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Queen Margrethe abdication ‘fears’ that kings in two other European countries could quit | Royal | News


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In light of Queen Margrethe’s abdication on January 14, royal experts are wondering if she has broken a taboo, paving the way for similar moves in neighbouring kingdoms such as Sweden and Norway.

Queen Margrethe made the shock announcement on New Year’s Eve 2023, and her move, widely pinned on longstanding health issues, has led many to wondering if a similar surprise is on the cards elsewhere in the region.

Swedish royal expert, Roger Lundgren, told the BBC: “The queen had always been very firm in her position that hers is a position for life… something you do until you die.”

He added: “Had you asked me this question six months ago I would have said never, ever will they abdicate. But the Denmark case shows anything can happen.”

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In 2012, Queen Margrethe famously said: “I will remain on the throne until I drop.” The only other precedent for abdication in Denmark is Erik III who stepped down from the throne in 1146.

The King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, ascended the throne in September 1973 when he was 27. He has previously indicated he was determined to also remain on the throne until he died.

Once Margarethe steps down, he will become the third current longest-reigning monarch in the world.

Speaking to Swedish outlet, Expressen, in 2014 he said: “Retirement? No, that word doesn’t actually run in our family. At least not historically. It is an old tradition of ours not to retire.”

However, Swedish royal commentator, Anders Pihlblad, said the Swedish King is often asked about stepping down. He said: “It’s not because Swedish people don’t think he’s doing a good job, but because his daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, is very, very popular.”

Looking to other reigning monarchs in Europe, the King of Norway, Harald V, succeeded to the throne in January 1991. Similarly, Harald told Norwegian media that the oath he took in 1991 is “for life”.

King Harald, 86, has taken sick leave and had to undergo surgery for heart problems and bladder cancer, during which his son Haakon, the Crown Prince of Norway, has stepped in.

The royal correspondent for Norway’s NRK TV, Kristi Marie Skrede said: “Norwegians will support Harald [if he abdicates], but they are very impressed he is still on the throne in spite of all his health issues.”

Approval rates for the Danish and Norwegian regents consistently hover around the 80% mark, while a recent Swedish poll showed that anti-monarchy sentiment was at its lowest in over 20 years.

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