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Queen Margrethe's life since her surprise abdication

The Danish queen abdicated on 14 January

Queen Margrethe abdicates and wearing a blue checked suit
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
15 April 2024
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Queen Margrethe shocked royal watchers when she announced her decision to abdicate in her New Year's address, but what has her life been like since?

Just fourteen days after the announcement, the Danish queen, who had reigned for exactly 52 years, signed a formal declaration of her abdication at a Council of State meeting and her son, Frederik, was proclaimed King. Rewatch that moment in the clip below...

WATCH: An emotional Queen Margrethe formally abdicates

She alluded that one of the reasons for her decision to abdicate was down to health issues, saying: "In February [2023] I underwent extensive back surgery. It went well, thanks to the skilled healthcare staff who took care of me. Of course, the operation also gave rise to thinking about the future - whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation."

The Danish royal palace confirmed that the queen would still be known as Her Majesty Queen Margrethe following her abdication and she can act as regent if King Frederik, Queen Mary and Crown Prince Christian are abroad, on holiday or unable to carry out their functions through ill health.

While announcements around Queen Margrethe's daily life are now less frequent, the Danish palace has confirmed that she will celebrate her 84th birthday on Tuesday 16 April privately at Fredensborg Castle.

Just a week after her son's accession to the throne, Margrethe joined the new king and queen at a special church service at Aarhus Cathedral.

Queen Margrethe participates in a celebratory church service at Aarhus Cathedral on January 21, 2024 © Getty
Queen Margrethe at the church service

Despite her abdication, Margrethe continues to have meetings and public engagements – she attended the inauguration of the new Prins Henriks Skole in Frederiksberg on 7 February and she presented the Queen Margrethe II's Science Prize 2024 at a ceremony at the Royal Danish Society of Sciences in Copenhagen on 10 April.

Queen Margrethe wearing blue checked suit unveils bust of her late husband, Prince Henrik© Getty
Queen Margrethe unveiled a bust of her late husband, Prince Henrik, at the new Prins Henriks Skole

Her Majesty also accompanied King Frederik and Queen Mary as they hosted their first gala dinner in March and she joined the Norwegian royals at the Holmenkollen FIS Nordic World Cup in Oslo. 

Queen Margrethe at Holmenkollen FIS Nordic World Cup with Norwegian royals© dana/Shutterstock
Queen Margrethe joined the Norwegian royals at the Holmenkollen FIS Nordic World Cup

Queen Margrethe, who is renowned for her artistic talents, has also taken on an incredible new project. The former monarch will be the ballet costume designer for Denmark's Tivoli amusement park, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

And in February, Margrethe looked thrilled as she learned that she had won the Robert Award for Best Costume Design for her work on Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction.  

View post on Instagram

King Frederik and Queen Mary are just three months into their new roles as king and queen, with the couple set to carry out their first state visits to Sweden and Norway in May.

Royal author and Editor-at-Large of The Australian Women's Weekly, Juliet Rieden previously told HELLO! that she thinks Frederik will still be turning to his mother for advice as he navigates the first year of his reign.

"Margrethe will, of course, still be there guiding them all," she said. "But I think she had in her mind that Frederik and Mary were ready to take the throne, and Mary gave stability to the possibility of Frederik becoming king early."

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