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Queen Margrethe II of Denmark to Abdicate the Throne After 52 Years

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Something surprising is happening in the state of Denmark.

The country’s monarch Queen Margrethe II has announced she will abdicate the throne in January after more than 50 years of reign.

“On 14 January 2024—52 years after I succeeded my beloved father —I will step down as Queen of Denmark,” the 83-year-old said in her annual New Year’s Eve speech, broadcast live on Danish television Dec. 31, according to multiple outlets. “I leave the throne to my son Crown Prince Frederik.”

Frederick, 55, is the eldest of the queen and late husband Prince Henrik of Denmark‘s two sons. His coronation date was not announced.

The queen cited a back surgery she underwent this past February as a factor in her decision to step down.

“Everything went well, thanks to the competent health personnel, who took care of me,” she said. “Inevitably, the operation gave cause to thoughts about the future—whether now would be an appropriate time to pass on the responsibility to the next generation.”

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