Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Digital Cover royalty

Another European monarch plans surprise abdication - details

The news follows Queen Margrethe's abdication earlier this year

Diane Shipley
Senior Online Writer
21 April 2024
Share this:

Queen Margrethe of Denmark shocked royal watchers around the world when she announced her abdication in her New Year's address, stepping down on 14 January this year. 

Now another European monarch has broached the topic of retirement. 

In an interview with French publication La Libre, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg said he "intends to retire at some point" and even shared that he has a date in mind

Explaining his plans so far, the royal commented: "All this is planned in family consultation. I find that it is very important to give young people a perspective." 

The Grand Duke, who turned 69 this week, went on: "There are plans, it will happen." Asked about if he knew when the abdication may occur, he said: "Yes, but I won’t tell you that!" 

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg at the 200th Royal Military Academy Sandhurst's Sovereign's Parade © Getty
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg intends to abdicate

Unlike in Denmark, where a royal hadn't voluntarily left the throne in almost 900 years, Henri acceded to the throne in October 2000 after his father, Grand Duke Jean, abdicated at the age of 79. His son and heir, Prince Guillaume, 42, will be his successor. 

The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg married Belgian-born Countess Stephanie de Lannoy on 20 October 2012 and the couple now share two sons, Prince Charles, three, and Prince François, one, with the eldest being his presumptive heir. 

Princess Stephanie and Prince Guillaume with their eldest son, Prince Charles, in 2020© Getty
Princess Stephanie and Prince Guillaume with their eldest son, Prince Charles

"Today is a wonderful day, for my wife and for myself," Prince Guillaume said following the birth of his eldest son. 

"And probably the most incredible day that we will have in our life, because to be able to greet a child that comes into one’s life is the most magical thing a couple can have." 

Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Grand Duke Henri© Getty
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Grand Duke Henri

Born in Belgium, Princess Stephanie is the youngest of Count Philippe de Lannoy and Alix della Faille de Leverghem's eight children. She reportedly speaks six languages and studied art history at the Sotheby's Institute in London. 

She accompanied her husband to the UK between 2018 and 2019, when he undertook postgraduate training at the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in London. Like Prince William and Prince Harry, he also trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Camberley. 

How long has Luxembourg been a grand duchy?

Luxembourg has been a sovereign grand duchy since 15 March 1815 and is the only remaining grand duchy in the world, with the constitutional monarch thus styled as Grand Duke or Grand Duchess rather than King or Queen. 

Prince Guillaume will be the country's tenth monarch. 

Queen Margrethe in blue coat in Germany© Getty
Queen Margrethe abdicated in January

Why did Queen Margrethe abdicate?

The former Danish monarch announced her abdication on New Year's Eve 2023 following health issues and "extensive" back surgery

In a statement revealing the news, the queen 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.

"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."

LISTEN: All the info on Netflix's latest royal drama...

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Royalty

See more