Frederick X became the new King of Denmark on January 14, 2024, following the historic abdication of Margaret II, the longest living monarch on the throne.
The succession took effect at a Council of State held at Christiansborg Castle, where Parliament met, after 83-year-old Margaret II signed the abdication decree after more than half a century on the throne.
Following Danish tradition since the conversion to a constitutional monarchy in 1849, which has not included a coronation ceremony or guests from other royal houses, it was Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen who proclaimed 55-year-old Frederick as king from the balcony of Christiansborg.
"Her Majesty Margaret II has abdicated. Long live his majesty King Frederick X," Frederiksen repeated three times.
The new monarch, who called his mother "an extraordinary regent," noted that he will need the support of "my beloved wife, my family and that which is greater than all of us."
"My mother, like few, was one with her kingdom. I hope to be a unifying king," Friedrich said in a brief speech.
A few minutes later, he was accompanied on the balcony by his wife Queen Mary of Australian descent and their four children, led by the now 18-year-old Crown Prince Christian. To the shouts and cheers of the thousands of people who filled the square, Friedrich put his hand to his heart and kissed his wife in gratitude.
The king and queen then traveled by carriage to the Amalienborg Palace complex, the residence of the royal family, from whose balcony they and their children again greeted the thousands of people gathered there to witness the coronation.
The official program was closed with the transfer of the royal banners from the palace of Christian IX, the residence of the outgoing monarch, to the palace of Frederick VIII, where the new kings live. They were separated by only a few hundred meters.
Historic abdication in Denmark
Since Denmark became a hereditary monarchy in 1660, no king or queen has abdicated.
The last precedent dates back to 1146, when Eric III left the throne and retired to a monastery. Consequently, the unexpected announcement made by Margaret II in her traditional New Year's Eve speech took the whole country by surprise, although it was widely supported.
The Queen, to justify her retirement after 52 years on the throne, appealed to her age, the problems associated with a complex back operation and the need to make way for a new generation.
The choice of date was no coincidence: as early as January 14, but in 1972, the then Crown Princess was proclaimed Queen from the balcony of Christiansborg following the death hours before of her father Frederick IX.
Frederick X's accession to the throne was welcomed by other royal houses, including the Spanish one: Kings Philip VI and Letizia congratulated the new monarch with "the greatest personal affection" and "best wishes". King Harald V did the same on the Norwegian royal house's social media accounts. Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Charles III of England also joined in the congratulations.