International Royals

King Frederik X and Australian-born Queen Mary have ascended the Danish throne

''My hope is to become a unifying king of tomorrow.''
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Almost 20 years after being named Crown Princess, Australian-born Mary Donaldson has become the Queen of Denmark. Queen Mary and King Frederik X ascended the throne today in a traditional ceremony in Copenhagen.

Unlike the crowning of King Charles III in 2023, the “proclamation of new reign” was a low-key affair at Christiansborg Palace. According to Royal Central, the Danish tradition has been in place since the early 1900s and involves the Prime Minister proclaiming each new monarch on the balcony of the Danish palace.

On January 14 at 3pm, the new King appeared on the balcony at Christiansborg, where he was met with cheers from thousands of royal enthusiasts surrounding the palace.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen joined the new King on the balcony, where she thanked Queen Margrethe II of Denmark before proclaiming the new King and saying “long live King Frederik the 10th.”

Frederik was visibly overcome with emotion, wiping away tears before delivering a moving speech.

“My hope is to become a unifying king of tomorrow,” he said. “It is a task I have approached all my life. It is a task I take on with pride, respect and joy.”

The King was then joined on the balcony by Mary and their four children, Crown Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent.

Mary wore a white Soeren Le Schmidt dress, featuring a mock shawl detail on the fit-and-flare style. She also opted for shades of red in her jewellery, featuring pieces from the Danish Ruby Parure.

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary have become King and Queen of Denmark.


King Frederik and Queen Mary were joined on the balcony by their children.


Despite the lowkey affair, the streets of Copenhagen were still lined with thousands of adoring fans.


Queen Margrethe’s own proclamation announcement was very similar when she acceded to the throne on 14 January 1972, exactly 52 years to the day before Frederik becomes King.

The main difference between Margrethe’s and Frederik’s proclamations was the nature of the occasion. As Queen Margrethe chose to abdicate, it was certainly a much happier occasion than when Margrethe became Queen following her father, King Frederik IX’s death.

The ‘coronation’ was be very different from King Charles’s coronation last year. World leaders and dignitaries were not involved in the succession ceremonies, ending the discussion that the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese would be travelling to Copenhagen.

“On 14 January 2024, Her Majesty the Queen steps down as Queen of Denmark and entrusts the throne to His Royal Highness The Crown Prince,” the palace wrote in a statement outlining the events that would later unfold.

The schedule started at 11:00 PM AEST when the succession of the throne took place and Queen Margrethe departed.

At midnight AEST, the Danish Prime Minister proclaimed Frederik and Mary as King and Queen on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace.

And finally, at 03:00 AM AEST, there were firework displays above the skies of Copenhagen.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will be abdicating on 14 January 2024.


Denmark’s royal family did originally participate in grand coronations.

The first Danish coronation took place in 1170 with the ascension of King Canute VI, according to Tatler.

However, the practice changed in 1660 when Denmark’s monarchy became an inherited system rather than an elective system. After the switch of systems, Kings and Queens were no longer crowned but were still anointed in an official coronation ceremony. This occurred until 1849 when the Danish monarchy became constitutional.

You can read more about the history of the Danish royal family here.

Queen Margrethe’s abdication came as a surprise.


Queen Margrethe’s abdication certainly came as a surprise as she previously said she would rule for the entirety of her life, and the last Danish monarch’s abdication was in 1146.

In a statement from the Danish royal family, they said, “When HM The Queen abdicates at the Council of State on Sunday, 14 January 2024, it will be the first time in nearly 900 years that this has happened in Denmark – thus, it will be an extraordinary and historic event.”

Abdications and more low-key crowning ceremonies have become a lot more common in European monarchies, including Sweden, Spain and The Netherlands.

In recent years, the U.K. and Japan have staged elaborate coronations and stuck with tradition, but it is certainly becoming more commonplace for royal families to be more fuss-free.

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