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Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Announces Abdication After 52 Years

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announces abdication after 52 years

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, the longest-serving monarch in Europe, has announced her decision to abdicate on January 14, concluding a remarkable 52-year reign.

In a surprise revelation during her traditional New Year’s Eve address, the 83-year-old queen, who assumed the throne in 1972, shared that her successful back surgery in February prompted reflections on the future, contemplating whether it was time to pass on the responsibilities to the next generation.

Expressing her decision, she stated, “I have decided that now is the right time. On January 14, 2024 – 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father – I will step down as the queen of Denmark.” Queen Margrethe II will be succeeded by her eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik.

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Having become Europe’s longest-serving monarch after the passing of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, Queen Margrethe II holds a significant place in Denmark’s history, having also become the longest-sitting monarch in the nation’s history in July.

In Denmark, the monarch’s role is ceremonial, with formal power residing in the elected parliament and government. The monarch is expected to remain impartial in politics, representing the nation through traditional duties like state visits and national day celebrations.

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen expressed gratitude to the queen for her lifelong dedication to duty, acknowledging the difficulty of accepting the impending change of throne. She emphasized Queen Margrethe’s profound impact on Denmark, stating, “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.”