Europe Will Have a New King

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The current Queen of Denmark is stepping down in the middle of January to let her son rule instead. Margarethe’s abdication reveals a trend in European monarchies, where older rulers tend to step down rather than use a regency. Britain was a notable exception, with the Queen ruling until her death.

All major European monarchs now function under a constitutional system, where their actions are strictly limited by the Parliament. The largely symbolic role is very popular in Denmark and other countries where monarchies still exist. Fox News reports:

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announced that she is abdicating her position in the new year after nearly 52 years on the throne.

During her New Year’s Eve speech, Margrethe II, 83, said she plans to step down on Jan. 14. The date marks the anniversary of her own ascension to the throne in 1972, following the death of her father, King Frederik IX.

The soon to be King is married to an Australian woman, who is expected to be the first Australian royal in the world. CNN says:

Margrethe’s eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik, will become King, while his wife, Crown Princess Mary, will become the first Australian to become Queen, a development that has delighted her supporters back home.

For many of Mary’s Australian admirers, it’s a fitting finale to a romance that famously began in a rowdy Sydney pub around the time of the Olympics in 2000.

The new King’s father is from a French family, making this the second Scandinavian king of French extraction in Scandinavia after Sweden. The equal inheritance of kingdoms in Europe means royal houses now change more often. Official house names tend to stay the same however.

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