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Join the proclamation party on 14 January

Copenhagen city will be buzzing with happy citizens from all over the country, ready to say goodbye to their old monarch and greet their new King and Queen.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

The word party would not normally be associated with the transition of power from one monarch to the next.

In 1972, when Danish Queen Margrethe was proclaimed Queen of Denmark, she was dressed all in black as she was in mourning after the loss of her beloved father.

This time it is different as she is “only” abdicating in favour of her son and remains very much a part of the royal house.

When she abdicates at the Council of State on 14 January 2024 at 14:00 it will be the first time in nearly 900 years that this has happened in Denmark making it an extraordinary and historic event.

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The term “abdication” comes from the Latin word “abdicare”, which means that one relinquishes something.

After her abdication, she will be titled HM Queen Margrethe and she will remain able to replace the new King at the Council of State meetings should the new King and Queen be absent due to travels abroad.

The new royal couple will be known as HM King Frederik and HM Queen Mary. Their son, Prince Christian will be known as Crown Prince Christian.

The Danish Royal House expects the city to be filled with happy citizens hoping to get a glance of the royals as they are escorted through town to and from Amalienborg to Christiansborg.

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The proclamation itself of the new King will take place from the balcony on Christiansborg Castle and not from Amalienborg Palace.

It is not known if the new King and Queen will appear at Amalienborg’s balcony to be cheered by an assembled crowd when they return to Amalienborg late afternoon. It may or may not happen but will not be part of any official program but an improvised one.

In Denmark, there is no tradition for crowning and other formal events in line with for instance the British Monarchs’ ceremonies. The formal proclamation from the balcony of Christiansborg is the main official ceremony.

Expect an incredibly crowded Copenhagen on Sunday – and if you don’t like crowds there will be ample possibilities to stay at home as both DR and TV2 will be transmitting all events live.

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Should you wish to join in, the Danish Police strongly advise to take public transport to all events and to walk around town rather than to bicycle.

If you do take your bicycle – please park it far from the routes taken and from either of the two main venues, Amalienborg and Christiansborg. And do NOT take your cargo bike at all.

DSB have informed that they will be running extra trains and S-trains will be running on rush hour schedules as will the Copenhagen Metro.

Be patient, particularly at the main stations used, this will be Marmorkirken, Kongens Nytorv and Gammel Strand. These three metro stations are the ones closest to the venues and therefore those expected to be very crowded on Sunday.

At Christiansborg Castle many people are expected to gather to see the new King proclaimed from the balcony by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

Loudspeakers will make it possible to hear from some distance but maybe not all the way to Gammel Strand or Holmens Kirke.

It may also be difficult to move quickly from one place to the next, so maybe decide where you want to be and don’t expect to be able to move from one venue to the next (i.e for instance from Christiansborg to Amalienborg).

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The program for Sunday 14 January:

13:35 The Crown Prince Couple leave from their home at Amalienborg (Frederik VIII’s Palace) to Christiansborg Palace. They will be leaving in the royal Rolls Royce escorted by the police and security guards.

Their route will be Frederiksgade, Bredgade, Kongens Nytorv, Holmens Canal, Prince Jørgen’s Courtyard (link to map of the route)

The royal mounted horse guards, the Guard Hussar Regiment’s mounted squadron will be in place and ready to escort the abdicating queen.

13:37 Queen Margrethe rides in the Golden Wedding Anniversary Coach from her home at Amalienborg at Christian IX’s Palace (which will remain her home after the abdication) to Christiansborg Palace, escorted by the Guard Hussar Regiment.

Route: Frederiksgade, Bredgade, Kongens Nytorv (they ride past the French Embassy on Kongens Nytorv and pass by Hotel D’Angleterre and Magasin along Holmens Canal, Prince Jørgen’s Courtyard (link to map of the route).

14:00 Council of State at Christiansborg Palace – during the council Queen Margrethe will sign the abdication documents and in that moment Crown Prince Frederik becomes King Frederik X.

The Danish Government participates together with Prince Christian who becomes Crown Prince Christian at the same time.

14:15 The abdicating Queen leaves Christiansborg Palace in the royal Rolls Royce. The car will drive slowly through the streets of Copenhagen via Prince Jørgen’s Courtyard, Holmens Bridge, Holmens Canal, Kongens Nytorv, Bredgade, St. Annæ Square, Amaliegade, Amalienborg (link to map of the route).

Take note that she will not take exactly the same way back as the car will not drive along all of Bredgade but take a right turn down St. Annæ Square.

Once the abdicating Queen Margrethe has left there will be short ceremony at Christiansborg for a few selected persons.

This means waiting at least 45 minutes before the new King appears on the balcony. Dress warmly if you are standing waiting for the next event.

15:00 Proclamation from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace

H. M King Frederik X steps out on the balcony of Christiansborg Palace, after which Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen proclaims his accession to the throne.

After this the new King will make a speech and conclude with his motto. What his motto will be has not been revealed prior to the balcony scene.

15:10 Honorary cannon salute from the Sixtus Battery on Holmen (the home of the Danish Navy in Copenhagen).

It is tradition that 27 canon shots are fired three times. At the same time the royal standard which waves from the abdicating Queen Margrethe’s palace at Amalienborg is lowered and raised at the new King’s palace.

15:30 Finally for those who have waited with patience, the new King Frederik and Queen Mary return to Amalienborg by horse drawn carriage escorted by the Guard Hussar Regiment’s mounted squadron from Christiansborg Palace to Frederik VIII’s Palace, Amalienborg.

They will take the same route as Queen Margrethe did when returning by car, so again they will take a right turn and go via St Annæ Square to Amalienborg.

Route: Prince Jørgen’s Courtyard, Holmens Bridge, Holmens Canal, Kongens Nytorv, Bredgade, St. Annæ Square, Amaliegade, Amalienborg (link to map of the route)

Whether or not they will be cheered from the balcony at their home in Frederik VIII’s palace at Amalienborg is not known.

Another important event takes place at Amalienborg when the royal colours are transferred by the Royal Lifeguards ( Livgarden) who take it from the Royal Colour Room at Queen Margrethe’s palace to the Royal Colour Room at King Frederik’s palace. This takes place at 17:00 by a squadron of the Royal Lifeguard.


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