Denmark turned a page in its history on Sunday as Crown Prince Frederik X became the King, succeeding his mother, Queen Margrethe II, who formally abdicated after 52 years as monarch. Tens of thousands of Danes were gathered in the capital Copenhagen in close to freezing temperatures to witness the historic succession. 83-year-old Margrethe is the first Danish monarch to voluntarily relinquish the throne in nearly 900 years. She stunned the nation when she announced her plans to step down on television on New Year’s Eve. 

The royal palace said the succession was formalized the moment Queen Margrethe

signed the declaration of her abdication during a meeting of the Council of State at Parliament at Christiansborg Palace in the capital. The meeting was also attended by government representatives, the new King, his Australian-born wife Mary, who is now queen, and their 18-year-old eldest son, the new Crown Prince Christian Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen proclaimed 55-year-old Frederik as the new king of Denmark from the balcony of the Palace with his wife Queen Consort Mary at his side. Australian-born Mary is the first commoner to become Queen of Denmark.

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