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No coronation and a much happier proclamation: what to expect as King Frederik takes the Danish throne

When Margrethe II abdicates on January 14 2024, the reign of her son as King Frederik X will start. Unlike the United Kingdom, which marked the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, Denmark’s process of accession to the throne is much simpler and more oriented towards the Sovereign’s constitutional duties. 

Many people will have seen the resurfaced images of Queen Margrethe’s accession to the throne,. She was proclaimed Queen on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace by then-Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag following the death of her father, King Frederik IX, on January 14th 2024.

The law that allowed Margrethe to become Queen had been approved 19 years earlier, in March of 1953; before then, only males were allowed to become Sovereigns, and it was widely believed that, since King Frederik and Queen Ingrid didn’t have any sons, her uncle, Prince Knud, would become Monarch. 

And so her proclamation in 1972 was shadowed not only by the sadness of the sudden death of King Frederik, but also by the weight of this recent constitutional change. 

However, she wasn’t the first Monarch to receive this ceremony: the tradition of  the Prime Minister proclaiming a new Sovereign on the balcony of the Royal Palace dates back to the early 1900s, when the use of the regalia was changed to only symbols of the State, rather than objects to wear and/or hold.  

Hence, this tradition will be continued for the next king and queen: Frederik will be announced to the people of Denmark as the new monarch in a balcony appearance, without the pageantry of a Coronation. 

Many people will remember the most recent changes in European Monarchies: the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain all held proclamation ceremonies, rather that coronations, which were seen in Japan and the United Kingdom, in recent past years. 

The Danish Royal Household has not yet released any extra information about the proclamation ceremony, so the public does not know what will happen exactly; however, what can be expected is an atmosphere a lot less gloomy than the last ceremony of its kind 52 years ago.