Denmark’s queen Margrethe II unexpectedly announces abdication in New Year’s Eve speech

Denmark’s queen has unexpectedly announced her abdication in her traditional New Year’s Eve speech.

Margrethe II will formally step down from the throne on 14 January – exactly 52 years to the day of her ascension to the throne in 1972.

She will be succeeded by her eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik – who will become Frederik X.

Margrethe – the eldest child of Denmark’s former monarch King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid – succeeded her father following his death on 14 January 1972.

She is the world’s only current queen regnant, and in July became the longest sitting, serving monarch in Denmark’s history.

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