Queen Margrethe will hand over the throne of Europe’s oldest continuous monarchy to her son, who becomes King Frederik X.
The 83-year-old queen, who was crowned in 1972, announced on live TV during her traditional New Year's Eve speech on Sunday that she intends to abdicate the throne, taking many in the country of 5.9 million people by surprise.
Margrethe was born in April 16, 1940, one week after the Nazi invasion of Denmark. She became queen following the death of her father, King Frederick IX, on January 14, 1972.
She is the first female sovereign of Denmark since Margrethe I, who ruled the Scandinavian kingdoms from 1375-1412 during the Kalmar Union.
She can trace heritage over 1,000 years to king Gorm the Old, believed to be born around 900.
Queen Margrethe is a talented artist who has produced book illustrations and costume designs.
Unlike British royal tradition, there will be no formal crowning ceremony for Crown Prince Frederik. Instead, his accession will be announced from Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen on the day.
He will become King of Denmark and head of state in the country – which is a constitutional monarchy – as well as in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
The Danish royal family can trace heritage over 1,000 years to king Gorm the Old, believed to be born around 900.