Just days before Princess Mary becomes a Queen, the Danish royal family has announced some major news.
The palace has confirmed what Mary and husband Frederik’s new titles will be after Queen Margrethe announced she would abdicate the throne on January 14.
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Frederik, Margrethe’s eldest son, will ascend the throne on that day, becoming His Majesty King Frederik X.
Princess Mary, his wife of nearly 20 years, will become Her Majesty Queen Mary.
Together, they will be known as the King and Queen of Denmark.
When Frederik becomes King, the pair’s eldest son, 18-year-old Prince Christian, becomes the heir apparent and will assume the title of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Christian.
Hidden meaning in new Princess Mary photo as she prepares to become Queen
Princess Mary to become Queen of Denmark after surprise abdication
Margrethe will be referred to as Her Majesty Queen Margrethe even after her abdication.
The monarch, 83, made the shock announcement that she was stepping down during her annual New Year’s address.
In her speech, Margrethe explained that recent back surgery had prompted her to think about the future.
Queen Margrethe II announced her abdication during her New Year’s speech. Credit: EPA
“In February this year, I underwent extensive back surgery. It went well, thanks to the skilled healthcare staff who took care of me,” she said.
“Of course, the operation also gave rise to thinking about the future — whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation.
“I have decided that now is the right time. On 14 January 2024 — 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father — I will step down as Queen of Denmark.
“I leave the throne to my son, Crown Prince Frederik.”
She is the longest-serving monarch in Europe, acceding to the throne 52 years ago.
Frederik and Mary will become the King and Queen of Denmark when Queen Margrethe abdicates on January 14, 2024. Credit: Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images Europe
Those hoping for a British-style coronation ceremony full of pomp and grandeur will be disappointed, however.
Frederik will not have a formal coronation — the changeover will simply be announced from Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen on the day.
Some have speculated that Margrethe has stepped down to allow Frederik and Mary to become King and Queen in an attempt to solidify the royal family after a number of scandals.
Queen Margrethe II, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary in 2020. Credit: Keld Navntoft/AP
The children of Frederik’s brother, Prince Joachim, were stripped of their royal titles early in 2023 as Margrethe endeavoured to create a “trimmed-down” version of the monarchy to suit modern times.
That prompted rumours of a split between Frederik’s family and Joachim’s family.
But things were to become even more complicated late in 2023, when a Spanish publication aired unverified rumours that Frederik was having an affair with Mexican socialite Genoveva Casanova.
Casanova furiously denied the claims, and Frederik and Mary have since presented a united front in public, with the royal family declining to address the unsubstantiated rumours.
Left: Genoveva Casanova. Right: Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Credit: Getty
Dialling back more than 20 years, Frederik and Mary first met at a Sydney bar during the 2000 Olympics.
Famously, Tasmanian-born Mary Donaldson said she had no idea that Frederik was Danish royalty when she began chatting to him at The Slip Inn pub.
The pair hit it off and had a long-distance romance before announcing their engagement in 2003.
They wed a year later on May 14, 2004 at Copenhagen Cathedral.
Frederik and Mary on their wedding day in 2004. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Since then, Princess Mary has been well and truly embraced by the Danish public.
The soon-to-be King and Queen are parents to Prince Christian, 18, Princess Isabella, 16, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, who will turn 13 on January 8.
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