King Frederik and Danish royals attend ‘celebratory church service’ in Aarhus

21 January 2024, 17:34

From second left, Denmark’s King Frederik X, Queen Mary, Prince Vincent, Crown Prince Christian, Princess Isabella and Princess Josephine and greet the crowd after a service on the occasion of the cha
Denmark Royals. Picture: PA

The service came exactly a week after Frederik, 55, was proclaimed king after his 83-year-old mother Margrethe signed her abdication.

Denmark’s royal family has participated in a special “celebratory church service” at Aarhus Cathedral as the new King Frederik X, accompanied by wife Queen Mary and mother Queen Margrethe, waved to crowds gathered outside the 12th-century building.

The royal family drove 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) through Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, from royal residence Marselisborg Castle to Aarhus Cathedral, which is the tallest church in the country.

The church service came exactly a week after Frederik, 55, was proclaimed king after his 83-year-old mother Margrethe signed her abdication during a meeting with the government.

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe, centre left, arrives for a service on the occasion of the change of throne in Denmark, at Aarhus Cathedral, in Aarhus, Denmark
Denmark’s Queen Margrethe at Aarhus Cathedral (Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

Aarhus resident Christina Elmstroem said she expects Frederik and Queen Mary to change the Danish monarchy “in their way”.

She brought her children to experience the “big, major event”.

“So, it was an opportunity to go and see the new king and my kids are very excited about it,” she said.

Henrik Wigh-Poulsen, bishop of the Diocese of Aarhus, told The Associated Press they had just a few weeks to plan the service, and Frederik had a hand in planning it.

Denmark’s King Frederik X greets the crowd after a service on the occasion of the change of throne in Denmark, in Aarhus Cathedral, Aarhus, Denmark
Denmark’s King Frederik X greets the crowd after a service at Aarhus Cathedral (Mikkel Berg Pederson/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

“Normally, you would spend three months planning this, but we (had) two-and-a-half weeks, something like that. So we have been very busy, I tell you,” he said.

“I chose some of the hymns we’re going to sing, and the king said, I would like to sing these hymns.”

The hour-long service marked Frederik’s first official visit as king outside the Danish capital Copenhagen.

Police expected around 70,000 people to line the royal route.

Denmark’s King Frederik X, Queen Mary, Crown Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent greet the crowd after a service on the occasion of the change of throne in Denmark, at Aarhus Cathedral, in Aarhus, Denmark
Frederik was proclaimed king after his mother Margrethe signed her abdication (Mikkel Berg Pedersen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

“I think he’s going to be a king of the people,” said Aarhus resident Charlotte Houman.

“I think he’s gonna embrace the people … he’s going to be different in his way of ruling.

“I think he’s going to be not too much top down, but he’s gonna be embracing the people, different kinds of people.

“And also being there not on this high pedestal somewhere.”

By Press Association

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