The country’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Margrethe, stunned the nation on New Year’s Eve when she announced her decision to abdicate after 52 years as queen, becoming the first Danish monarch in nearly 900 years to voluntarily relinquish the throne.
She passed the throne to her first-born son on Sunday as the 83-year-old signed the declaration of her abdication.
Crowds assembled as members of the public waved flags as Margrethe was seen leaving for the proclamation ceremony, escorted by escorted by the Guard Hussar Regiment’s Mounted Squadron in the gold carriage from Amalienborg Castle.
Unlike King Charles III’s coronation, the Danish royal household has opted for a simple ceremony at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.
The former Queen, affectionately known as Daisy after the marguerite flower, was congratulated by her cousin Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, who himself celebrated 50 years on the throne in September last year.
“Your Majesty, dear Cousin Daisy! When you step down today from your high office as Queen of Denmark, I want to say a warm thank you for the good cooperation over the years,” the Swedish king said on Instagram.
King Frederik, 55, and his Australian-born wife Mary, left the royal palace at 1235 GMT in a 1958 Rolls-Royce. Margrethe followed by horse carriage a few minutes later to take her final ride as monarch through the streets of the capital.
Jeppesen, who arrived in Copenhagen with her sister on Saturday, said she booked a hotel in the capital the day after the queen’s announcement.
“I was in shock and started crying when the queen said on New Year’s Eve she would abdicate,” said Karen Holk Jeppesen, 31, a communications consultant, standing in front of parliament.
“It’s very rare to witness a real historical moment that you know will be written about in the history books,” she said.
More to follow…