Denmark abdication: Here’s a list of other royals who gave up the throne

Queen Margrethe II signed her declaration of abdication on Sunday

Denmark royal abdication Denmark's Queen Margrethe II, centre, signs a declaration of abdication in the Council of State at Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen | AP

Ending her 52-year reign as Denmark's longest-serving monarch, Queen Margrethe II signed her declaration of abdiction on Sunday. Her eldest son Frederik became the king and head of the state.

Thousands of people gathered on the streets of Copenhagen to bid farewell to Margrethe.

Abdication has become more common now. Here's a look at some sovereigns who have handed over their thrones to their younger and more energetic heirs in the past.

Akihito of Japan

Emperor Akihito abdicated in 2019 at the age of 85, citing old age and health issues. He handed over the throne to his son Emperor Naruhito. It was Japan's first abdication in two centuries.

The emperor emeritus is 90 years old.

Juan Carlos of Spain

Juan Carlos I (86) abdicated in disgrace in 2014. Once he has been so popular among the Spaniards, however, things took a turn in 2020.

In his young days, Carlos played a key role in ensuring Spain's safe transition from decades of Francisco Franco's dictatorship rule to a modern constitutional monarchy.

However, after injuring himself on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana at a time when his country was suffering an economic crisis hit his reputation. He had left Spain amid investigations into his involvement in alleged financial wrongdoings.

His son King Felipe has tried to rebuild the reputation of the House of Bourbon after his father's actions.

Beatrix of the Netherlands

After a 33-year reign, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands announced her abdication in 2013, shortly before turning 75. Her son King Willem-Alexander took over the throne.

Announcing her decision, she said it was time now to hand over responsibility to a new generation.

Albert II of Belgium

Three months after Beatrix' abdication, King Albert II decided to hand over the throne to his son, Philippe. At 79, Albert said his age and health no longer allowed him to fulfil all of his duties.

He was the first king to voluntarily abdicate since Belgium gained its independence in 1830.

Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar

Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar was also among the rash of royals who retired in 2013, handing over power to his fourth son. He announced his decision at the age of 61. The move was viewed as an indirect acknowledgment of the demands for reforms opened by the Arab Spring.

(With PTI inputs)


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