King Frederik X visits Danish parliament on his first formal work day as Denmark's new monarch

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Fireworks are released for the new Danish King Frederik X over the historic amusement park Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. Denmark's new King took over the crown on Sunday from his mother, Queen Margrethe II, who was breaking with centuries of Danish royal tradition and retired after a 52-year reign. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

COPENHAGEN – Denmark’s new King Frederik X visited the Danish parliament Monday, on his first formal day on the job, a day after his mother, Queen Margrethe, abdicated after 52 years on the throne.

"We begin our responsible work as Denmark’s king in the belief that the Danish parliament will meet us in joint work for the good of the kingdom," the king said through Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. As is tradition, the monarch doesn’t speak directly to lawmakers so Frederiksen read his speech. The king referred to himself as “we” using what is known as the majestic plural.

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Søren Gade, the Speaker of Parliament, said to Frederik that “I have great confidence that he will be an excellent king for us all. And by his side has an excellent queen.” Sitting next to the king was his Australian-born wife, Queen Mary.

Frederik, 55, and Mary, 51, arrived at the Folketing in a royal limousine and were greeted by Gade and senior lawmakers.

Margrethe stood at the top of the stairs to the Christiansborg Palace and saw her son and daughter-in-law arrive.

Inside, the royals sat on the royal balcony overlooking the 179-member Folketinget assembly. Frederik was smiling as he sat on the first row next to Mary and their oldest son, Crown Prince Christian who is 18. Margrethe sat behind them.

The more than one-hour visit during which Frederik met lawmakers, included members of the far-left party, the Unity List, which is opposed to the monarchy but stood up as the royals entered the room.

“We always participate in meetings in the Folketing, that is why we were there today,” said Rosa Lund, a senior member of the Unity List. However, the small party’s lawmakers abstained from attending a reception for the new king that followed the brief session in the assembly because they are republicans, Lund said.

On Sunday, massive crowds cheered as Frederik and Mary appeared on the balcony of the Christiansborg Palace, which houses the parliament and other institutions.

Frederik was proclaimed king by Frederiksen shortly after Margrethe had signed her abdication during a meeting with the government at the Christiansborg Palace on Sunday.

The prime minister read the proclamation three times, which is the tradition, as Frederik stood beside her wore a ceremonial military uniform adorned with medals. He was then joined on the balcony by Mary and the couple’s four children. The huge crowd on parliament square spontaneously sang the national anthem.

An estimated 300,000 people took part in Sunday's celebrations, Danish cell phone operator “3” said Monday, citing data from telephone masts located in the area around the Christiansborg Palace, a nearby square and the royal residence of Amalienborg Palace.

Danish railways DSB said that there were more than 230,000 travelers on the Copenhagen network on Sunday, Danish broadcaster DR said.

When Margrethe became queen in 1972, she also visited parliament the day after she was acclaimed.

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