Denmark’s Frederik to change into king after Queen Margrethe’s abdication | EUROtoday

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COPENHAGEN — Denmark will likely be reinventing custom on Sunday when 83-year-old Queen Margrethe II, Europe’s longest-serving monarch, provides up the throne, and her 55-year-old son turns into King Frederik X.

Margrethe is the primary Danish monarch to abdicate since Erik III in 1146. So this weekend’s occasions will set a precedent for what such a transition of energy may seem like within the context of Denmark’s trendy constitutional monarchy.

Some components will likely be acquainted to those that watched the British ceremonies after the loss of life of Queen Elizabeth II and the coronation of King Charles III eight months later. There will likely be a proclamation, a balcony scene, a king’s speech and a procession.

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There will even be a gold carriage — although just one. Margrethe will trip in it to Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish authorities, the place she is going to signal her abdication declaration. Frederik, as the brand new king, will get the carriage on the way in which again, whereas his mom goes by automotive.

But as a London-based correspondent who commonly covers the British royals, I used to be instantly struck by the simplicity of what Denmark has deliberate. There will likely be no exceedingly heavy bejeweled crowns, no anointing of the monarch with holy oil behind a display. Whereas the British wish to go massive on the pomp and pageantry, invoking historic symbols of energy, the Danes appear to take a extra businesslike method.

“The Brits are very heavy on mysticism. You have this old man being massaged with mysterious oils — it’s very weird,” stated Jakob Steen Olsen, a royal commentator for Denmark’s Berlingske newspaper.

“The Danish way is meant to show the link between democracy and royalty,” he stated, as a distinction to “how it was in the old days.”

“In those days, the king decided over us and our lives, now it’s the other way around,” Olsen advised me. “We have democracy. They serve us, not the other way round.”

According to trendy Danish custom, the prime minister isn’t just a visitor on the succession of the throne, however the one who proclaims the brand new monarch. On the balcony of Christiansborg Palace on Sunday, Mette Frederiksen will flip in three totally different instructions, saying, “Long live his majesty, King Frederik X.”

The Danes do have an anointing throne — made with a unicorn horn, in response to legend, or narwhal tusk, trendy evaluation says. But they did away with anointing after they abolished absolute monarchy within the late 1840s. The throne is stored on show in Copenhagen’s Rosenborg Palace.

And the crown? It’s now reserved for monarch funerals, when it’s positioned atop the coffin.

In Britain, individuals who object to how a lot the royals price taxpayers typically level to the “bicycling monarchies” of Scandinavia, which handle to get by on a lot much less. And the Danish monarchy has change into an excellent smaller operation since Margrethe stripped 4 of her grandchildren of their prince and princess titles.

In 2022, Danish royals had been allotted $13 million in public funds; the British royal household obtained $109 million. Elizabeth’s funeral that 12 months price one other $200 million. The tab for Charles’s coronation has but to be launched, however some estimates put it as excessive as $125 million.

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So may Denmark this weekend present an alternate mannequin for Britain, too?

“If it’s too ordinary, does the magic disappear?” requested Olsen. “Or is the old-fashioned idea of an elevated, godlike royal house changing?”