Frederick VIII of Denmark

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Frederick VIII
Frederik IIX - Otto Bache.jpg
Painting by Otto Bache, 1910
King of Denmark
Reign29 January 1906 – 14 May 1912
Predecessor Christian IX
Successor Christian X
Prime Ministers
Born(1843-06-03)3 June 1843
The Yellow Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Died14 May 1912(1912-05-14) (aged 68)
Hamburg, German Empire
Burial
Spouse
Louise of Sweden
(m. 1869;died 1926)
Issue
Detail
Full name
Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl
House Glücksburg
Father Christian IX of Denmark
Mother Louise of Hesse-Kassel
Religion Lutheran

Frederick VIII (Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl) (3 June 1843 – 14 May 1912) was King of Denmark from 1906 to 1912.

Contents

Before his accession to the throne at age 62, he served as crown prince for over 42 years. During the long reign of his father, King Christian IX, he was largely excluded from influence and political power.

Crown prince heir to the throne

A crown prince is the male heir apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. Its female form is crown princess, which may refer either to an heir apparent or, especially in earlier times, the wife of the person styled crown prince.

Christian IX of Denmark King of Denmark

Christian IX was King of Denmark from 1863 until his death in 1906. From 1863 to 1864, he was concurrently Duke of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg.

Early life

Frederick's birthplace, the Yellow Palace in Copenhagen Det Gule Palae Copenhagen.jpg
Frederick's birthplace, the Yellow Palace in Copenhagen
Crown Prince Frederick in military uniform ca. 1863-1868 Frederic8-(1863-1868).jpeg
Crown Prince Frederick in military uniform ca. 1863-1868
Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Louise of Sweden Fredrik og Lovisa.jpg
Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Louise of Sweden

Frederick was born on 3 June 1843 in the Yellow Palace in Copenhagen as Prince Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior male line of the House of Oldenburg, which was descended from Christian III of Denmark and which had ruled as non-sovereign dukes in Schleswig-Holstein for eight generations, including Frederick's grandfather. Frederick's parents were Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Louise of Hesse-Kassel.

Copenhagen Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

House of Oldenburg dynasty

The House of Oldenburg is a European dynasty of North German origin. It is one of Europe's most influential royal houses, with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Iceland, Greece, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Schleswig, Holstein, and Oldenburg. The current Queen of Denmark and King of Norway, the former King of Greece, the consort of the monarch of the United Kingdom, as well as the first fourteen persons in the line of succession to the British throne, are all patrilineal members of the Glücksburg branch of this house.

Christian III of Denmark King of Denmark and Norway

Christian III reigned as King of Denmark from 1534 until his death, and King of Norway from 1537 until his death. During his reign, Christian established Lutheranism as the state religion within his realms as part of the Protestant Reformation.

In 1853, his father was chosen as the heir presumptive to the Danish throne, because Frederick's mother, Louise of Hesse-Kassel, was a close relative of the last Danish king of the Oldenburg main line (the other heirs of the House of Hesse renounced their claims to the Danish throne in favour of Louise and her husband). Accordingly, Frederick became a Prince of Denmark in 1853.

House of Hesse European noble house originating from Hesse, Germany

The House of Hesse is a European dynasty, directly descended from the House of Brabant. It ruled the region of Hesse, with one branch as prince-electors until 1866, and another branch as grand dukes until 1918.

After his confirmation in 1860, Frederick was given a military education. In 1863, Prince Frederick was sent to do studies at the University of Oxford but when his father ascended the throne in November that year, he became Crown Prince and returned to Denmark.

Confirmation rite where baptism is confirmed in several Christian denominations

In Christian denominations that practice infant baptism, confirmation is seen as the sealing of Christianity created in baptism. Those being confirmed are known as confirmands. In some denominations, such as the Anglican Communion and Methodist Churches, confirmation bestows full membership in a local congregation upon the recipient. In others, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Confirmation "renders the bond with the Church more perfect", because, while a baptized person is already a member, "reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace".

University of Oxford University in Oxford, United Kingdom

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

As Crown Prince of Denmark, he was given a seat in the State Council and subsequently assisted his father in the duties of government.

In 1864, he formally took part in the Second Schleswig War against Prussia.

Marriage

Louise of Hesse wanted her eldest son to marry as well as her two daughters, Alexandra and Dagmar, had. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom had two yet unmarried daughters, Princess Helena and Princess Louise, and Louise tried to marry Frederick to one of them. However, the British Queen didn't want her daughters to marry the heirs to foreign crowns, as this would force them to live abroad. She preferred German princes who could establish homes in the UK. In addition, Victoria had always been pro-German and another Danish alliance (Frederick's sister, Alexandra, had married Victoria's eldest son, the Prince of Wales), would not have been in line with her German interests.

In July 1868, Frederick became engaged to Princess Louise of Sweden, the 17-year-old only daughter of King Charles XV of Sweden and IV of Norway. Princess Louise's family was related by marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte. She belonged to the Bernadotte dynasty, which had ruled in Sweden since 1818, when the founder, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleon's generals, was elected crown prince of Sweden in 1810 and later succeeded the throne as Charles XIV of Sweden in 1818. He married Désirée Clary, who had once been engaged to the French Emperor. Charles XIV's son, Oscar I of Sweden, married Josephine of Leuchtenberg, granddaughter of Napoleon's first wife, the Empress Josephine. King Oscar I and Queen Josephine were Princess Louise's paternal grandparents.

The marriage was suggested as a way of creating friendship between Denmark and Sweden. The two countries were in a tense situation after Sweden had not assisted Denmark during the war with Prussia in 1864. Frederick and Louise had met for the first time in 1862, but in 1868 Frederick was invited to Sweden to get to know Louise, and their meeting was described as a success. They became engaged the same year. She was the first Swedish princess to be married into the Danish royal house since the Middle Ages, and the marriage was welcomed in all three Scandinavian countries as a symbol of the new Scandinavism.

Crown Prince Frederick and Louise of Sweden married at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on 28 July 1869. The couple resided at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, spending the summers at Charlottenlund Palace north of the city. They had four sons and four daughters. The marriage was not a happy one, nor did it have any effect on the relationship between the two countries.

Reign

The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII, photographed on 20 May 1910. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia, King George I of the Hellenes and King Albert I of the Belgians. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark. The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII.jpg
The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII, photographed on 20 May 1910. Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia, King George I of the Hellenes and King Albert I of the Belgians. Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.
Frederick VIII in 1909 Frederik VIII of Denmark 1909.jpg
Frederick VIII in 1909

Frederick became king of Denmark as Frederick VIII on Christian IX's death on 29 January 1906. He was 62 years old at the time and had been Crown Prince for 43 years.

In many ways Frederick VIII was a liberal ruler who was much more favorable to the new parliamentarian system than his father had been. Because of his very late accession to the throne he had only a few years to show his ability and he was weakened by ill health.

Death

On his return journey from a trip to Nice, King Frederick made a short stop in Hamburg, staying at the Hotel Hamburger Hof. The evening of his arrival on 14 May 1912, Frederick (incognito) took a walk on the Jungfernstieg. While walking he became faint and collapsed on a park bench and died. He was discovered by a police officer who took him to a Hafen hospital where he was pronounced dead. His cause of death was announced as a paralysis-attack. He was interred with other members of the Danish royal family in Roskilde Cathedral near Copenhagen.

Legacy

The royal families of Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Luxembourg are descended from King Frederick VIII. Denmark comes naturally, Norway's family goes through the line of his son, Prince Carl, and the families of Belgium and Luxembourg are descended from his daughter, Princess Ingeborg of Denmark.

Titles, styles and honours

Styles of
Frederick VIII of Denmark
Royal Monogram of King Frederik VIII of Denmark.svg
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty

Titles and styles

His full style was Frederick VIII, By the Grace of God, King of Denmark, of the Wends and of the Goths; Duke of Schleswig, Holstein, Stormarn, the Ditmarsh, Lauenburg and Oldenburg

Honours

King Frederick VIII Land in Greenland is named after him.

Frederick VIII was Colonel-in-Chief of The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and received several orders.

Ancestry

Issue

NameBirthDeathSpouseChildren
Christian X of Denmark 26 September 187020 April 1947 Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Frederik IX of Denmark
Knud, Hereditary Prince of Denmark
Haakon VII of Norway 3 August 187221 September 1957 Princess Maud of Wales Olav V of Norway
Princess Louise of Denmark 17 February 18754 April 1906 Prince Frederick of Schaumburg-Lippe Marie Louise, Princess Friedrich Sigismund of Prussia
Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe
Stephanie, Princess Viktor Adolf of Bentheim and Steinfurt
Prince Harald of Denmark 8 October 187630 March 1949 Princess Helena Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg Feodora, Princess Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe
Caroline-Mathilde, Hereditary Princess of Denmark
Alexandrine-Louise, Countess Luitpold of Castell-Castell
Prince Gorm of Denmark
Count Oluf of Rosenborg
Princess Ingeborg of Denmark 2 August 187812 March 1958 Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland Margaretha, Princess Axel of Denmark
Märtha Louise, Crown Princess of Norway
Astrid, Queen of the Belgians
Prince Carl, Duke of Östergötland
Princess Thyra of Denmark 4 March 18802 November 1945unmarriednone
Prince Gustav of Denmark 4 March 18875 October 1944unmarriednone
Princess Dagmar of Denmark 23 May 189011 October 1961Jørgen CastenskioldCarl Castenskiold
Christian Castenskiold
Jørgen Castenskiold
Dagmar Castenskiold
Christian Frederik Castenskjold

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References

  1. "No. 27292". The London Gazette . 8 March 1901. p. 1647.
Frederik VIII
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 3 June 1843 Died: 14 May 1912
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Christian IX
King of Denmark
1906–1912
Succeeded by
Christian X