Who will be Europe’s longest-reigning monarch after Queen Margrethe’s abdication?

Photo: Linda Broström/The Royal Court of Sweden

After Queen Margrethe of Denmark abdicates on 14 January 2024, she will no longer hold the title of Europe’s longest-reigning monarch (which she assumed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022).

So who will take that crown?

The honour will go to King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden who just celebrated his Golden Jubilee (50 years) in September 2023.

Carl Gustaf ascended the throne on 15 September 1973 after the death of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf. His enthronement took place a few days later on 19 September.

The King of Sweden became the heir apparent at the age of four when his grandfather ascended to the throne upon the death of Carl Gustaf’s great-grandfather, King Gustaf V.

Young Prince Carl Gustaf felt tragedy at a young age when his father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, died in a plane crash in Denmark. Carl Gustaf was only nine months old. And just a few years later, he was Crown Prince of Sweden.

The King was destined for the role and has led Sweden in many changes, including being the first European country to have absolute primogeniture – meaning the eldest child regardless of gender is the heir to the throne. He also streamlined the monarchy in 2019 by revoking the royal styles of his grandchildren from his younger two children; he also removed them from the Royal House.

King Carl XVI Gustaf’s heir is Crown Princess Victoria, who has two children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar.

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About the Author

Brittani Barger
Brittani is from the United States and has been researching, writing and reporting on the royals for over a decade. Successfully gaining exclusives and interviews with royals across the globe, Brittani left her role as an editor for another news site to help bring you Royal News. She's been seen on BBC World, WION News and other news programs to discuss the royal families.

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