New year, new queen!

ALL SIGNS POINT TO­WARDS PRINCESS MARY RING­ING IN THE NEW YEAR AS QUEEN OF DEN­MARK Queen Mar­grethe is set to ab­di­cate be­fore the year is out.

New Idea - - Contents -

As she cel­e­brates one fi­nal Christ­mas in Aus­tralia, Princess Mary will be pre­par­ing to ring in the New Year as the queen of Den­mark. This is set to be re­vealed in dra­matic style dur­ing Queen Mar­grethe’s tra­di­tional New Year’s speech, with royal in­sid­ers pre­dict­ing the 77-year-old monarch will an­nounce her ab­di­ca­tion.

In an in­ter­view with Dan­ish mag­a­zine Kendte, royal ex­pert Se­bas­tian Olden-jor­gensen says the writ­ing is on the wall for Mary and Fred to be­come king and queen in 2018.

Spec­u­la­tion about the ab­di­ca­tion reached fever pitch re­cently when it was re­vealed there are some changes this year to the Dan­ish queen’s New Year’s Eve speech to the na­tion.

The plans are markedly grander than usual with ad­just­ments to the broad­cast ar­range­ments. The ad­dress will be de­liv­ered from the palace’s re­cep­tion room and will also air on the big screen in the square at Amalien­borg Palace.

These changes have raised sus­pi­cions that Mar­grethe is set to make a ma­jor an­nounce­ment.

‘I think it is pos­si­ble that the queen will say she will ab­di­cate,’ Se­bas­tian spec­u­lates.

Ab­di­ca­tion ru­mours first sur­faced in March when the Dan­ish gov­ern­ment hosted a mys­tery din­ner. Spec­u­la­tion mounted fur­ther in Septem­ber, af­ter rev­e­la­tions re­gard­ing the health of the queen’s hus­band, Prince Hen­rik. The palace con­firmed at that time that Prince Hen­rik is suf­fer­ing from

de­men­tia. The cruel dis­ease is said to have ad­vanced quicker than ex­pected and the 83-yearold has been down­graded from his royal en­gage­ments.

In pre­vi­ous years, Queen Mar­grethe has been adamant she would never ab­di­cate. Yet, that was be­fore Hen­rik’s dis­ease reached new lows.

On top of that, Mar­grethe isn’t get­ting any younger. Now with an ill hus­band to care for, she is likely to want to take a step back from du­ties.

It has been ap­par­ent for some time that Fred­erik and Mary have been pre­par­ing for the top job. In re­cent years, the cou­ple have steadily in­creased their royal du­ties and in the process earned a rep­u­ta­tion as the dar­lings of Den­mark.

Fred­erik has also ma­tured in the eyes of the Danes. He is con­sid­ered an es­tab­lished and re­spon­si­ble fam­ily man, who is ready to take the throne.

‘Next year, Crown Prince Fred­erik will be 50 years old. He is as ready as he can be to be­come king,’ royal ex­pert Se­bas­tian says.

Mary has also put her full sup­port be­hind her hus­band. In a photo book re­leased last month, Mary de­tailed how, when Fred­erik be­comes king, he is likely to be the type of leader who re­mains true to him­self. Mary also high­lighted Fred­erik’s hon­esty as his lead­er­ship strength.

With in­creased chat­ter sur­round­ing the changeover, it ap­pears to be not a mat­ter of ‘if ’ but ‘when’ the queen will step down in favour of Fred­erik.

An up­com­ing an­nounce­ment would also ex­plain Mary’s planned trip home to Aus­tralia.

The royal court con­firmed that Mary, Fred­erik and their chil­dren will be cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas Down Un­der.

There was ini­tially some crit­i­cism in the Dan­ish press over their de­ci­sion to leave Mar­grethe and Hen­rik alone.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­pert Klaus Kjoller ex­plained that it was per­ceived as ‘strange’ for the royal fam­ily to be apart for the hol­i­days, par­tic­u­larly since it may be the last Christ­mas that Prince Hen­rik is rel­a­tively well.

But if Fred­erik and Mary are on the verge of be­ing named king and queen, it makes sense Mary would want the fam­ily to re­turn to Aus­tralia once more.

When the cou­ple are as­signed new ti­tles, their royal du­ties will in­crease ten­fold. For Mary, this will mean fewer op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­turn to Aus­tralia to catch up with fam­ily and friends.

Mary ar­rived Down Un­der last week with her fam­ily to spend Christ­mas with friends and rel­a­tives.

Philip was born a prince of Den­mark.

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