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Queen of Denmark Margrethe II announces abdication live on TV

Denmark's Queen Margrethe II waves to visitors during her visit in Flensburg, northern Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019.
Denmark's Queen Margrethe II waves to visitors during her visit in Flensburg, northern Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. Copyright Carsten Rehder/AP
Copyright Carsten Rehder/AP
By Euronews with AP
Published on Updated
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Queen of Denmark Margrethe II made the announcement during her traditional New Year's speech.

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Danish Queen Margrethe II has announced that she will abdicate on 14 January 2024, after a 52-year reign.

The 83-year-old made the announcement during her traditional New Year's Eve televised speech.  

"On January 14, 2024, 52 years after succeeding my beloved father, I will step down as Queen of Denmark. I will leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik," she said. 

Her role as monarch of Denmark is largely ceremonial. 

The date she said she would step down coincides with the anniversary of the 1972 death of her father King Frederik IX. 

She succeeded him on the throne that same year at the age of 31. 

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen confirmed the decision in a news release that paid tribute to the 83-year-old monarch, offering a “heartfelt thank you to Her Majesty the Queen for her lifelong dedication and tireless efforts for the Kingdom.”

The 1.82-metre-tall, chain-smoking Margrethe has been one of the most popular public figures in Denmark. 

She often walked the streets of Copenhagen virtually unescorted and won the admiration of Danes for her warm manners and her talents as a linguist and designer.

A keen skier, she was a member of a Danish women’s air force unit as a princess, taking part in judo courses and endurance tests in the snow. 

Margrethe remained tough even as she grew older. In 2011, at age 70, she visited Danish troops in southern Afghanistan wearing a military jumpsuit.

As monarch, she crisscrossed the country and regularly visited Greenland and the Faeroe Islands, the two semi-independent territories which are part of the Danish Realm. 

She was often met everywhere by cheering crowds.

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