Queen Margrethe announces Henrik will retire from Royal duties in New Year’s speech

In Queen Margrethe of Denmark’s New Year speech, she announced her husband, Prince Henrik, will be retiring from his Royal duties.

Towards the end of the speech, The Queen, 75, thanked her husband of 48 years for his work at her side, before announcing his decision to step down from a full Royal schedule.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark announced the retirement of her husband, Prince Henrik, in her New Year's speech.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark announced the retirement of her husband, Prince Henrik, in her New Year’s speech.

“Tonight I would like to extend my best thanks to the Prince Consort. My husband has made the decision that the time has now come for him to “slow down” – or, if I may use a common Danish term – to retire.

“Going forward, the Prince Consort will therefore only to a very limited extent partake in the official events, which for so many years have been a natural part of his life.”

The Danish Queen said it was Prince Henrik’s decision to retired and that it is a decision she ‘understands and respects’.

Paying further homage to her husband, she said: “I am deeply grateful for all the support, help and inspiration he has given me over the years. I look forward to continuing to carry out my duties with the support of my husband, though it will be less visible.”

Beginning her speech, Margrethe mentioned the Charlie Hebdo attacks, followed by two attacks in Denmark, which saw two Danes lose their lives.

She continued, however to say that “our reaction must not become one of paralysing fear”, saying “we must adjust to our conditions” and “exercise vigilance”, but “live our every-day lives in confidence and in good spirits”

The refugee crisis also featured in the New Year’s speech, and she wished those refugees who have now found a home in Denmark and its islands a new start in 2016.

“We are healthier and fitter than previous generations,” Margrethe said. “We live longer, we have more leisure time and more opportunities to spend it. In short, we are extremely privileged compared with the world at large.

“Nevertheless, it sometimes looks as if more people worry more about less. Do we eat too much? Do we eat healthy enough?” she questioned. “Are the instructions for use understandable? How to make our mark so that everybody can see how important we are, each and every one? How will we cope when we grow old – and live to a great old age; that is what we want. We should notice that most of us are healthier and fitter than our parents or grandparents were.”

Perhaps from the viewpoint of a grandmother, The Queen said that “We should probably not worry so much about our children…We cannot hold their hands forever.” Adding that children must be given room so they “get the chance to learn any lessons of their own”.

Referring to trips she and Prince Henrik made this year, to the Danish territory of Greenland, Margrethe described the two-weeks there as “another unforgettable meeting with the Land of Human Beings.” The couple had a trip to the other territory of the Faroe Islands planned, but the visit was cancelled, but promised the couple would travel next summer instead: “See you next summer!” she said.

Danish doctors, nurses and soldiers helped in the Ebola effort earlier this year and Margrethe made a special thank you for their work, as well as those who assisted in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. Speaking of the Danish forces, The Queen said: “I wish to thank all who have been posted abroad.

“I wish all of you, both those at home and those who are abroad right now, a happy New Year.”

“With all my heart: Happy New Year 2016! God bless Denmark,” the speech ended.

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