(CMR) Denmark's Queen Margrethe II (83) has announced her surprise abdication in a New Year TV address. She will formally step down on 14 January, 52 years to the day since she became queen.
“I will leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik,” she announced, adding that her decision was made after a period of reflection following surgery on her back in early 2023.
“The surgery naturally gave rise to thinking about the future – whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation,” she said.
Queen Margrethe II is the world's only reigning queen and the longest-serving current monarch in Europe, taking the throne after the death of her father, King Frederik IX, in 1972.
“I have decided that now is the right time,” she added and thanked the Danish public for their support over the years.
“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,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen thanked the queen for her service.
“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,” a statement from Frederiksen read.
“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,” the statement continued.
There will be no formal crowning ceremony for Crown Prince Frederik (55); instead, his accession will be announced from Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen on the day.
He will take her place as King of Denmark and head of state in the country – which is a constitutional monarchy – as well as in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.