This Royal Says She Will Abdicate the Throne in Surprise New Year’s Announcement

Who will take her place?

Danish Royal Family CAT2
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One Danish royal has decided to put down their crown for good.

On New Year’s Day, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II announced that she would step down as monarch on January 14, 2024. FYI, the royal, 83, has ruled for over five decades. In a surprise video message broadcast live on television, the queen revealed that her son, Crown Prince Frederik, will ascend to the throne. 

“In two weeks time, I have been Queen of Denmark for 52 years,” she said. “Such an amount will leave its mark on anybody—also on me! The time takes its toll, and the number of ‘ailments’ increases. One cannot undertake as much as one managed in the past.” 

Her Majesty went on to share why she has chosen to abdicate her role as queen. “In February this year I underwent extensive back surgery,” she explained. “Everything went well, thanks to the competent health personnel, who took care of me. Inevitably, the operation gave cause to thoughts about the future—whether now would be an appropriate time to pass on the responsibility to the next generation.”

Prince Frederik and Queen Margrethe II CAT
Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

After the Council of State meeting on January 14, Prince Frederik will be crowned as the new king along with his wife, Princess Mary, who will be crowned as the Queen Consort—becoming the first Australian to ever ascend to the role, btw. The couple tied the knot on May 14, 2004. 

Crown Prince Frederik and Wife Princess Mary CAT
Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

Queen Margrethe II rose to power on January 14, 1972. At the age of 31, she became the first female Danish sovereign under the new Act of Succession. After the passing of the late Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, Margrethe became the longest-serving monarch in Europe.

It’s the end of an era.

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...