14 January 2024

Denmark: King Frederik X has acceeded to the throne

What a historic day for Denmark! Queen Margrethe abdicated the throne and her eldest son Frederik was «signed in», so to speak, and proclaimed as King Frederik X of Denmark. Danish TV (DR) started to broadcast already from 9 a.m. and I have followed the main events from very early on, only abrupted by church service and dinner. I never missed out on the main events, of course.

It was a day I had never expected to see, as the abdication was an unneccessary break with the traditions in Denmark, but having said that, it must have been nice for the queen to be able to see her son on the throne. The ceremonies all went well and as expexted, and the crowds at Christiansborg Palace,  Amalienborg Palace and in the streets between them were impressive. We have witnessed a great celebration and demonstration of the Danish monarchy and the Danish Royal House. 

Queen Margrethe II signed the declaration of abdication in the Council of State room at Christiansborg Palace and left her chair to new new King Frederik X. The new Crown Prince Christian also moved to the seat his father had just left, after having fetched the walking stick for his grandmother. When Frederik had taken his seat, Queen Margrethe said «God save the King» and left the room. Both King Frederik X and his mother were visably moved, and it was all very moving to watch. We were not allowed to watch the the Council of State «live», but film coverage was made available soon after the meeting had taken place. We don't know much about what happened after Queen Margrethe had left the room, but we have learned from the Danish Royal Court's Facebook page that the new king's monogram was formally decided on. We still have to wait for the text of the declaration of abdication, however. I find it a bit strange that the document could not be published sooner, but hopefully it will be available tomorrow.

Following the Council of State the new king held a levee for a small circle of guests. Besides King Frederik and Queen Mary the following were present: 

  • Crown Prince Christian, 
  • Prince Joachim, 
  • Jane Stephens (sister of Queen Mary), 
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, 
  • Speaker of Folketinget (the Danish Parliament), Søren Gade 
  • President of the Supreme Court, Jens Peter Christiensen, 
  • Chief of Defence, General Flemming Lentfer 
  • The Permanent Secretary of State, Barbara Bertelsen 
  • The National Police Commissioner, Thorkild Fogde 
  • The Bishop of the Diocese of Copenhagen and primus inter pares of the Church of Denmark, Peter Skov-Jakobsen, 
  • Chairman of the Government of Greenland (Naalakkersuisut), Múte I.B. Egede
  • Lagmand (Prime Minister( of Cabinet of the Faroe Islands (Føroya landsstýri), Aksel V. Johannesen 
  • Representatives of the Danish Royal Court.
At 3 p.m. King Frederik X entered the balcony and greeted the crowd, followed by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who held a short speech and proclaimed the new king. Frederik IX then held a short speech on his own where he expressed his ambition to be «a unifying king of tomorrow» and presented his motto, «Forbundne, forpligtet, for Kongeriget Danmark» (which could be translated into something like «Bound together, obliged, for the Kingdom of Denmark»). King Frederik was then joined by his wife Queen Mary and their four children Crown Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. When the royal family reappeared on the balcony shortly after, the king and queen even kissed, to the great joy of the crowd.

The Royal Family then returned to Amalienborg where they made a surprise appearance at the balcony of Frederik VIII’s Palace. Later, at 5 p.m., we could witness the transfer of the royal colours (the royal banners) from Christian IX’s Palace to Frederik VIII’s Palace.

All in all we witnessed a historic day. Queen Margrethe II has abdicated. Long live King Frederik X!

Updated on Monday 15 January 2024 at 18:15 (English title of one of the guests at Christiansborg was corrected).

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