The Queen of Denmark has announced her imminent abdication from the position later this month. (EPA-EFE/Keld Navntoft DENMARK OUT)


Danish monarch abdicates, with country set for first King in decades


The Queen of Denmark has announced her imminent abdication later this month.

Queen Margrethe II will step down and the position will go to Crown Prince Frederik, who will become the country’s first King since the 1970s.

The Queen cited her declining health as the main reason for her abdication.

“Time wears on, and the ‘diseases’ increase,” she said. “You no longer cope with the same things as you once could.”

She in particular highlighted her recent back surgery, saying that while it ultimately went well thanks to the “skilled healthcare staff who took care [of her]”, it still left her concerned for the future.

“I have decided that now is the right time,” the Queen declared.

“On 14 January 2024 – 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father – I will step down as Queen of Denmark.

“I leave the throne to my son Crown Prince Frederik.”

Her announcement was met with shock in Denmark, with support for the monarch pouring out on social media.

In her own New Year’s address, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that “a feeling of sadness” had taken many in the country.

“For most of us, New Year’s Eve always starts with the Queen’s New Year’s speech,” she said.

“Yesterday it was as if time stood still.”

Frederiksen went on to offer Denmark’s thanks to the Queen, with officials in Greenland and the Faroe Islands – both of which are part of the Danish commonwealth – also expressing gratitude to the monarch.

Others fondly remembered the Queen’s more eccentric side, with one Belgian royal correspondent noting her response to questions regarding her heavy smoking.

“I do smoke. People know I smoke, I don’t pretend not to,” she said.

“So at least I’m not a hypocrite.”

It is unclear whether or not the Queen intends to continue her successful artistic career.

Having privately done the illustrations for the Danish edition of the Lord of the Rings series in the 1970s under a pseudonym, the monarch became more open about her talents.

Some of her latest ventures include set design on a Netflix fantasy film directed by Oscar-winner Bille August.