Prince William is next in the line of succession as his father, King Charles III, ascended the throne in 2022 when Queen Elizabeth II passed away. Like most royal families, it’s usually expected that a monarch will sit on the throne for the remainder of their life. However, there have been plenty of exceptions, especially in recent years. The last one happened Sunday when Queen Margrethe II of Denmark became the first Danish monarch to abdicate in more than 900 years.
In the last few decades, several European countries have seen their monarchs abdicate in favor of the younger generation of royals. Today, that doesn’t seem to be the case in the UK, as Charles finally got to be king after waiting a long time. Meanwhile, some argue that William is ready to take over, and one expert even suggests the king should tell the public when he will abdicate, if ever.
Denmark celebrated their new monarch, King Frederik X, in the capital of Copenhagen on Sunday. According to royal experts, Prince William and Princess Kate have followed the events closely – in preparation for taking over the Firm.
In recent years, several European royal houses have seen their monarch abdicate. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signed her abdication at age 75 in 2013, and the same year, Albert II of Belgium decided to step down for health reasons. In 2014, the disgraced King Juan Carlos of Spain left the throne, and this weekend, another longtime monarch decided it was time.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has abdicated
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announced her surprise abdication in her yearly TV address on New Year’s Eve.
On January 14, 52 years to the day since she became queen, she decided it was time for her son, now King Frederik, to take over. After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Margrethe became the longest-serving current monarch in Europe. The 83-year-old took the throne after her father, King Frederik IX, died in 1972.
“I will leave the throne to my son Crown Prince Frederik,” she said in the televised New Year’s address.
The last number of years have been tough on Margrethe, especially following an “extensive” back surgery in early 2023, which halted her usual way of performing her royal duties.
Ultimately, having good health is her main priority, which played a significant part in her decision to abdicate from the Danish throne.
“The surgery naturally gave rise to thinking about the future, whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation,” she said. “I have decided that now is the right time,” she added, thanking the Danish public for their support.
On Saturday, January 14, King Frederik was officially declared king.
“Long live His Majesty King Frederik X”
The handover took place at a cabinet meeting at Christiansborg Palace in the capital of Copenhagen, which was broadcast live on Danish television. Margrethe signed a declaration of her abdication, officially transferring the crown to Frederik, got up from her chair, and left the room. Before Frederik took her seat, he bowed in front of her, an emotional and graceful gesture to his mother.
The former Crown Prince Frederik had no formal crowning ceremony, unlike British royal tradition. Instead, as mentioned, he ascended the throne on the day. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen stepped out on the balcony at Christiansborg at 3 pm local time on Sunday, announcing the abdication of Queen Margrethe, proclaiming Frederik X King of Denmark.
“Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II has abdicated; long live His Majesty King Frederik X’, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.
The Danish tradition of proclaiming an accession to the throne goes back a very long time. And in fact, it makes a lot of sense.
“The tradition of proclaiming an accession to the throne originates from olden days when a throne succession was announced to the people at the ‘landsting,’ or open assemblies, in the various regions of the country,” the Danish royal family website reads. “At that time, it occurred when a trusted public servant loudly proclaimed the accession to the throne to all four corners of the world so that everyone had the opportunity to hear it.
How does the Danish abdication affect King Charles?
“As the proclamation now takes place from a balcony, the Prime Minister responsible for the proclamation abstains from turning in towards the Throne Room and thus makes the proclamation to three corners of the world. “
King Frederik, who was visibly emotional, gave a short speech, thanking his mother for her contributions during her 52 years of rule.
“She will always be remembered as a regent beyond the ordinary,” he said. “My hope is to become a unifying king of tomorrow.
Frederik then announced his new motto as king: Forbundne, forpligtet, for kongeriget Danmark, which translates to Bound together, obliged, for the Kingdom of Denmark.
The new king was joined by his wife, Mary, who had now become Queen Consort, and their four children: Prince Christian – following in the line of succession – Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine.
While it is all joy within the Danish royal family, the abdication of Queen Margrethe has given King Charles an awkward start to the new year. Less than two years after he took the throne, Newsweek reports that there have been calls for Charles to abdicate and pass the crown to Prince William.
Several royal experts have discussed the matter in the last couple of days. For example, royal author Phil Dampier told the Daily Mail that it might happen in a few years.
“It must make you wonder if in five or ten years’ time, King Charles might think about doing the same if his health suffers or he just thinks it is a good time to pass on to William and Kate while they are still young. Our late Queen would never abdicate because of what happened in 1936 when her uncle abdicated and her father came to the throne. But times change,” he said.
Expert says King Charles should tell the public when he will abdicate
Dampier added, “William and Kate get on very well with Frederik and Mary and will be among the first to congratulate them. They will be fascinated to see how they get on as King and Queen and it will make them think about their future as well.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins – who’s been reporting on the royal family for years – suggested that King Charles should follow Queen Margrethe’s lead and tell the public when he will abdicate.
“Growing old should never be a bar to work, but age does not negotiate. Britain’s King Charles, after a long apprenticeship, has proved an active and popular figure in his term of office. He has shown no sign of ageing, other than perhaps his limp Christmas message. He is certainly entitled to a substantial reign after waiting so long,” Jenkins wrote.
“But not to death. Charles has a successor, William, well-trained and evidently suited for the job. The abdication of Beatrix of the Netherlands to Willem-Alexander in 2013 was an ideal precedent. It prompted an outpouring of gratitude for her reign, a welcome for her son, and a stronger monarchy as a result. The flamboyant conductor André Rieu had the Dutch joyously dancing in the streets in their thousands. There was none of the lugubriousness inevitably attached to Britain’s succession through death.”
Simon Jenkins continued, “Abdication also indicates a nation able to keep its institutions fit for purpose. In slimming down the royal family, Charles has wisely indicated a desire to end such damaging princely sagas as those of Andrew and Harry. But he must surely go further in updating the office he should one day hand over to his son.”
Prince William & Princess Kate study Danish abdication for this key reason
Prince William and Princess Kate have grown popular by the year, and many believe the prince is ready to take over as king.
And it appears that the Prince and Princess of Wales might already think about the day they will take over, and possibly even King Charles might abdicate.
Daily Mail columnist Ephraim Hardcastle claims that Prince William and Princess Kate have been “studying” the abdication of the Danish queen as they prepare to become king and queen themselves.
While Prince William studied the nature of the surprise abdication, Kate is said to be looking for tips from Mary, the Queen Consort.
As per the Express, Hardcastle wrote that Prince William is “noting how the transfer to Frederik X involves little other than the signing of papers, the changing of royal standards and a proclamation. For William, keen to downsize his own coronation, the relative simplicity may be appealing.”
For years, it’s been thought that Prince William wants to modernize the royal family and adjust the many centuries-old traditions.
At the same time, he is said to be keen on ditching the “homage of the people” at the coronation, which includes the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby inviting those in Westminster Abbey as well as the ones watching at home to swear their allegiance to the King.
Kate ‘picking up’ tips from Mary of Denmark in preparation for future queen role
The fact that King Charles still used it on his coronation was quite controversial. A source tells the Sunday Times that there is “no way.” William will do the same thing.
“He is really thinking, how do we make his coronation feel most relevant in the future? He is mindful of the fact that in 20 years’ time, or whenever his time comes, how can the coronation be modern but also unifying to the nation and the Commonwealth? I think his coronation will look and feel quite different.”
Meanwhile, Princess Kate is also preparing to become queen. She is set to take on more responsibilities in 2024. For a long time, she has had a very close relationship with Mary, the new Queen Consort in Denmark.
Hardcastle claims this will help the Princess of Wales move forward, as she will take advice and tips from the Danish royal family member.
“Kate, meanwhile, is said to be delighted that Crown Princess Mary is becoming Queen. She spent a lot of time in conversation with Mary at Royal Ascot when she visited in 2016,” Daily Mail columnist Ephraim Hardcastle wrote, as per Express.
“They exchanged numbers. Will her low-key elevation help Kate to pick up tips for her own no-fuss crowning?”
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