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17 July, 2024
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Denmark's Queen Margrethe II to relinquish throne on Jan. 14

Denmark's longest-reigning queen steps down after 52 years


In a surprising New Year's Eve announcement, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark revealed her decision to step down from the throne on January 14, 2024.

As Reuters reports, after 52 years of dedicated service, the 83-year-old monarch cited a successful back operation earlier in the year as a catalyst for contemplating the future and passing on the responsibility to the next generation.

During her televised address, Queen Margrethe expressed confidence in her eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik, who will succeed her as the new monarch. The abdication marks the end of an era for Europe's longest-serving queen, who ascended to the throne in 1972.

Having surpassed Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in length of reign in 2022, Queen Margrethe leaves a lasting legacy in Denmark's history. Despite the formal power resting with the elected parliament, the queen played a symbolic role, representing the nation in various traditional capacities.

Denmark's Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, acknowledged the queen's lifelong dedication to duty and expressed the challenge of facing a change in throne after many Danes have only known Queen Margrethe as their monarch.

Born in 1940 to King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid, Queen Margrethe endeared herself to the Danish people with her tactful and creative personality. Her interest in archaeology and participation in excavations added a unique dimension to her reign. Notably, she became heir to the throne in 1953, following a constitutional amendment allowing women to inherit.

The queen's marriage to French diplomat Henri de Laborde de Monpezat in 1967 and the subsequent birth of two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, contributed to the royal family's prominence. Crown Prince Frederik, set to become King Frederik X, married Australian Mary Elizabeth Donaldson in 2004.

As Denmark prepares for this historic transition, the abdication of Queen Margrethe II marks the end of an era, with her legacy deeply woven into the fabric of the nation.

[With information sourced from Reuters]

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