When he witnessed his mother becoming the head of the monarchy, King Charles was a three-year-old boy. Back then, he was totally unaware that one day he would be the one overtaking the monarchy.
That day arrived with the passing of his mother, late Queen Elizabeth, who ruled the country over 70 years. Her reign spanned 14 US presidencies, from Truman to Joe Biden, and met all but one.
Charles waited long to become a king, and now his son William would ascend the throne in case of Charles’ passing or in case he abdicates, which very unlikely.
Over the last few decades, several European countries have seen their monarchs abdicate in favor of the younger generation of royals, most recently Denmark, when Queen Margrethe II of Denmark became the first Danish monarch to abdicate in more than 900 years. The country celebrated their new head of the monarchy, King Frederik X, in the capital of Copenhagen on Sunday and the Prince and Princess of Wales have closely followed the events unfolding.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announced her abdication on TV during her yearly speech on New Year’s Eve. The nation was shocked because no one expected it. She explained that she believed it was time for her son to take her place. Queen Margrethe II, 83, took the throne after her father, King Frederik IX, died in 1972.
“I will leave the throne to my son Crown Prince Frederik,” she said in the televised New Year’s address.
Another reason for this decision was the Queen’s ailing health and her advanced age. In 2023, she had undergone a back surgery and needed time to rest and rehabilitate.
“The surgery naturally gave rise to thinking about the future, whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation,” she said. “I have decided that now is the right time,” she added, thanking the Danish public for their support.
Her son was crowned King on January 14, 2024.
“Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II has abdicated; long live His Majesty King Frederik X’, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said as Frederik X was proclaimed King.
“The tradition of proclaiming an accession to the throne originates from olden days when a throne succession was announced to the people at the ‘landsting,’ or open assemblies, in the various regions of the country,” the Danish royal family website reads. “At that time, it occurred when a trusted public servant loudly proclaimed the accession to the throne to all four corners of the world so that everyone had the opportunity to hear it.
“As the proclamation now takes place from a balcony, the Prime Minister responsible for the proclamation abstains from turning in towards the Throne Room and thus makes the proclamation to three corners of the world.”
Less than two years of becoming King, Charles faces the pressure by the public to leave the throne to William, and Queen Margrethe II’s abdication only made things harder for Charles.
According to royal author Phil Dampier, Charles’ abdication may become a reality in a couple of years, as per the Daily Mail.
“It must make you wonder if in five or ten years’ time, King Charles might think about doing the same if his health suffers or he just thinks it is a good time to pass on to William and Kate while they are still young. Our late Queen would never abdicate because of what happened in 1936 when her uncle abdicated and her father came to the throne. But times change,” he said.
“William and Kate get on very well with Frederik and Mary and will be among the first to congratulate them. They will be fascinated to see how they get on as King and Queen and it will make them think about their future as well.”
The Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins believes King Charles should follow Queen Margrethe steps and do the same.
“Growing old should never be a bar to work, but age does not negotiate. Britain’s King Charles, after a long apprenticeship, has proved an active and popular figure in his term of office. He has shown no sign of ageing, other than perhaps his limp Christmas message. He is certainly entitled to a substantial reign after waiting so long,” Jenkins wrote.
“But not to death. Charles has a successor, William, well-trained and evidently suited for the job. The abdication of Beatrix of the Netherlands to Willem-Alexander in 2013 was an ideal precedent. It prompted an outpouring of gratitude for her reign, a welcome for her son, and a stronger monarchy as a result. The flamboyant conductor André Rieu had the Dutch joyously dancing in the streets in their thousands. There was none of the lugubriousness inevitably attached to Britain’s succession through death.”
Jenkins continued, “Abdication also indicates a nation able to keep its institutions fit for purpose. In slimming down the royal family, Charles has wisely indicated a desire to end such damaging princely sagas as those of Andrew and Harry. But he must surely go further in updating the office he should one day hand over to his son.”
Royal experts claim that Kate and William closely follow the abdication as the two would become a Queen and a King themselves.
Prince William is “noting how the transfer to Frederik X involves little other than the signing of papers, the changing of royal standards and a proclamation. For William, keen to downsize his own coronation, the relative simplicity may be appealing,” Daily Mail columnist Ephraim Hardcastle writes.
As William tends to modernize the monarchy, his coronation would likely be different than that of his father. One thing he hopes to ditch is the “homage of the people” at the coronation, which includes the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby inviting those in Westminster Abbey as well as the ones watching at home to swear their allegiance to the King.
“He is really thinking, how do we make his coronation feel most relevant in the future? He is mindful of the fact that in 20 years’ time, or whenever his time comes, how can the coronation be modern but also unifying to the nation and the Commonwealth? I think his coronation will look and feel quite different.”
As of Kate, she’s taking on more responsibilities this year as she prepares to become Queen. She’s very close to Mary, the new Queen Consort in Denmark.
“Kate, meanwhile, is said to be delighted that Crown Princess Mary is becoming Queen. She spent a lot of time in conversation with Mary at Royal Ascot when she visited in 2016,” Hardcastle wrote, as per Express.
“They exchanged numbers. Will her low-key elevation help Kate to pick up tips for her own no-fuss crowning?”
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