After more than 50 years in power, Denmark's Queen Margrethe II has unexpectedly declared she will step down early in 2024, according to CNN.
During her annual New Year's Eve address shown on Danish television, Margrethe, 83, announced that she would be handing over the crown to her son, Crown Prince Frederik.
She gave an example of her beliefs about the future -- referencing a back operation she underwent in February 2023.
"In two weeks time, I have been Queen of Denmark for 52 years. Such an amount will leave its mark on anybody--and also on me! The time takes its toll, and the number of 'ailments' increases. One cannot undertake as much as one managed in the past," the queen said, according to CNN.
The Danish queen said that she underwent "extensive back surgery" in February this year and added, "Everything went well, thanks to the competent health personnel, who took care of me. 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." "I have decided that now is the right time," she said.
Queen Margrethe II To Formally Step Down On Jan 14
"On 14th January 2024 - 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father--I will step down as Queen of Denmark. I will hand over the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik," the queen announced, according to CNN.
After King Frederik IX passed away on January 14, 1972, Queen Margrethe II assumed the throne.
Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain in the previous year, Margrethe assumed the title of Europe's longest-serving queen.