Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, 82, will undergo 'major back surgery'
Europe’s longest-serving monarch and only reigning queen Margrethe II of Denmark, 82, will undergo ‘major back surgery’, Palace announces
- Margrethe II of Denmark will undergo ‘major back surgery’ later this month
- The 82-year-old is set to be hospitalised afterwards, the royal palace said
- READ: Denmark’s royal birthday girls! Danish Household shares stunning portraits of Princesses Mary, 51, and Marie, 47, to celebrate their big days
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark will undergo ‘major back surgery’ later this month, the royal palace said on Wednesday.
The 82-year-old, whose half-century reign makes her Europe’s longest-serving monarch, is set to be hospitalised afterwards and go through ‘a longer rehabilitation process’, the Danish royal household said in a statement.
‘During a long period, Her Majesty has been affected by problems with her back, and in recent times the situation has worsened,’ the announcement read.
Margrethe has decided to undergo ‘major back surgery’ on February 22 after consulting with doctors, the palace said, adding that several official engagements will either be postponed, cancelled or handled by other members of the royal family.
The oldest son of Denmark’s popular monarch, heir to the throne Crown Prince Frederik, 54, and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, 51, are likely to step in as well as Margrethe’s youngest son, Prince Joachim, 53, and his wife Princess Marie, 47, and the queen’s sister, Princess Benedikte, 78.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (pictured in September 2022) will undergo ‘major back surgery’ later this month, the royal palace said on Wednesday
In the past several days, Margrethe had cancelled events, including the opening of an exhibition in Copenhagen.
The Danish Constitution gives Margrethe, Denmark’s head of state, no political power and her duties are ceremonial.
She was proclaimed queen on January 15, 1972, a day after her father, King Frederik IX, died following a short illness.
Following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Margrethe became the only living Queen in the world.
She is also now the second longest-serving monarch in the world, second only to Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, after celebrating 50 years on the throne.
She is the world’s longest-serving current head of state. While the Sultan of Brunei has been a monarch since 1967, he only became head of state in 1984 – when Brunei gained independence from the UK.
It was a tumultuous autumn for the Danish Royal Family after the monarch stripped Prince Joachim’s four children of their prince and princess titles – a shocking move which he publicly spoke out against.
Speaking in a televised New Year’s address, Margrethe admitted: ‘That the relationship with Prince Joachim and (his wife) Princess Marie has run into difficulties hurts me.
The 82-year-old (pictured December 2022), whose half-century reign makes her Europe’s longest-serving monarch, is set to be hospitalised afterwards and go through ‘a longer rehabilitation process’, the Danish royal household said in a statement
The oldest son of Denmark’s popular monarch, heir to the throne Crown Prince Frederik (pictured front, right), 54, and his wife, Crown Princess Mary (pictured back, right), 51, are likely to step in as well as Margrethe’s youngest son, Prince Joachim, 53, and his wife Princess Marie (pictured together, back, left), 47, and the queen’s sister, Princess Benedikte, 78
‘Difficulties and disagreements can arise in any family, including mine. The whole country has witnessed this.’
She added that she was ‘sure that the family can enter the new year together with confidence, understanding and new courage’.
Last year, Prince Joachim publicly spoke out against his mother’s decision in the days that followed – claiming that his children, Nikolai, 23, and 20-year-old Felix – born from Joachim’s first marriage to Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg – and Henrik, 13, and Athena, 11, had been ‘harmed’ in the process.
Months later, the sixth-in-line to the throne admitted that ‘communication was missing’ within the Royal Family in the lead-up to the shock announcement.
Joachim told local news outlet B.T.: ‘There is a lot to work on. Communication was what was missing. Now we have met and we are on the right track.’
Shortly after his children were stripped of his titles, Joachim claimed that he had only been given five days’ notice before the news was made public.
Following the Queen’s announcement, Joachim spoke to Danish publication Ekstra Bladet outside the Danish Embassy in Paris, where he lives with his French-born wife Princess Marie and his two youngest children, and said his four children had been ‘hurt’ by their grandmother’s decision.
‘I was given five days’ notice to tell them. In May, I was presented with a plan which, by and large, was that when the children each turned 25, it would happen. Now I had only five days to tell them. Athena turns 11 in January,’ he clarified
Meanwhile, his ex-wife Alexandra said that her sons, Nikolai and Felix, had been left feeling ‘ostracised’ from the institution and the decision had come like a ‘bolt out of the blue’.
The Royal Household released a further statement, saying: ‘As the Queen stated yesterday, the decision has been a long time coming.
‘We understand that there are many emotions at stake at the moment, but we hope that the Queen’s wish to future-proof the Royal Household will be respected.’
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