Iceland celebrated New Year’s Eve with many fireworks, as the weather was perfect all over the country. However, the biggest news came on New Year’s Day when the sixth President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson announced in his New Year’s address that he will not seek re-election after serving two terms. Additionally, the last princess of Iceland, Margrethe Þórhildur II, also the Queen of Denmark, announced her retirement at 83 after reigning for 52 years as the queen of the Danes, Greenlanders, and Faroese. She was also the crown princess of Iceland for the first four years. Crown Prince Frederik will be taking over, but who will be the next President of Iceland? It will be exciting to see, but the first person to declare their candidacy was Halldór Laxness Halldórsson, also known as Dóri DNA, who is an actor, writer, and stand-up comedian.

The presidential elections will take place in five months, on 1 June. But Guðni Th said this, among other things, in his New Year’s address; “In a strong democratic society, it is important to recognize that no one is indispensable. One’s dedication to duty should not be driven by vanity or personal interests. Therefore, I have decided not to run for the upcoming presidential election this summer. I am confident that Icelanders will vote for a candidate they like, just as they have done in the past.”

At the Pond at midnight on 1 January.

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson speaks to the nation in his New Year’s address from Bessastaðir.

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson

Reykjavík 01/01/2024 –  A7C : FE 1.8/20mm G