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The longest-serving monarch in Europe, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, announced on Sunday that she would abdicate on January 14 and that her eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik, would take her place. Since the passing of Britain’s Elizabeth II, Margrethe, who took the throne in 1972, has ruled for 52 years, making her the only reigning queen in Europe.

“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,” the queen said.

She stated, “The surgery naturally gave rise to thinking about the future – whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation,” in reference to the successful back surgery she had in February.
She also expressed her gratitude to Danes for their “overwhelming” kindness and support.

“I express my gratitude to the successive administrations for our fruitful collaboration, as well as to The Parliament for consistently placing their trust in me. I am grateful to the countless individuals who have showered me and my family with love and kindness on both major and regular occasions, transforming the years into a string of pearls.

The queen was thanked by Mette Frederiksen, the prime minister of Denmark, for her lifetime commitment to duty.

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