New king for Denmark

Henry

Frederik X became Denmark’s king on Sunday, ushering in a new era after his mother Queen Margrethe abdicated, with more than 100,000 Danes turning out for the unprecedented event.

After a final horse-drawn carriage procession through the streets of Copenhagen, the hugely popular 83-year-old queen signed a declaration of abdication at Christiansborg Palace, ending her 52-year reign and making her son automatic monarch.

Tens of thousands of Danes braved the winter cold to see Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen proclaim 55-year-old Frederik the new king on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace, the seat of parliament and government.

Like his mother, Frederik is extremely popular and enjoys the support of more than 80% of Danes.

“My mother managed to become one with her country like few,” he told the crowd.

“My hope is to become a unifying king for the future… It is a responsibility I accept with respect, pride and joy,” he said, repeatedly placing his hand over his heart as the crowd cheered.

His Australian-born wife, Mary, and their four teenage children joined him on the balcony. Mary is the first commoner to become queen in Denmark.

In keeping with Danish tradition, no foreign dignitaries or royalty were invited on Sunday, and there was no coronation or enthronement.

Britain’s King Charles congratulated Frederik and Mary on their accession, while US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Queen Margrethe’s “incredible example of selfless, principled service”.

Margrethe will retain her title of queen.