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Denmark’s King Frederik X Ascends the Throne, Succeeding Queen Margrethe II after 52 Years

In a historic moment on Sunday, King Frederik X officially ascended to the throne of Denmark, succeeding his mother, Queen Margrethe II, who formally abdicated after a remarkable 52-year reign. The capital witnessed large crowds gathering to witness this significant transition in the monarchy.

Queen Margrethe II, aged 83, surprised the nation on New Year’s Eve by announcing her intention to voluntarily relinquish the throne, making her the first Danish monarch in nearly 900 years to do so. The abdication was formalized when Margrethe signed the declaration during a meeting of the Council of State at parliament, as Denmark, one of the world’s oldest monarchies, does not have a coronation ceremony.

The crucial meeting was attended by government representatives, Queen Margrethe, the new King Frederik X, 55, his Australian-born wife Mary, 51 (now queen), and their oldest son Christian, 18, who is the new heir to the throne.

Approximately an hour after the signing, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was scheduled to proclaim the new king on the parliament balcony, with King Frederik delivering a brief speech.

Despite freezing temperatures, tens of thousands of people from all over Denmark gathered in the capital, underscoring the immense popularity the monarchy enjoys in the nation of nearly six million.

Soren Kristian Bisgaard, a 30-year-old pilot, expressed, “We have come here today because this is history being made in front of our eyes. We just had to be here.” He, along with friends, was enjoying champagne in front of parliament.

In the afternoon, the new royal couple was expected to ride by horse carriage back to their residence, Amalienborg, a historic royal complex located in central Copenhagen.

Margrethe, who had previously indicated her intent to remain on the throne for life, did not provide an exact reason for stepping down. However, a major back surgery in February the previous year prompted her to reconsider her future.

Historian Lars Hovbakke Sorensen from the University College Absalon in Denmark speculated, “It could be that she thinks Prince Frederik is prepared to take over now.” Prince Frederik, at 55, assumes the throne at a time when the monarchy enjoys substantial public support.

Surveys conducted after Margrethe’s announcement indicated that 82% of Danes expect King Frederik X to perform well or very well in his new role, while 86% expressed the same confidence in Queen Mary. Source: Reuters

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