Pomp, Danish Style

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Denmark’s King Frederik X officially took the throne Sunday following the abdication of his mother, Queen Margrethe II, in a royal ceremony that diverted from tradition and underscored the country’s understated approach to its constitutional monarchy, the Guardian reported.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen proclaimed Frederik X as king on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, shortly after Queen Margrethe II formally signed her abdication.

She announced her abdication in her New Year’s speech earlier this month, ending her 52-year reign as Europe’s longest-serving living monarch. She is also the first Danish monarch to voluntarily abdicate in almost 900 years.

The ceremony received attention mainly because there was no coronation: Denmark has not conducted any coronation since the introduction of its democratic constitution and the abolition of its absolute monarchy in 1849.

“The Danish way is meant to show the link between democracy and royalty,” royal commentator Jakob Steen Olsen told the Washington Post. “In (centuries past), the king decided over us and our lives, now it’s the other way around. We have democracy. They serve us, not the other way round.”

Thousands of people greeted King Frederik X and Australian-born Queen Mary, the first so-called commoner to become queen in Denmark. Many Danes celebrated the new monarch and the outgoing queen, who has remained a hugely popular figure in the country for her down-to-earth approachability: She often took walks in the city or sat in parks painting.

Frederik and Mary are assuming the role at a time when they and the Danish monarchy have high approval ratings, in contrast to Spain or the UK, according to polls.

In 2022, Margrethe II slimmed down the monarchy by stripping four of her grandchildren of their royal titles to allow them to lead more normal lives, according to CNN.

Danish royals were also allotted $13 million in public funds, notably compared with the British royal family which received around $109 million.

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