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Denmark Gets New King, Frederik X Succeeds Margrethe II

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Sunday marked a turning point for the Danish monarchy as Queen Margrethe II officially abdicated the throne after a historic 52-year reign, and her son, Frederik X, ascended to the throne.

The 83-year-old Queen signed the abdication papers during a meeting at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, outside of which citizens gathered to celebrate the royal appointment.

The new King was proclaimed by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen from the balcony of the palace in a spectacle that, although traditional, is not called a coronation ceremony.

King Frederik’s wife, Australian Mary Donaldson, became the Queen consort, and their son, Crown Prince Christian, is next in the line of succession and the current heir to the Danish throne.

Dronning Margrethe II, Foto: Keld Navntoft Ritzau/Scanpix

In a speech addressing the gathered crowd below the Christiansborg Palace balcony, Frederik Tenth praised his mother’s legacy and promised to become the “King of Tomorrow.”

Queen Margrethe, the longest-reigning monarch in a country with one of the world’s oldest dynasties, will retain her title. She is the first Danish ruler to voluntarily step down in nearly 900 years.

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Her son, Frederik Tenth, is 55 years old, a father of four, and a passionate environmentalist. He speaks four languages: English, French, German, and his native Danish.

He graduated in political science from Aarhus University and furthered his studies at Harvard University in the USA between 1992 and 1993.

Since 2010, he has been the commander of the navy. He holds the rank of Colonel in the Danish army.

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