There's one dominating theory about why Queen Margrethe really abdicated. But is it true?

The longest-reigning monarch in Danish history is abdicating the throne — so naturally, we need to gossip about it.

The stakes are higher over here in Australia (not as high as Denmark but a close second) as this means Princess Mary of Tasmania Denmark will become the motherflippin' Queen, sitting beside her husband of almost 20 years, King Frederik.

Queen Margrethe announced she would abdicate on January 14, 2024, marking the 52nd anniversary of her accession back in 1972 at the age of 31.

“In two weeks time I have been Queen of Denmark for 52 years. Such an amount will leave its mark on anybody – also on me! The time takes its toll, and the number of ‘ailments’ increases. One cannot undertake as much as one managed in the past,” Queen Margrethe said in her annual New Year Address.

"I have decided that now is the right time. On 14th January, 2024 — 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father — I will step down as Queen of Denmark. I will hand over the throne to my son Crown Prince Frederik.”

This is a historic announcement as the last Danish abdication was in 1523. Sadly for us supportive queens out there, Queen Margrethe II was the last remaining reigning queen in the world after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the succession of King Charles III.

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Video via Supplied. 

So why exactly did Queen Margrethe announce she would abdicate the throne right on the cusp of 2024?

From cheating rumours to family drama, there is one dominating theory.

The theory on why Queen Margrethe abdicated the throne.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark’s sudden abdication announcement has left people speculating that the timing was due to the monarch wanting to mend the marriage of her son Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.

The announcement follows months of rumours that have plagued the royal couple. In November 2023, reports surfaced that the Crown Prince was having an affair with Mexican-born socialite Geneveva Casanova after the two were spotted together in Madrid.

Casanova has since denied allegations while Frederik and Mary continued with business as usual, spending Christmas together with their four children — however, some were concerned that Mary spent time in Australia without her husband.

“It’s possible that the Queen took this action because she would have been terrified of the marriage breaking up and the royal family losing Mary. It would have caused major problems. The Queen has always seen Mary as a tremendous asset,” royal commentator Phil Dampier told The Telegraph


“It just seems an extraordinary coincidence that she should make this unexpected announcement just a couple of months after stories emerged of the Crown Prince supposedly having an affair."

Dampier claims that by making the couple King and Queen, a potential divorce would be quashed. “In two weeks’ time, the Prince and Princess will be pitched together as King and Queen and they will have to get on with it. The Queen may be thinking that they will patch up their differences and it will save their marriage.”

Is it true? 

There is some credence to the theory that Queen Margrethe would want to bond Crown Prince Frederik to Crown Princess Mary, as she's experienced a bit of family drama in recent years with another son's family.

In September 2022, Denmark's Queen announced she would be removing prince and princess titles from four of her grandchildren: the children of her youngest son, Prince Joachim.

Prince Frederik and Princess Mary's kids, of course, got to keep their royal titles. Must be nice to be Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. 

Queen Margrethe and her favourite family. Image: Getty. 


The news was not received favourably. Countess Alexandra, the mother of Prince Joachim’s two eldest sons, spoke out about feeling “shocked” by the decision.

“This came from out of the blue. The children feel excluded,” she told a Dutch outlet, the daily BT. “They can’t understand why their identity is being taken from them.” 

Like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Prince Joachim soon relocated with his family to the United States. Yes, all royal families are this messy. 

But Queen Margrethe maintained that the decision was nothing personal.

“It is my duty and my wish as Queen to ensure that the monarchy continues to shape itself in keeping with the times,” she said.


"It sometimes requires difficult decisions to be made, and it will always be difficult to find the right moment. Carrying a royal title entails a number of obligations and duties, which will in future be the responsibility of fewer members of the royal family.

So while it's true that the Queen of Denmark has dealt with some family turmoil, this doesn't mean she abdicated the throne just to reunite Crown Prince Frederik to Crown Princess Mary.

Another theory could be that a new heir just came of age with Frederik and Mary’s eldest son Prince Christian turning 18 just two months before the Queen's abdication. Maybe, she simply felt it was time to make some room for the next generation.

Queen Margrethe and Crown Prince Frederik celebrating Prince Christian's 18th birthday. Image: Getty. 


Then there's the matter of Queen Margrethe being 83 years old and as her age advances, she noted several ‘ailments’ in her New Year Address.

“In February this year I underwent extensive back surgery. Everything went well, thanks to the competent health personnel, who took care of me," the Denmark monarch said in her speech.

"Inevitably, the operation gave cause to thoughts about the future – whether now would be an appropriate time to pass on the responsibility to the next generation. I have decided that now is the right time."

The Queen may have just decided it was her time to give the crown to Frederik at an age when she was still healthy enough to witness his reign.

"It is my hope that the new King and Queen will be met with the same trust and devotion which have fallen to my lot,” she said in her announcement.

“They deserve it! Denmark deserves it!”

Feature image: Getty.

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