication in Copenhagen. Her 55-year-old son, the current Crown Prince Frederik, will succeed her on the throne as King Frederik X.

The previous crown prince then symbolically took his mother's place at the table. “God save the king,” said Margrethe as she left the hall, then drove back to Amalienborg Palace. The change of throne is now formally completed and the previous Crown Prince Frederik is the new King of Denmark.

Symbolically, the previous crown prince and current King Frederik X took his mother's place at the table. The previous monarch Margrethe II leaves the room.

Frederik's wife Mary, who is of Australian descent, has thus transitioned from crown princess to queen. Her eldest son, 18-year-old Christian, receives the title of crown prince.

A moved Frederik with his family on the balcony

At 3 p.m., Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen officially proclaimed Frederik X as the new king from the balcony of Castle. “Long live the king,” shouted the Prime Minister during the proclamation of the change of throne on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. Afterwards, loud cheers broke out among the thousands of people in front of the castle. “Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!” echoed across the palace square and through the neighboring streets.

Frederik seemed extremely moved and had tears in his eyes. Finally he waved from the balcony with his wife, the new Queen Mary. Their four children also came onto the balcony.

Margrethe announced her decision at short notice

It is the first time in almost 900 years that a Danish monarch has voluntarily given up the throne. Margrethe had announced her abdication in her New Year's speech. She justified the step with major back surgery, which she had to undergo in February 2023. The operation made her think about whether it wasn't time to pass on responsibility to the next generation, the monarch said in her speech, which is traditionally followed closely by the Danish population on New Year's Eve.

Queen Margrethe II abdicates

The life of Europe's longest-serving monarch

Even Prime Minister Frederiksen had not been informed of the Queen's plan to hand over the throne to her son until shortly before the announcement. Heir to the throne Frederik and his brother Joachim were informed three days in advance, the newspaper “Berlingske” reported, citing the royal palace.

Unusual step in Denmark

The step is extremely unusual in Denmark: unlike in the Netherlands, for example, it is generally not customary in the Scandinavian royal families to abdicate before death. According to the royal family in Copenhagen, the last time a Danish regent voluntarily renounced the throne in this way was in 1146. Margrethe herself had repeatedly emphasized that she wanted to fulfill her duties until her death.

Margrethe was 31 years old when she ascended the Danish throne on January 14, 1972. A few hours earlier, her father, King Frederik IX. died as a result of a lung infection.

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