Crown Prince Christian, 18, will reportedly act as regent during his absence
King Frederik of Denmark is packing his bags for his first trip abroad as sovereign.
The new King of Denmark, 55, will travel to Poland on Wednesday to lead a Danish business delegation during a three-day stay concluding on Friday. The agenda breaks with past precedent, as the Danish Royal House said it’s custom for a new sovereign to make their first trips abroad with their spouse to neighboring countries. However, the court specified that the Polish trip had been in the works for a while, maybe meaning that arrangements were before Frederik’s mother Queen Margrethe unexpectedly announced plans to abdicate on New Year’s Eve.
“On 31 January, HM The King begins an official business promotional campaign visit in Poland. His Majesty will be accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities Lars Aagaard and Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Jacob Jensen,” the Danish Royal House said in a statement, adding that energy efficiency, climate-friendly farming and biogas will be key areas of focus.
“The visit, which has been under preparation for quite a long time, takes place partly in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, where 38 Danish companies will participate in a business promotional campaign, as well as in the port city Szczecin, where The King will visit NATO’s regional headquarters and representatives of the Danish and Polish business community in the city, among other things,” the court said.
According to the official itinerary, the schedule includes a welcome at the Presidential Palace with Polish President Andrzej Duda, a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a Grand Dinner at the Royal Palace and more.
Queen Margrethe’s eldest son became King of Denmark when she abdicated at a Council of State at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen on Jan. 14, two weeks after she used her annual New Year’s Address to announce that she would step down on the 52nd anniversary of her accession to the throne. The news shocked most Danes as Queen Margrethe, 83, previously hinted that she intended to reign for life, positioning her to be the first Danish sovereign to voluntarily step down from the throne in nearly 900 years, per royal history.
In an interesting twist, Lene Balleby, director of communications for The Royal House of Denmark, told Berlingske before abdication day that the Queen gave her sons, the future King Frederik and Prince Joachim, just three days notice before she shared her plans with the world.
"I can confirm that the Queen informed both the Crown Prince and Prince Joachim about the decision on 28 December," Balleby told the local outlet on Jan. 10.
The official declined to disclose when the court and Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen were informed of the huge news.
"I can only state that it has been a very short run-up," Balleby said.
The transition was made official at Christiansborg Palace on Jan. 14, when Queen Margrethe signed a declaration of her abdication with her two immediate heirs by her side. As Frederik became the new monarch, his 18-year-old son Prince Christian became the new Crown Prince, taking his father’s former title. The change of reign affected the family dynamic forever, as Frederik’s wife became the new Queen Mary. Like Crown Prince Christian, the couple’s three younger children Princess Isabella, 16, and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine, 13, each moved up a spot in the line of succession as well.
King Frederik’s family was front and center on his accession day, and his wife and kids joined him on the balcony of the palace after the prime minister proclaimed his accession to the throne. The new King and Queen even shared a surprise kiss, defusing rumors of an alleged affair that made headlines in the fall.
In November 2023, reports swirled that Frederik was having an affair with Mexican-born socialite Geneveva Casanova after they were photographed together during his private trip to Madrid. Casanova denied allegations of a romantic relationship with the royal.
Though he has only been the Crown Prince for two weeks — and is still a teenager! — Crown Prince Christian will reportedly step up into an elevated royal role is away in Poland. The Danish Royal House confirmed to Ekstra Bladet that Christian will be the regent of Denmark while King Frederik is out of the country, meaning that he could act on his dad’s behalf as head of state.
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With no official plans on the calendar, it’s unlikely that Crown Prince Christian will be tapped for any extra responsibilities, and he could always ask his mom for advice. The court confirmed a few days before King Frederik’s accession that Queen Mary, 51, could also act as regent if her husband and eldest son were unable to execute their duties, such as during foreign travel.
King Frederik and Queen Mary are expected to visit Sweden and Norway for their first official joint trips of the new reign, and the court said the dates will be disclosed as soon as possible. The Scandinavian royal families are extremely close in both their royal duties and their personal connections, making the visits a natural fit.
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