When Margaret II acceded to the throne of Denmark in 1972, she was received with skepticism by the then prime minister, the historic social democrat Otto Jens Krag. “Collaborating with a new queen may be more complicated,” Krag wrote in his diary. “Plus, she’s politically savvy, which isn’t necessarily an advantage.”

After announcing her abdication on New Year’s Eve, the best proof of the extraordinary success of Margaret’s reign has been the tribute paid to her in her New Year’s message by the current prime minister, also a social democrat Mette Frederiksen: “I myself was not born a monarchist. I “I became a monarchist thanks to the queen. We have been blessed in our lives with a wise and well-informed head of state. To our queen, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Margarita, 83 years old, thus gives her son Federico, 55, a crown that registers maximum popularity. According to the most recent polls, around 75% of the population supports constitutional monarchy as a form of government, while more than 80% have a positive opinion of the future king. Despite even such high-profile scandals as his mysterious Madrid getaway with the Mexican socialite Genoveva Casanova.

Frederiksen also praised the heir: “The queen has said it in her own way: ‘I have complete confidence in my son’. I must add that the rest of us do too. Because we know our future king. The elders have seen him grow up. Those of the same age have grown up with him: studying, doing military service, going to concerts, playing sports and starting a family at the same time. He is an especially close man.”

Starting January 14, the prince will succeed his mother and become Frederick X.

Margaret II, Europe’s oldest monarch at 83, always said that abdicating was not part of her plans because being queen was a “duty for life”, but the delicate back operation she had to undergo in February 2023 has ended up anticipating his retirement: “Time wears out. One can no longer undertake the same tasks as in the past. The operation made me think about the future, about whether it was not time to pass on responsibility to the next generation. I have decided that Now is the right time.”

Prime Minister Frederiksen’s speech, broadcast live just an hour and a half before the start of the traditional New Year’s gala dinner at the Amalienborg royal palace, reflected the dimension that Margaret’s figure has reached after 52 years of reign . “That the monarchy continues to exist as an institution is, above all, the merit of the person Margaret,” he assured, continuing to address the queen directly: “What you have achieved is an extraordinary achievement. Its importance cannot be overestimated. You have been “our anchor when it has been windy. Our conscience in the important questions of life. Our companion in the decades in which the Denmark of the future was built. You have been our point of support in what is close and in what is difficult.”

Currently, republicanism here is an absolutely paralyzed cause. Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, Minister of Social Affairs and Housing, today a Social Democrat but with a past on the most militant extreme left, already said it upon her arrival at the gala dinner: “I am a non-practicing Republican.” In an additional nod to the queen, Rosenkrantz-Theil wore a daisy-shaped brooch on her dress.

On Sunday, after the queen’s announcement, spokespeople for the only two parties in the Danish Parliament that, at least from a theoretical perspective, define themselves as republican also praised her. “Whether he is a monarchist or a republican, it must be said that he has carried out his job in the best possible way,” wrote Pelle Dragsted, political spokesperson for the Unitary List. Pia Olsen Dyhr, leader of the Popular Socialist Party, was even more effusive: “Thank you for your wise words that, time and again, unite the nation!”

For now, Federico continues riding the wave of popular sympathy driven by his mother. Some media, however, warn that new Genoveva-style skids could squander the extensive credit that he still enjoys. On the 30th, the rather monarchical newspaper Jyllands-Posten listed recent and not so recent errors. In addition to his night at the home of Cayetano Martínez de Irujo’s ex-wife, he mentioned, for example, his attendance at a climate conference held in November in the city of Aalborg, located 417 kilometers northeast of Copenhagen. He traveled by plane to be picked up at the airport by a hybrid Audi from the Royal Family that made the trip in both directions (834 kilometers in total) just to take Federico from the airport to the event venue, a journey that is covered in just 10 minutes.

For experts in the Royal House, whether Federico can repeat his mother’s success will also depend on his ability to emulate Margarita’s ability to give her opinion on important issues without giving the impression that she goes beyond the neutrality of her role. .

In this sense, many media have recovered some statements by the queen in a 1988 interview: “When it is said that I can’t say anything, it is forgotten that I can think something. I can think what I want, like everyone else. What “I shouldn’t do is say everything I think. Something that, perhaps, it would be good for more people to do from time to time.”