Could King Charles follow in Queen Margrethe's footsteps and step down from the throne? This royal expert thinks so

Queen Margrethe of Denmark shocked royal fans when she abdicated the throne on New Year's Day - but could King Charles do the same?

 Could King Charles III abdicate like Denmark's Queen Margrethe?
(Image credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Following Queen Margrethe of Denmark's shock abdication, one royal expert believes King Charles could be set to follow in her footsteps and pass the throne down to his son Prince William.

2024 began with a bang when Denmark's Queen Margrethe used her New Year's speech to announce that she will abdicate, or step down from, the throne to make way for her son, Crown Prince Frederik, and his wife, Princess Mary to take over. 

The news was surprisingly well-received by Denmark's public, reports The Mirror, who sympathised with the 83-year-old as she detailed how her recent back surgery influenced her decision to step down. 

"The surgery naturally gave rise to thinking about the future - whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation," she said in the speech. "I have decided that now is the right time. On 14 January 2024 – 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father – I will step down as queen of Denmark."

Queen Margrethe II

(Image credit: Photo by LISELOTTE SABROE/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

The news quickly prompted speculation over King Charles' reign, which has given us many memorable moments over its short 18 months. But according to one royal expert, it's likely we could see the King follow suit. Though, with the British monarch being eight years younger than the Danish Queen, we don't need to worry about anything happening anytime soon.

Speaking to MailOnline about Queen Margrethe's abdication, royal biographer Phil Dampier said, "It must make you wonder if in five or ten years’ time King Charles might think about doing the same if his health suffers or he just thinks it is a good time to pass on to William and Kate Middleton while they are still young."

It doesn't sound farfetched. Many had speculated before Queen Margrethe's announcement that Charles would pass the throne down to the younger generation, and one royal author even previously claimed that King Charles and Prince William have a 'deal' that the former would abdicate when he turns 80. 

King Charles and Prince William

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Our King: Charles III: The Man and the Monarch Revealed by Robert Jobson | £9.23 at Amazon

Our King: Charles III: The Man and the Monarch Revealed by Robert Jobson | £9.23 at Amazon

Released ahead of His Majesty's coronation, royal author Robert Jobson reflects upon King Charles as both a man and as Britain's monarch. He considers his motivations, driving passions and how his values will go on to influence his approach to his reign.

However, as Dampier points out, there is one thing that would likely hold Charles back from stepping down - his mother the late Queen Elizabeth's prideful sense of duty.

"Our late Queen would never abdicate because of what happened in 1936 when her uncle abdicated and her father came to the throne," said Dampier before adding, "But times change."

Many may think that the late Queen wouldn't be too worried about Charles abdicating as we were told in The Crown that she herself once considered stepping down from the throne. However, while the facts surrounding the aftermath of Princess Diana's death in 1997 and how the Royal Family coped with this enormous loss, and the show was pretty factually correct in showing who Kate and William dated before meeting each other, this plot line was completely fictional. 

Who knows, if The Crown ever makes a comeback, King Charles' abdication would make a great story...

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Freelance news writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with Good To, BBC Good Food and The Independent.