Denmark: Frederick takes the throne from Margrethe

Many Brits can't imagine their country without Queen Elizabeth II — her longest-serving queen until her death in 2022 — and Danes can now do the same: Margrethe has been head of the royal family for generations. “Many of us have never experienced another monarch,” said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

But on Sunday this era officially ends and son Frederick takes over. For a long time, the motto of the famous monarch nicknamed “Daisy” would continue: “I will stay on the throne until I fall,” she used to say. The nation was taken by surprise when the 83-year-old announced his abdication in his New Year's address. The date for the change of throne was not chosen by chance. He will celebrate his abdication and 52nd throne anniversary simultaneously on Sunday.

APA/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen

Mary and Frederik are moving forward: they will become a royal couple on Sunday

A tight schedule

The schedule for the ceremony is elaborate and tight: in the afternoon, Frederick, his wife Marie and their eldest son Prince Christian traveled by car from Amalienborg Palace to Christiansborg Palace. Immediately, Margaret begins the same route in the carriage. In a meeting with the government, the Queen signed her abdication notice before returning to Amalienborg Palace.

Television reference

ORF2 will broadcast the change of thrones live on Sunday from 1:20 p.m. Then, “Taste of Europe” from “Danish South” is on the agenda – also at

Later, Frederick – now King Frederick X – would enter the balcony of Christiansborg, where Frederickson would officially announce the succession to the throne. Frederick also addresses the people as head of the royal family. Gun salutes follow in the harbour, while the royal flag is lowered at Margrethe's palace and hoisted at Frederick's. The new royal couple return to Amalienborg Palace by carriage.

Graphic about monarchies in Europe

Graphics: APA/ORF; Photos: AFP

Danes rock

Margrethe Alexandrine Thorhildur Ingrid was the last queen to reign in Europe. Born in Copenhagen on April 16, 1940, a week after the Nazis invaded Denmark. As a woman, it was initially impossible for her to become queen under the law of succession to the throne. A referendum in 1953 gave women a path to the throne.

In January 1972, he was born after the death of his father Frederick IX. the queen The Danish monarchy is considered the oldest in Europe and looks back over a thousand years of history since the founding of Harald Bluetooth. The then 31-year-old Margrethe was already married to the French Count Henri de Laborde de Manbessat (Prince Henrik) and had two sons with him – the then four-year-old Frédéric and three-year-old Joachim. Henry died in 2018 aged 83 after a long illness.

Danish Queen Margrethe and her husband in a carriage after their wedding, 1967

APA/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix/Allan Moe

Margrethe and Prince Henrik after their wedding in 1967

Margrethe achieved one feat during her long reign: she represented a rock-like continuity, no matter the globalisation, government or economic crises. The Danes always agree with them; Today more than 80 percent describe themselves as monarchists.

Persistence and creativity

Perhaps their popularity is also due to their stubbornness. Margrethe often devoted herself to areas of activity that had nothing to do with monarchy. He studied at Cambridge and the Sorbonne and is fluent in English, French, German and Swedish. He participated in many translations, for example in 1981 the Danish translation of the novel “All Men Are Mortal” by Simone de Beauvoir.

Chain Smoker designed costumes and sets for plays and television series and illustrated the 2002 remake of JRR Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings. His paintings, some of them abstract, have been exhibited in Danish museums and galleries as well as abroad.

Danish Queen Margrethe, 1987

APA/AFP/Eric Fefferberg

Creative Queen: Margrethe translates, designs and illustrates. She is also known for her colorful outfits.

King of the game

Frederick, 55, considered shy and struggling with his future as king in his youth, has big shoes to fill. He is best known for his sporting passion: in the army he trained as a naval combat swimmer (nicknamed “Bingo”). In 2000 he took part in a four-month ski trip to Greenland.

He ran various marathons, completed an Ironman and started the “Royal Run” running event for his 50th birthday. Acts like these increased his popularity and he was twice voted Dane of the Year.

Museum of the Danish Royal Family

Finn Torslow has created his own museum that deals exclusively with the Danish royal family.

A safe heir to the throne

Beyond Danish borders, Frederik is best known for his marriage to Australian-born lawyer Mary Donaldson. The two met in a bar in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics – not knowing who stood in front of her then.

The 2004 wedding was followed by newspapers around the world. Although Frédéric was previously considered a party animal, things quietened down in his personal life after marriage. The couple now have four children: 18-year-old Christian, 16-year-old Isabella and 13-year-old twins Vincent and Josephine. Today, Mary is respected above all for her social commitment; She campaigns against bullying, domestic violence and women's rights.

Apart from Frederick, his son Christian had to face a new task with the succession to the throne. As a member of the Council of State, an advisory body to the Danish king, Christian became his father's deputy.

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