Controversy in Denmark Over King Frederik's Decision to Go on Vacation After a Month on the Throne

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.14 - 2024 10:35 AM CET

Photo: Keld Navntoft - Kongehuset
Photo: Keld Navntoft - Kongehuset
Controversy in Denmark Over King Frederik's Decision to Go on Vacation After a Month on the Throne.

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King Frederik X was introduced as the new King of Denmark on January 14th, following his mother, Queen Margrethe's historic decision to abdicate in favor of her firstborn. Thus, the Danish monarch and his wife, Queen Mary, began their journey as the new sovereigns of the Nordic country, with a new official agenda and a presumably busy future.

At least, until now. Just a month after the coronation ceremony, the Danish royal family has decided to take their first vacation from their monarchical duties. This decision has sparked controversy in Denmark, as the departure of the new king has reinstated Queen Margrethe to her position, this time as regent, just a few weeks later.

The Danish royal family began their winter vacation last Saturday at their luxurious residence in the Swiss Alps. A second home, located at the foot of the exclusive Verbier resort, where the monarchs visit every season to unwind with their family, taking advantage of the break in the school calendar that occurs in some European countries.

However, this is the first time they make this trip as king and queen, rather than crown prince and princess, leading some to question if they should have been more cautious with their plans, considering it has only been a few weeks since Frederik was proclaimed king.

Lars Hovbakke Sørensen, a royalty expert, explained in statements to the Danish newspaper SE og HØR, that despite the short notice with which the king knew he would assume his duties as monarch, it is "somewhat unusual" for them to decide to take a vacation.

For the moment, the Danish royal house has not commented on the rumors and speculations circulating around this controversial decision. Nevertheless, the Danes remain at ease, as all matters of the head of state are currently in the hands of Queen Margrethe, the mother of the current king and who held the position until a few days ago.

His last official trip - alone - was to Poland, a decision that was also unusual, though already explained as a trip scheduled before his mother's decision to abdicate the throne. This first foreign trip of the new king was highly commented upon, as there is a tradition in Denmark for new sovereigns to begin their foreign visits by visiting the neighboring countries of Sweden and Norway.

The Nordic countries' trip, however, has already been scheduled. As announced by the royal house, the kings will travel to Sweden and Norway next May, marking their first state tour abroad as Danish sovereigns.

The kings will first travel to Stockholm to meet with King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia; they will then visit Oslo, where they will be received by King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. In June and July, they will visit Denmark's most remote territories: the Faroe Islands and Greenland.