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How Queen Margrethe paid tribute to late husband Prince Henrik on abdication day

The Danish monarch is succeeded by her son, who becomes King Frederik X

Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark attend a lunch reception in Aarhus, Denmark
Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
14 January 2024
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Queen Margrethe II looked so stylish when she abdicated the Danish throne on Sunday, wearing a dark red suit with her hair swept back. One aspect of her outfit carried a special meaning, though, as Lauren Kiehna, the writer and editor of The Court Jeweller, reports on X. The Queen donned a pair of stunning silver and ruby earrings with a diamond detail given to her as a 50th birthday gift by her late husband, Prince Henrik, in 1990. 

WATCH: Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik's romance from the start to his final days

As Lauren points out: "She's worn them on numerous important occasions, including an appearance during her Ruby Jubilee celebrations in January 2012." The prince sadly died in 2018 at the age of 84, so this was a touching way for the former monarch to honour her long-time love on the family's momentous occasion. The Queen and her husband married in 1967 and welcomed Frederik in their first year of marriage. 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark arrives for the official reception to celebrate 40 years on the throne at City Hall on January 14, 2012 © Getty
Queen Margrethe's stunning earrings were a gift from her husband

Henrik was initially embraced by the Danish public but later became known as an eccentric character, once characterised in the local media as "Whiner of the Year" for his outbursts, which included complaints about Frederik representing the Queen at an official event rather than himself, and being known as Prince Consort rather than King Consort, which he considered gender discrimination. 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark leaving her abdication© Getty
The former monarch honoured Henrik with her choice of jewellery

Margrethe's abdication came as a shock to royal watchers as she announced the news just a couple of weeks ago during her traditional New Year's Eve speech, saying that she was leaving the throne due to health issues, although she will retain her title and is expected to represent the crown on occasion. It is 52 years since she acceded to the throne following her father's death, and her decision makes her the first Danish Royal to abdicate in nearly 900 years

Queen Mary and King Frederik wave to crowds after proclamation© Getty
King Frederik is now the Danish monarch

In her statement, she said: "I have decided that now is the right time. The 14th January 2024 - 52 years after I followed my beloved father - I will step back as the Queen of Denmark. I leave the throne to my son the Crown Prince Frederik. 

It continued: "Tonight, I first and foremost would like to express my thanks. Thank you for the overwhelming warmth and support which I have received during all these years. Thank you to the changing governments with whom the collaboration always has been rewarding, and thank you to The Parliament, who have always vested their confidence in me. 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Henrik of Denmark attend Queen Margrethe's 76th Birthday Celebration at Amalienborg Palace © Getty
The royal couple were married for 51 years

"Thank you to the many, many people who on special occasions and in everyday life have embraced me and my family with kind words and thoughts, turning the years into a string of pearls. 

The support and assistance which I have received throughout the years have been crucial to the success of my task. It is my hope that the new King and Queen will be met with the same trust and devotion which have fallen to my lot. They deserve it! Denmark deserves it! I will conclude my new year’s address in my usual manner: GOD BLESS DENMARK, GOD BLESS YOU ALL."

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