What is the line of succession to the Danish throne?

An explainer.
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After 52 years on the Danish throne, Queen Margrethe of Denmark announced she would be abdicating in favour of her eldest son Prince Frederik in her 2023 New Year’s Eve televised address.

WATCH NOW: Princess Mary’s children make fun of her Aussie accent. Article continues after video. 

Whilst Queen Margrethe ascended to the throne immediately after the death of her father, King Frederik IX on January 14th, 1972, her abdication means that she will now see her son rule as King of Denmark. 

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This is unlike Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away at the age of 96 on September 8th, 2022 after more than 70 years on the throne.

Following news of Queen Margrethe’s abdication, the line of succession to the Danish throne was altered, with a few surprising title changes also taking place.

The line of succession to the Danish throne. (Credit: The Royal House – Kongehuset)

How is the line of succession to the Danish throne formed?

From 1660 until 1849, the Danish monarchy was hereditary, meaning that the Crown was passed on to the next male descendant following the death of the sovereign. 

Despite transitioning to a constitutional monarchy in 1849, the rule of hereditary succession in favour of a male relative of the reigning monarch continued. 

This changed in 1953, when, following a referendum, Denmark voted in favour of female descendants of the reigning sovereign also being able to inherit the throne – but any male descendants would still have precedence. 

Given Margrethe was the eldest of two sisters, this amendment to the rules of succession paved the way for her to be crowned Queen following the death of her father. 

Queen Margrethe poses with her son, daughter in law, and four grandchildren. (Credit: Getty)

Most recently, in 2009, the Act of Succession to the Throne of the Kingdom of Denmark was amended once more to allow for the sovereign’s oldest child to inherit the throne – regardless of gender, allowing for absolute primogeniture. 

This now means that if the future King of Denmark, a now 18-year-old Prince Christian has a daughter before any sons, she will be the heir apparent to the Danish throne. 

It is also worth noting that only direct descendants of King Christian X of Denmark can stand in the line of succession to the throne. 

The new King and Queen of Denmark. (Credit: Getty)

What is the current line of succession to the Danish throne?

Following the abdication of Queen Margrethe, her son, Crown Prince Frederik will be known as His Royal Highness King Frederik the 10th. 

His son, Prince Christian, has now become heir to the throne and has assumed the title of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Christian.

His younger siblings Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine are now second, third, and fourth in line to the throne respectively. 

They are followed by their uncle Prince Joachim of Denmark, the younger brother of the newly crowned King Frederik, and his children Count Nikolai, Count Felix, and Count Henrik.  

Prince Christian is now next in line to the Danish throne. (Credit: Getty)

It is worth noting however that any heirs to the throne will be removed from the line of succession if they do not receive permission to marry from both the monarch and Council of State. 

Children born to unwed parents are also ineligible, as are their descendants. 

And whilst it is unlikely to happen, if no heirs remain in the current line of succession, the Council of State has the power to elect a new monarch and thus form a new line of succession. 

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