Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II surprised her country on New Year’s Eve by announcing live on television that she was abdicating the throne.
The 83-year-old queen, who made the shock announcement during her traditional evening New Year’s Eve speech, will be succeeded by her eldest son. She will step down on Jan. 14.
“I will leave the throne to my son Crown Prince Frederik,” the queen said during her evening broadcast to the nation.
In the address, the queen said she thought the time was right to pass on the baton, and she nodded toward health issues, including having major back surgery this year. She said having the surgery “naturally gave rise to thinking about the future, whether the time had come to leave responsibility to the next generation.”
An eloquent and popular queen, Margrethe is the longest-serving monarch in Europe following the 2022 death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
This story is developing and will be updated.