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Margrethe II, Denmark queen to resign after 52 years

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Margrethe II, Denmark queen to resign after 52 years

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II revealed her intention to resign after 52 years and give over the kingdom to her son, Crown Prince Frederik, on Sunday.

The queen, Europe’s longest-reigning living monarch, declared during her New Year’s speech that she will abdicate on January 14, the anniversary of her ascension to the throne at the age of 31, after the death of her father, King Frederik IX.

Margrethe, 83, claimed her back surgery in early 2023 prompted “thoughts about the future” and when she should hand over the crown to her son. “I have decided that now is the right time,” she stated during her speech.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen paid tribute to her in a statement, saying she owed a “heartfelt thank you to Her Majesty the Queen for her lifelong dedication and tireless efforts for the Kingdom.”

Margrethe is the “epitome of Denmark.” Frederiksen’s statement read, “Throughout the years, we have put words and feelings into who we are as a people and as a nation.”

Margrethe, who stands 6-foot-tall (1.82-meters-tall), is a famous public figure in Denmark, where the monarch’s function is mostly ceremonial. She roamed the streets of Copenhagen almost alone and garnered Danes’ appreciation for her friendly demeanor and talents as a linguist and designer.

As a princess, she was a member of a Danish women’s air force unit, participating in judo training and endurance tests in the winter. Margrethe remained tenacious even as she aged. She visited Danish troops in southern Afghanistan in a military jumpsuit in 2011, at the age of 70.

As monarch, she traversed the country and made frequent visits to Greenland and the Faeroe Islands, two semi-independent areas that are part of the Danish Realm, where she was greeted by enthusiastic crowds.

Denmark boasts the world’s oldest monarchy, dating back to the Viking king Gorm the Old, who died in 958. Although Magrethe is the head of state, the Danish Constitution prohibits her from participating in party politics.

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Nonetheless, the queen was well-versed in the law and was aware of the provisions of the legislation she was required to sign.

Margrethe began learning French and English at a young age, and her mother taught her Swedish. She studied philosophy, political science, and economics at universities in Copenhagen, Aarhus, and Cambridge, as well as the London School of Economics and the Sorbonne in Paris, in addition to archaeology.

Frederik André Henrik Christian has been the heir to the Danish monarchy since his birth on May 26, 1968.

He is Queen Margrethe’s eldest son by her late French-born spouse, Prince Henrik, who died in February 2018. Prince Joachim, Frederik’s younger brother, is 55.

Since the age of 18, he has served as regent whenever his mother was outside the kingdom and carried out official duties, shaking hands with thousands and receiving foreign dignitaries.

The queen’s announcement made up only a few sentences at the end of her wide-ranging New Year’s speech, which reflected on the “turbulence and upheaval in the world” amid the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine and the climate crisis.

She did, however, express gratitude to her country’s people for “the warmth and hospitality I meet with everywhere in Denmark.”

While lavishing praise on the monarch, the prime minister also looked ahead.

“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,” he said in his statement. “We can look forward to all of this in the knowledge that they are ready for the responsibility and the task.”

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