Denmark | Frederik X becomes king after the abdication of Queen Margrethe II

(Copenhagen) Frederik

“Today is Sunday January 14, 2024. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II has abdicated (…) Long live His Majesty King Frederik 100,000 people.

The new king, in military uniform, and his family were applauded for a long time.

“My mother managed to become one with her kingdom like few others (…) My hope is to become a unifying king for the future,” said Frederik X, wiping away a few tears during this first meeting with his people. “It is a responsibility that I assume with respect, pride and a lot of joy.”

Before leaving the balcony, the monarch kissed his wife, Queen Mary, elegantly dressed in a white dress.


King Frederik X and his wife, Queen Mary

Of Australian origin, the latter is the first queen of the country not to come from the nobility.

“I think he will be a good king. I can’t wait to see how he’s going to do it, how he’s going to engage in this role,” René Jensen, a 35-year-old from Copenhagen, told AFP, wearing a cape and crown for the occasion. .

Barely an hour before the proclamation of the new sovereign, his mother, Queen Margrethe II, had signed her act of abdication during a Council of State in the presence of the government, a first in 900 years in the Scandinavian kingdom, making his 55-year-old eldest son, heir to the throne, the new monarch.

The images broadcast on television shortly after this solemn moment show her very moved, dressed in a dark pink outfit, signing the document before getting up and indicating to Frederik, to her right, to sit in his chair in end of the table.


Queen Margrethe II signed the papers confirming her abdication at Christiansborg Palace.

Freed from her role as monarch and head of state, Margrethe then left the Council, holding back tears as she said “God save the King.”

His car left the palace to the cheers of onlookers, many with their heads covered with a paper or plastic crown.

Some in ski clothes, others wrapped in Danish flags, the curious came from all over the country to see the royal family, some arriving more than five hours early.

Access to Christiansborg Palace Square was closed to the public shortly after 1 p.m. (7 a.m. Eastern Time) due to the influx of people.


View of the crowd gathered in front of Christiansborg Palace

The day’s protocol broadly reflects Denmark’s tradition of succession. No foreign dignitary is invited, and the sovereign, who does not wear a crown, does not literally ascend a throne.


52 years ago, on January 14, 1972, Margrethe II became queen upon the death of her father, Frederik IX. She abdicated on the exact day of the anniversary of her accession.

A “very symbolic” day, underlines the correspondent who covers royalty for public television DR, Cecilie Nielsen, according to whom Queen Margrethe perfectly controlled her exit.

If the announcement of his withdrawal during his traditional televised wishes on December 31 came as a surprise – his own family was only informed three days previously – it was quickly accepted. In 2023, the Queen underwent major back surgery.

More than 80% support her decision and the sovereign will keep her title, allowing her to represent the royal household during official ceremonies.

Not attaching herself to the throne until she “falls from it” as she was able to publicly assert in the past will allow her eldest son, whose responsibilities have grown over the last few years, to flourish in his role as monarch, experts say.

“She thinks the crown prince is very ready to take over. And she perhaps wants to avoid a situation like in Great Britain where Prince Charles became King Charles at over 70 years old,” notes historian Lars Hovbakke Sørensen.

Frederik, crown prince since the age of three, benefits from his own popularity and will impose his style on the Danish monarchy, which dates back to the Viking kings of the 10th century.e century.

In Denmark, the role of the monarch, head of state, is mainly representative and ceremonial. However, he signs the laws and formally presides over the constitution of the government which he meets at regular intervals.


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