Royal Renaissance Redefined

Denmark’s epochal transition as King Frederik X graces the throne, bidding Adieu to Queen Margrethe’s 52-year legacy


Anam Khan

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King Frederik X of Denmark and Queen Mary of Denmark wave to the crowd from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark.
King Frederik X of Denmark and Queen Mary of Denmark wave to the crowd from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Published: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 10:39 AM

Denmark witnessed a historic transition as King Frederik X ascended to the throne on January 14, marking the end of Queen Margrethe’s remarkable 52-year reign. Over 100,000 Danes gathered to witness this unprecedented event, showcasing their support for the royal family.

The day’s events included a final procession through Copenhagen, where Queen Margrethe, 83, signed a declaration of abdication at Christiansborg Palace. This historic act, the first in Denmark in 900 years, automatically made her son, King Frederik X, the new monarch. The emotional departure of Queen Margrethe from the Council of State left the room with a poignant blessing: “God bless the king.”

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen then officially proclaimed the 55-year-old Frederik as the new king on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace. Wrapped in his gala admiral’s uniform, King Frederik X, visibly moved, and acknowledged the crowd of over 100,000 well-wishers, blinking back tears and smiling as he waved.

King Frederik X, immensely popular like his mother, expressed his commitment to becoming a unifying king for the future. He addressed the crowd with humility and pride, repeatedly placing his hand on his heart while acknowledging the cheers.

The new king’s Australian-born wife, Queen Mary, joined him on the balcony with their four teenage children.

This transition marked only the second time in Danish history that a sovereign stepped down. The decision of Queen Margrethe to abdicate after 52 years was unexpected, announced in her New Year’s Eve address. Health concerns, stemming from major back surgery the previous year, were cited as the reason for her decision.

The abdication allowed King Frederik X to assume his role gradually, bringing his own style to the monarchy. Known for his passion for sports and environmental causes, King Frederik X is expected to embrace his ceremonial duties while making a mark with his unique approach.

Carrying Forward Elegance — Royal Full-Dress Uniform

In a display of regal elegance and historical significance, King Frederik X adorned a full-dress uniform for a momentous occasion, evoking memories of past milestones in the monarch’s life. Notably, the King had previously worn this distinctive uniform during his wedding ceremony in 2004 when he held the title of Crown Prince.

The significance of the occasion is underscored by the modifications made to the full-dress uniform, a symbol of his elevated position following the succession to the throne. The King, now appointed to the rank of admiral, showcased the alterations, with the addition of four stars on the shoulder insignia denoting this esteemed position.

Adding to the ceremonial grandeur, the King’s uniform featured a distinguished row of medals, prominently displaying the Order of the Elephant. This prestigious order was adorned with a dove blue ribbon, enhancing the visual impact of this regal ensemble. The Order of the Elephant’s breast star, a silver masterpiece with eight rays, held a gilded medallion at its core, featuring a silver cross on a red background surrounded by a silver laurel wreath. Additionally, the breast star of the Grand Commander Cross, positioned below, boasted eight rays and a white-enamelled cross with red enamel edges.

With promises of unity, the new king, clad in a gala admiral’s uniform, expressed humility and pride. The monarchy, rooted in Viking history, evolves under King Frederik X’s unique approach, blending tradition with innovation.

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