Denmark's aging queen to resume most duties next month

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, whose half-century reign makes her Europe’s longest-serving monarch, is expected to resume most of her official duties on her 83rd birthday next month, the palace said Thursday.

Margrethe underwent back surgery on Feb. 22, and her “physical rehabilitation is going well, but there will continue to be a number of major tasks that (she) cannot carry out as planned in the coming months,” the palace said.

Some of the official engagements will likely be handled by other members of the royal family, chiefly Margrethe’s oldest son, heir to the throne Crown Prince Frederik, and his wife, Crown Princess Mary.

For her birthday on April 16, Margrethe plans to appear on the balcony of the Amalienborg, the downtown Copenhagen home of the Danish royals, to receive the cheers of well-wishers.

The palace said it would be her first appearance on the balcony in five years because she spent her birthdays in 2019 and 2022 at a palace in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city. She celebrated her birthday privately in 2020 and 2021 due to restrictions on gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Danish Constitution gives Margrethe, Denmark’s head of state, no political power, and her duties are ceremonial. She was proclaimed queen on Jan. 15, 1972, following the death of her father.

The Associated Press