Queen of Denmark abdicates unexpectedly: what she said about the war in Ukraine and who will succeed her
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, during the traditional New Year's Eve speech unexpectedly announced her abdication. She plans to resign as Queen of Denmark on January 14 after 52 years of rule.
This is reported by Reuters. Her successor on the throne will be her eldest son, Crown Prince Frederick.
The 83-year-old queen, who ascended the throne in 1972, noted that after a successful back surgery in February, she reflected on the future and decided to hand over responsibility to the next generation.
"I have decided that now is the time. On January 14, 2024 - 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father - I will step down as Queen of Denmark," the queen said. - "I leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederick."
Following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, Margrethe II became the longest-serving monarch in Europe. In addition, in July, she also became the monarch with the longest reign in Danish history.
In Denmark, power is officially vested in an elected parliament and its government. The monarch usually stays above party politics and represents the country with traditional duties including state visits and participation in national holidays.
Danish Prime Minister Matte Frederiksen expressed gratitude to the queen for her lifelong commitment to duty.
"It is still difficult to realize that the time has come for a change of throne," Frederiksen said in a statement, adding that many Danes have never known another monarch.
Born in 1940 to the former monarch of Denmark, King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid, Margrethe always had great support throughout her life from the Danes, who appreciated her elegant and creative personality.
The queen had a passion for archaeology and was actively involved in several archaeological excavations.
Margrethe became heir to the throne in 1953, after a constitutional amendment allowed women to inherit the royal throne.
In 1967, she married Henri de Laborde de Monpez, a French diplomat. With him together in marriage, they lived until his death in 2018.
The couple also had two sons, Crown Prince Frederick, who would become king, and Prince Joachim.
What did Queen Margrethe II of Denmark say about the war in Ukraine?
Queen Margrethe II has expressed one of the royal family's most emphatic positions on these events at the outbreak of the full-scale war in Ukraine that Russia has started. In a statement published on the official website of the Danish Royal Court, it said:
"There is war in Europe again. I am very sad to see what is happening in Ukraine. The progress and hope that blossomed in Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall is now crumbling before our eyes."
In her message, the Queen noted the condolences of the Danes to the people of Ukraine, expressed concern over the terrible consequences of the hostilities and recognized the heroism of those fighting for freedom. Toward the end of her speech, she added: "May this senseless war end as soon as possible."
The Danish royal family also announced a donation of DKK 1,000,000 (about $147,400) to help victims of the war in Ukraine. This charitable amount came from the Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik Foundation and the Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary Foundation. These funds were transferred to the Together for Ukraine Foundation, which was set up by numerous Danish charitable organizations.
Earlier it was reported that Ukrainian pilots continue training on F-16 fighter jets in Denmark. Some of them are already being trained in the air on these aircraft with instructors.
We shall remind you that the USA officially confirmed the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine from Denmark and the Netherlands. This delivery will be carried out after the training of Ukrainian pilots is completed. In particular, Denmark is to supply Ukraine with 19 F-16 airplanes.