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Josefine 12-29-2003 03:56 AM

King Christian IX; Grandfather of Europe
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The Danish Monarchy can be traced back with certainty to Gorm the Old (d. 958). The monarchy was originally elective, but in practice the election normally fell on the eldest son of the reigning Monarch. In return, the King had to sign a Coronation Charter, which regulated the balance of power between himself and his people. When absolutism was introduced in 1660-1661, the elective monarchy was replaced by hereditary monarchy.

The succession, which was based on the principle of male primogeniture, was laid down in the Royal Decree of 1665. The democratic constitution of 5 June 1849 changed the monarchy’s status from absolute to constitutional. The Act of Succession of 27 March 1953 introduced the possibility of female succession, which enabled the current reigning Queen to accede the throne.

The direct lineage of the ancient Danish dynasty became extinct with the death of Christoffer III in 1448. Duke Christian of Oldenborg was chosen as his successor and became King of Denmark the same year, taking the name Christian I. He belonged to one of the collateral branches of the original dynasty and became the founder of the Royal Family of Oldenborg which reigned until 1863, when the last sovereign of that line, Frederik VII, died without issue.

In accordance with the Act of Succession of 1853, the throne passed therefore to his relative, Prince Christian of Glücksborg, who in direct male lineage, descended from the Royal House. On the death of Frederik VII, he acceded the throne as Christian IX, and became the first monarch of the current House of Glücksborg on the Danish throne. Christian IX eventually became known as ‘the Father-in-law of Europe’, because his daughter Princess Alexandra married Edward VII of England, another daughter Princess Dagmar married Czar Alexander III of Russia and yet another, Thyra, married Duke Ernst August of Cumberland. In 1863 his son Vilhelm became King of the Hellenes (known now as Greece) and used the name, George I; and in 1905 Christian IX's grandson Carl became King of Norway as Haakon VII. The Danish Royal House was thus directly related to many of Europe’s reigning Royal Houses.

Christian IX’s son, Frederik VIII, was 63 years of age when he finally acceded the throne in 1906. At his death in 1912 he was succeeded by his eldest son, Christian X, who reigned Denmark throughout both World Wars. He is best remembered as the “Equestrian King”, known for his horseback ride across the old border into the province of North Schleswig, after its reunion with Denmark in 1920. King Christian X became very popular during the German occupation of Denmark in 1940-1945. Every day he mounted his big white horse and rode on horseback through the streets of Copenhagen.

Christian X died in 1947 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Frederik IX who had married the Swedish Princess Ingrid in 1935. They had three daughters, Princess Margrethe (born 1940), Princess Benedikte (born 1944) and Princess Anne-Marie (born 1946).

Josefine 12-29-2003 03:58 AM

King Christian IX Grandfather of Europe
1 Attachment(s)
King of Denmark from 1863 to 1906

Motto: “With God for Honour and Justice”

Born: 8 April 1818

Son of: Duke Wilhelm of Schleswig-Holstein-Sønderborg-Glücksborg and Princess Louise Caroline of Hessen-Kassel

Married 26 May 1842 to Princess Louise of Hessen-Kassel (1817-1898)

Children: Princes: Frederik (VIII), Wilhelm (George I), and Valdemar. Princesses: Alexandra, Dagmar and Thyra

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Josefine 12-29-2003 04:17 AM

here is a great link for his Biography

his oldost son became Frederik VIII, King of Denmark (1843-1912) who married Princess Lovisa of Sweden link

His daughter Alexandra married the prince pf wales, queen victorias son and became Queen of England link

his son prince william Was elected as king of Greece , he took the name King George I of Greece link

His daughter Dagmar married the tsarevitch Nicholas they later became Emperor Alexander III amd Empress Marie Feodorovna link

princess Thyra married Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, Duke of Cumberland link

prince Waldemar got married to a French princess, the daughter of the Duc de Chartres and niece of the Comte de Paris, pretender to the French throne. She was Princess Marie of Orleans, who in consequence was a great-granddaughter of the last French King, Louis Phillip. link

Josefine 01-02-2004 12:46 PM

I saw a documentary about the children of the king Christian IX of Denmark
Have any of you seen it

Sean.~ 01-02-2004 02:10 PM


Originally posted by Josefine@Jan 2nd, 2004 - 12:46 pm
I saw a documentary about the children of the king Christian IX of Denmark
Have any of you seen it

There was a documentary on his descendants titled "A Royal Family". The Website address is

You can listen to clips, view the family tree, look at pictures etc.

Sean. ~

Josefine 04-30-2005 04:24 AM

Yes thats the one, I really enjoyed watching it

Lady Jean 10-10-2005 12:09 AM

"A Royal Family: The Father-in-Law of Europe" six part series will air on PBS in the USA starting this week!

It will be on Channel 13 from 8-9 pm EST on Thursday 10/13, airing for the next five weeks at that same time slot.

Royal Fan 10-12-2005 03:52 PM

He seems like such an interesting man

ysbel 10-24-2005 01:35 PM

Thanks Josefine. This is an interesting period in Danish history.

Are there any photographs of his daughters Alexandra and Dagmar when they were still Danish princesses?

I find the history of their early family life in Der Gule Palae very interesting but you hear so little about it.

magnik 10-24-2005 02:33 PM

Try on Wikipedia

Thanks to all authors of this site.

Layla1971 10-24-2005 02:37 PM


Originally Posted by magnik
Try on Wikipedia

Thanks to all authors of this site.

Yeah Magnik! That's where I got the pictures from!
I'm usually so good at crediting sources, but I forgot on this one.:o

BeatrixFan 10-24-2005 02:50 PM


"A Royal Family: The Father-in-Law of Europe" six part series will air on PBS in the USA starting this week!

It will be on Channel 13 from 8-9 pm EST on Thursday 10/13, airing for the next five weeks at that same time slot.
If you have the slight interest in Royalty then this is definately a good series to watch. Highlights? The Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte on her 'Uncle Goggi', Queen Anne-Marie on how she met King Constantine and Queen Anne of Romania on her mother's hat shop antics! Queen Margrethe gives a brilliant interview on Hans Christian Andersen, Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim are great to listen to and King Constantine is a wealth of knowledge!

Layla1971 10-24-2005 03:04 PM

:( We don't get the series here.:(

BeatrixFan 10-24-2005 03:37 PM


We don't get the series here
You can get it through Majesty Magazine I think - it's about 20 of our British Pounds on DVD - I watch it over and over. I hope you can get it because it's a great way to spend 6 hours!

Layla1971 10-24-2005 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by BeatrixFan
You can get it through Majesty Magazine I think - it's about 20 of our British Pounds on DVD - I watch it over and over. I hope you can get it because it's a great way to spend 6 hours!

Thanks BeatrixFan! I'll try to get it.

And Magnik, that's a great site. You can get info about alot of royal families!


Jackswife 11-05-2005 10:41 AM

An excellent set of pictures that I have never seen before. Christian certainly rivaled Victoria in having progeny scattered among the courts of Europe. Thanks!:)

pdas1201 11-05-2005 06:18 PM

Please post the images using image hosting website like Photobucket, Imageshack or Supload. Also, credit the source for the images, or else they will be deleted without notice.

norwegianne 07-08-2006 04:32 AM

Christian IX's children here at The Royal Forums:
Frederik VIII of Denmark
Dagmar and Alexander.
Prince Valdemar and family.
Vilhelm doesn't have his own thread - but information can be found in the thread about Kings of the Hellenes

The Danish television series about Christian IX's Descendants: A Royal Family

Lord Rossmore 12-30-2009 08:15 PM

Video of King Christian IX, Grandfather of Europe
Hi i was wondering does anyone have the Video of the Decesendant of King Christian IX, Title Grandfather of Euorpe. It has contributions from every royal house and would be delight to get it . It was on You tube but since cannot be found anymore. Much Thanks

Muhler 08-18-2010 11:03 AM

Christian IX.
It would appear there is no thread for this king.

A very interesting book will be published next week:
Dommedag Als = Judgement Day Als, (*) by Tom Buk-Swienty. (**)

He researched the personal archive and written about the offer King Christian IX made after the defeat in 1864. He offered Bismarck and the Preussian King that Denmark should join the then German union. An act which even then was bordering on high treason.
That story is however not unknown and it was indeed a desperate time. Now more details have come out.

Now, to understand the issue I have to give a historical background and I'll keep it as short and simple as possible, so please bear with me.
It's all about the then two duchies Holstein & Schleswig. (***) They were initially a part of Denmark under the Danish king but as this was a border region and the king ws constantly on the move a jarl = earl was appointed with a standing army at his disposal, just in case.
The problem with earls is that they wield a lot of power and it takes a strong king to keep them fully under control. So most of the time the two provinces were autonomous, albeit still with Danish king as their overlord. That situation was reasonably palatable for all parts for almost 500 years. By then the tradition had been established that the Danish king would automatically be Duke of Holstein & Schleswig and thus the two duchies maintained a sort of independence. Because they did not consider themselves to be Danish, they were Germans and they certainly did not wish to be a part of the Danish kingdom. That their duke always happended also the be the Danish king was just a detail.
300 years passed and in 1849 it was time for a Danish constitution for the entire realm, including Schleswig & Holstein and at the same time abolishing Absolutism in Denmark. "No way"! Was the cry from the duchies. "The Costitution is a great idea and we'll adopt most of it, but we are NOT a part of Denmark"! And that somehow defeated the whole purpose of having one law for the entire realm, at least seen from the Danish point of view.
A rebellion started in 1848 and ended with defeat for the rebels in 1851. During the war the first Danish Constitution came into effect, in 1849.
The duchies was halfhearted supported by some German states but that was no enough. That war, The First Schleswigan war was deeply traumatic. It was a civil war comparable the the American Civil War in the sense that people had intermarried through many centuries. There were lots of Germans in Denmark and many Danes in the duchies. Many Danes spoke German just as well as Danish and vica verca (****) both sides were absorbed in the culture of the other and both sides shares an almost 1.000 year long history.
In Germany Bismarck emerged. His goal was to unite the German states into one nation, preferably under Preussian control. The issue of Schleswig & Holstein, which stirred national feelings amongst Germans was useful.
A new war began in 1864, The Second Schleswigan War. Backed the military might of Preussia, Austria and other German states, the Danish army was run over. Result: the duchies were ceded from Denmark.
It was a traumatic as when France lost Alsace & Lorraine.
In that period, in despair King Christian IX made an offer to Bismarck and the Preussian King: Denmark would join the newly emerging German union. Thus retaining Schleswig & Holstein. That offer was however declined. And Denmark was suddenly a lot smaller. Did the duchies really get their independence? That is debatable and something I will leave to Germans to comment on.
What the king did was tantamount to high treason, because he acted outside the government, let alone the Parliament, even though where his authority ended was not yet clear. It shows how desperate the situation was. It was the most traumatic event for Denmark since 1659, where the ancient Danish lands of Skåne, Halland & Blekinge were ceded to Sweden. And Christian IX did not want something similar to happen on his watch.
Now, let's look at the proposal. Denmark joining what was a German league, it wasnt even a confederation yet. perhaps not the worst alternative at the time. Denmark was immersed in German culture, so no big deal on that account. DK would join a union consisting of strong nations like Preussia and Austria, while basically remaining almost completely autonomous. It could be worse.
It is extremely doubtful taht would have been accepted by the Danish population, let alone the Parliament, so this was quietened down. Anyyway, the proposal was rejected. That was not the aim of the war. And even though Bismarck may have liked the idea of Denmark as the German admiral state, he certainly did later on, it was too soon. No need to push your luck.
The author apparantly believe that the proposal was rejected because Bismarck did not want a minority withina greater Germany. I personally don't believe that. 2½ million Danes would have been a minor problem and the advantages of free access to both the Batic sea and the North Sea were great.
No, I believe he did not wish to antagonize France, not yet. Later, but not yet. Great Britain did not at the time percieve Germany as a threat in the same way it did, just a couple of decades later. But a Preussia (and later a unified Germany) in complete control of the Baltic Sea and and half the North Sea as well would have caused concern.
No, Bismarck need to settle who was in charge first, with Austria, in 1866.

A very interesting piece of history!

Interesting, as shocking such a proposal would seem to us now, the comments from ordinary Danes Iøve seen so far are not condeming King Christian IX. Even those who have little knowledge of history seem to realise that times were different (and desperat) back then. They don't understand nor condone his actions but most seem to understand his dispair. - And it's a long time ago. One even pointig out that we are in effect united with Germany, albeit via EU.

(*) Als is an island just off the coast of south eastern Jutland, where the Danish army in 1864 made its last stand in the defence of Jutland.

(**) Who has written another interesting book of the Second Schleswigan War in 1864.

(***) I use German spelling for clarity and because the population is and was predominatly German.

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