Denmark's beloved Queen Margrethe II, who at 82 is Europe's longest serving head of state, is to undergo a major back operation, the palace said on Wednesday.
The procedure is scheduled for February 22 at the Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen's main hospital where the queen will also convalesce.
A popular figure after ruling for 51 years, she has suffered from back pain for a long time, the palace said.
Margrethe last week cancelled a planned vacation in Norway.
A polyglot known for her sharp wit and chain smoking, Margrethe ascended to the throne in January 1972 and became Europe's longest serving head of state, and the world's second longest reigning monarch, when Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022.
"I'll stay on the throne until I fall down from it," she once quipped.
Thousands of people turned out last year to celebrate her 50th anniversary on the throne in a country where 80 percent of the population consider themselves monarchists, according to opinion polls.
© Agence France-Presse
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