Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Queen Margrethe to undergo major surgery

The Danish monarch will step back from royal duties as she recovers

Queen Margrethe to undergo major surgery

Queen Margrethe of Denmark announced some major health news in a brief statement posted to the Palace's official website.

The monarch, who earlier posted a heartfelt tribute following the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, shared the personal news on Wednesday afternoon.

The Queen will be going under the knife later this month to treat a long-term back issue, according to the statement.

WATCH: Prince Harry meets Denmark's Queen Margrethe II In Copenhagen

Titled simply "HM The Queen will undergo surgery", it read: "For quite some time, Her Majesty has been affected by problems with her back, and the situation has worsened recently.

"After consultation with Rigshospitalet’s specialists, The Queen has decided to undergo extensive surgery.

"The operation is planned for Wednesday, 22 February at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, where The Queen will thus also be hospitalized afterwards. Consequently, a longer sequence of physical rehabilitation is expected.

margrethe funeral© Photo: Getty Images

Queen Margrethe at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral

"This means that Her Majesty’s official program in the near future will be postponed, cancelled or handled by other members of The Royal Family."

SEE: Inside Princess Marie and Crown Princess Mary's relationship amid royal title controversy

READ: Denmark's Prince Nikolai breaks silence after losing royal title

The Queen, who is now the longest-ruling monarch in the world following the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II, presides over a slimmed-down royal family following her decision to remove HRH titles from four of her grandchildren. Announced last year, the change became official at the start of this year.

danish royals© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen stripped her grandchildren of their royal titles in January

Felix, 20, and 23-year-old Nikolai – Prince Joachim's sons with first wife Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg – and Henrik, 13, and 11-year-old Athena – his children with wife Princess Marie – stopped carrying the title His or Her Royal Highness and that of Prince or Princess.

Instead, they are now styled Count or Countess of Monpezat. The decision, which was announced in September, came as a surprise not only to royal watchers but to the Queen's family, with both Joachim and Alexandra releasing emotive statements in response.

Queen Margrethe later issued a public apology but did not retract her decision.

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to The Royal Explainer newsletter to receive your weekly dose of royal features and other exclusive content straight to your inbox.