Denmark declares a new king as Queen Margrethe signs historic abdication

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Thousands of people will gather in downtown Copenhagen on Sunday to witness a historic moment in one of the world's oldest kingdoms.

At around 2pm (1300 GMT), Queen Margrethe II will sign it Abdication After about an hour, her eldest son will be inaugurated as King Frederick X on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace in the heart of the Danish capital.

Margaret (83 years old) will be the first Danish queen to voluntarily abdicate the throne in nearly 900 years.

She will formally sign her abdication at the Council of State – a meeting with the Danish Cabinet – making the Crown Prince, 55-year-old Frederik, automatically the new monarch of Denmark.

Citing health issues, Margaret Announced on New Year's Eve That she would step down, astonishing a nation that had expected her to live out her days on the throne, as is customary in the Danish monarchy.

Margaret underwent major surgery Back surgery Last February and he did not return to work until April.

Even Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was not aware of the Queen's intentions until just before the announcement. The Berlingske newspaper, citing the Royal Palace, wrote that Margaret informed Frederick and his younger brother Joachim only three days ago.

“The Queen has been here and has been on the throne for more than 50 years. She is a very respected and popular person, so people were not expecting this and were shocked,” said Thomas Larsen, a Danish royal expert.

The last time a Danish king resigned voluntarily was in 1146, when King Erik III Lamm stepped down to enter a monastery. Margaret abdicates the throne 52 years after she ascended the throne following the death of her father, King Frederick IX.

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The origins of Denmark's monarchy go back to the ancient Viking king Gorm in the 10th century, making it the oldest in Europe and one of the oldest in the world. Today, the duties of the royal family have become largely ceremonial.

Unlike the United Kingdom, there is no coronation ceremony in Denmark. Prime Minister Frederick will formally proclaim King from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace, which houses government offices, parliament and the Supreme Court as well as the royal stables and royal reception rooms. Thousands of Danes are expected to witness the announcement from the square below.

Abdication would leave Denmark with two queens. Margaret will retain her title while Frederick's Australian-born wife will become Queen Mary. Christian, the eldest son of Frederick and Marie, who is 18 years old, will become crown prince and heir to the throne.

The new king and queen will leave Christiansborg Palace in a horse-drawn carriage and return to the royal residence, Amalienborg, where Margaret also lives but in a separate building. The royal standard would be lowered in Margaret's house and raised in the building where Frederick and Mary lived.

Four guns in Copenhagen Harbor will fire 27 shots three times to celebrate the succession. In the late afternoon, Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens amusement park plans to celebrate the new king and queen with the largest fireworks display in the park's 180-year history.

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