The Danish Orders and Monograms

If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Feb 25, 2003
I'm creating this post to add in my photos of the arms of the Queens and Princesses of Denmark on their shields of the Order of the Elephant.

These are displayed in the chapel of Frederiksborg Slot.

I took a series of photos of the Elephant order and Dannebrog order shields during a visit on Friday September 17th 2004.

I've started sorting all of them and I am going to start by posting the Queens and Princesses.


Queen Louise Wilhelmine, 1892

Queen Louise, formerly Princess Luise of Hess-Cassel, was given the insignia of the Order of the Elephant on the 50th (Golden) anniversary of her wedding to King Christian IX of Denmark, 26th May 1892. She was the first woman to receive the insignia of the Elephant order.

Her shield is around the corner to the Left of the QMII's shield as grand master of the orders at the end on the chapel. In the second photo it is the one in the upper left near the stained glass window.


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Queen Louise Josephine, 1906

The next Queen of Denmark was Queen Louise Josephine, nee Princess Lovisa of Sweden. She was married to King Frederik VIII of Denmark. She was given the insignia of the Order of the Elephant in 1906, on the 31st of October. F-VIII had succeeded his father on 29th January 1906.

Her shield is directly to the right and just below Queen Louise W's, which you can see in the second image of the post above.

... and doesn't heraldry tell a story. Here you can see that even though the Queen was given the insignia in 1906 (at which stage her son Carl was the new King of Norway reigning as Haakon 7th post the division of the Swedish/Norwegian Union) her arms show the fact that when she married into the Danish Royal family she was a Princess of the union countries.

I love the effect with the three crowns sitting side by side above the marshalled arms.


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Queen Alexandrine, 1912

Queen Alexandrine, nee Duchess Alexandrine 'Adini' of Mecklenburg-Schwerin married King Christian X of Denmark in 1898.

Christian became King upon the death of his father on May 14, 1912. Alezandrine was given the insignia of the order of the elephant on September 26th of that year.

Her arms are in the alcove to the right of the royal arms behind the organ (seen on the accompanying photos). Her's is the top left.


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Queen Ingrid, 1947

Princess Louise of Sweden, only daughter of the Crown Prince of Sweden [later King Gustaf VI Adolf] married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark on the 24 of May 1935. His father died on the 20 of April 1947 and he succeeded as Frederik IX.

Queen Ingrid shield of the order of the elephant is dated the 24th of May 1947.

The Queen's arms, and those of her two younger daughters, are located on the back wall of the chapel, on the right on the organ. They are are visible on the right of the picture in the post above. Queen Ingrid's on the top, Benedikte's on the left and Anne-Marie's on the right.


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Fantastic thread

This is a fantastic thread. Thank you for sharing your own photos and this information with us.
The Three Princesses, 1947???

The three daughters of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid all have their shields as up in the chapel as princesses of denmark.

All three shields have the same date... 22nd of April 1947. This is the date of their father's succession as king. (Not to mention a month before the dat on their mother's shield, which seems a little strange to me.)

Princess Margrethe's shield also says... "Regni Heres" after the usual "Principissa Daniae". (Which I take as a literal meaning "kingdom heir" in latin.) However in 1947 Margarethe was not the throne follower. Indeed there was no female succession until in 1953, when the Act of Succession was changed, allowing females to become Queen Regnants. The crown on top of her shield is also the heraldic crown of the heir to the throne. So I assume that this shield - and maybe all three - were not painted unil after this date.

I would be grateful if anyone can shed any further light onto this for us.

Note that Princess Margrethe's shield is in the bay behind the organ at the back of the chiurch. It is at the top right, just diagonally above the shield of her father as crown prince See attached image. The two other princesses and their mother are on the wall around the corner to the right.


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Princess Caroline Mathilde, 1960

HH Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark married her cousin HRH Prince Knud Christian Frederik Michael of Denmark (second son of King Christian X) in September 1933.

Since the bestowal of the insignia on Queen Louise by Christian IX on the occasion of their golden wedding in 1892, the order has been awarded to a number of women royalties (Mostly Danish Queen's, but including a few Foreign reigning queens and female heirs to the throne, as well as the three daughters of Frederik IX). In an ordinance of April 9, 1958, Frederik IX ruled that women should have an equal right with men to receive the award. Princess Caroline-Mathilde was the first princess outside the King's direct family to receive the Elephant.

Her arms on her Elephant shield are those of a Princess of Denmark in her own right. They are located in the same group as Frederik IX and Princess Margrethe's. See previous post. Caroline-Mathilde's arms are between those of her husband (left) and Brother-in-law (right) in the middle of the bottom row.


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Princess Margaretha, 1960

HRH Princess Margaretha of Sweden (1899-1977) married HH Prince Axel of Denmark (1888-1964) on may 22, 1919.

She was given the order of the Elephant in 1960, one day after Princess Caroline-Mathilde.

Her arms are those of Denmark marshalled with Sweden (Even though she was born a princess of the union countries and was therefore born a princess of Sweden and Norway, the arms depicted are only Sweden as she was only a Princess of Sweden at the time of her marriage). They are located in the group on the left side of the extreme left alcove at the back of the chapel (left of the stained glass in the attached picture).

Note: her two sisters were the Crown-Princess of Norway and The Queen of Belgium.


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Thanks for sharing all these pics and information with us, very kind of you :)

I have just read some of your first post and will return later to finish.
Princess Viggo, Countess of Rosenborg, 1961

Eleanor Margaret Green was born in New York City, New York, USA on November 5th, 1895.

She married in New York City, on June 10th, 1924 HRH Prince Viggo Christian Adolf Georg of Denmark. As the marriage was not given the consent of the King and the Danish Government. Prince Viggo renounced his rights of succession along with the title of Prince of Denmark and the qualification of Royal Highness and assumed the style of HH Prince Viggo, Count af Rosenborg (the traditional title given to a Danish prince who marries without consent and who loses his title). By Convention his wife took his title and status and was known as HH Princess Viggo, Grevinde af Rosenborg

The "demotion" from HRH to HH was interesting as he was born HH Prince Viggo Christian Adolf Georg of Denmark. As grandchildren of the sovereign this was the usual title. (It is only the children of the monarch -and the son's wives - that are HRH. However on February 5, 1904 the children of HRH Prince Valdemar of Denmark were all raised to the rank of HRH).

It appears that Danish royals go down one rung when they marry without consent. HRH's of Denmark become HH's of Rosenborg and HH's of Denmark become HE's of Rosenborg.

It is interesting that as a HH of Rosenborg, Princess Viggo was awarded the Elephant in 1961. This is the only example of a Countess of Rosenborg receiving the Elephant. However not all have been HH?s, most HE?s. While not a princess of Denmark by marriage, her role in the royal family must have been popular for her to be given this award.

Her shield is located next to the right of Princess Margaretha?s and Princess Elisabeth?s in the back left corner of the chapel. It shows her marital arms. On the right we see what must be the arms attributed to the Green family - three golden stags on a blue shield. On the left we see those of Prince Viggo after his marriage - "Rosenborg"

Viggo and two of his brothers Aafe and Erik married without the King?s consent, all being styled "HH Prince NN, Count of Rosenborg". The three of them were granted the same arms: A golden shield with a blue crowned lion over three red hearts. (This represents a third of the Danish royal arms - three blue lions surrounded by nine red hearts). Their children as Counts of Rosenborg were entitled to a different coat of arm quartering the arms above with an image of Rosenborg Castle. This image is also attached for those that are interested.

One final note, the lion in Prince Viggo's arms is shown as facing right, when it should be facing left. It is paying deferrence to the arms of his wife, by facing hers.

Princess Viggo died in Copenhagen on July 3rd, 1966. Prince Viggo died on January 4th, 1970. The Prince's arms - as a HRH of Denmark - as on the wall directly opposite those of his wife.


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Princess Elisabeth, 1962

HH Princess Elisabeth Caroline-Mathilde Alexandrine Helena Olga Thyra Feodora Astrid Margrethe Désirée of Denmark (that's a lot of names!) was born in Copenhagen on May 8th, 1935, oldest child of HRH Prince Knud and HRH Princess Caroline-Mathilde.

She was presented with the order of the Elephant by her Uncle, King Frederik IX on the 11th of March, 1962.

Princess Elisabeth has never married and is currently sixth in line for the throne.

Her arms are those shown for Denmark at the time (with the changes and simplification of the shield for the reign on Queen Margrethe in 1972). The shield is located directly below that of HRH Princess Margaretha (see photo in my post on her arms, above) the bottom shield in the middle of the three columns on that alcove wall.


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Queen Margrethe, Master of the Royal Orders, 1972.

In 1972, Crown Princess Margrethe succeeded her father as the Danisk monarch, reigning as Margrethe 2.

As such she became the "grand master" of the royal orders.

A special large shield (roughly four times the size of other shields in the chapel) of the arms of the monarch surrounded by both the Elephant and the Dannebrog, hangs in pride of place at the orders chapel - on the main back wall, to the left of the organ. (The shield just shows the crowned arms of the sovereign surrounded by the ribbons and collars of the two orders. It does not state the monarchs name, when they recevied the order/s or became master.)

Below it hang the arms of the Prince Consort, their two children and Prince Joachim's wife Princess Alexandra. (See attched photos).

The Royal arms of the Monarch changed with the Queen's succession. She simplified the arms.

You can read about the royal arms at the royal Family website...

You can also find discussion about the changes ot the royal arms here...


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Princess Anne, 1974

Anne Ferelith Bowes-Lyon was the daughter of Hon. John Herbert Bowes-Lyon (of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne) and Hon. Fenella Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis (of the Baron's Clinton).

She was born on 4 December 1917 at Washington DC, USA. She married Major Thomas William Arnold Anson, Viscount Anson (son of Thomas Edward Anson, 4th Earl of Lichfield and Evelyn Maud Keppel) on 28 April 1938. She and Major Thomas William Arnold Anson, Viscount Anson were divorced in 1948.

She married HH Georg, Prince of Denmark, son of HRH Axel, Prince of Denmark and HRH Margareta, Princess of Sweden, on 16 September 1950 at Glamis Castle, Glamis, Angus, Scotland.

Princess Anne of Denmark was awarded the Order of the Elephant by Queen Margrethe 2 on the 16th of April 1974.

Princess Anne's shield is displayed directly below that of Princess Viggo - see pictures in posts above - on the bottom right of the grouping of royal arms. The shield of her husband HH Prince Georg is displayed directly opposite, on the bottom right hand side of the opposing wall of the alcove.

The shield shows her marital arm, with Denmark being marshalled with the her family arms: those famous Bows and Lions of the Bowes-Lyon family. I will point out the royal augmentation to the arms from 1937. As a tribute to the family providing a Queen for the United Kingdom, the Earl's family arms deceived the following addition... An inescutcheon, en surtout azure, thereon a rose argent, ensigned with an Imperial crown proper, within a double tressure flory counterflory of the second, the said inescutcheon ensigned with an Earl's coronet proper. (The crowned white rose of York symbolising the King and Queen's previous title.)

Princess Anne died on 26 September 1980 at age 62 at London, England, UK.


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Princess Alexandra, 1995

On 18 November 1995, HRH Prince Joachim married Miss Alexandra Christina Manley, who in connection with the marriage became HRH Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

Miss Manley, from Hong Kong, was presented with the Order of the Elephant the day before the wedding.

The wedding actually took place in the Chapel of Frederiksborg Castle at Hillerød, the chapel of the royal orders.

Princess Alexandra's arms are currently displayed below the royal arms alongside those of her husband and the Crown Prince. Her shield is her marital arms, marshalling the arms of Prince Joachim [Denmark with an escutcheon of Oldenborg impaled with de Monpezat] and the her own arms with quater those given to her father Mr Richard Manely with an orchid. (Mr Manley was awarded the grand cross of the order of the Dannebrog just prior to the royal wedding.)

Unfortunately Princess Alexandra and Prince Joachim have seperated. The seperation was announced on September 16th 2004 - the day before I was due to visit Frederiksborg and when I took these photos.


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The Order of Dannebrog

I would like to start a thread pertaining to the Order of Dannebrog. This is the other order of Denmark. I notice that at the death of HSH Marguerite of Sayn Wittgenstein Berleburg, that she was granted this order just before the wedding of her son, Prince Richard to Princess Benedikte, as well as the parents of Princess Alexandra when she married Prince Joachim, and Princess Mary when she married Prince Frederick. Is this given to other family memebers, such as Queen Anne Marie's children and Princess Benedikte's. If not, what is the criteria? Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
michelleq said:
I would like to start a thread pertaining to the Order of Dannebrog. This is the other order of Denmark. I notice that at the death of HSH Marguerite of Sayn Wittgenstein Berleburg, that she was granted this order just before the wedding of her son, Prince Richard to Princess Benedikte, as well as the parents of Princess Alexandra when she married Prince Joachim, and Princess Mary when she married Prince Frederick. Is this given to other family memebers, such as Queen Anne Marie's children and Princess Benedikte's. If not, what is the criteria? Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Only Alexandra & Mary's father's recieved the Dannebrogordenen.

The Order of the Dannebrog was established by King Waldemar II in 1219. The Order renewed by King Christian V in 1671. The Order was only to comprise 50 noble Knights in one class plus the Master of the Order, i.e. the King, and his sons. In 1808, the Order was reformed and it was divided into four classes: the Grand Commander class and below that the three regular classes of the Order: Grand Cross (first Order class), Commander 1st Degree and Commander (second Order class), and Knight 1st Degree and Knight (third Order class). The Cross of Honour is attached to the Order of the Dannebrog.

Nowadays, the Order of Dannebrog is a means of rewarding the faithful servants of the modern welfare state for meritorious civil or military service, for a particular contribution to the arts, sciences or business life or for those working for Danish interests.

The badge of the Order of the Dannebrog is a white and red-enamelled Dannebrog cross, for the Knights in silver and for everyone else in gold. The cross hangs in the crowned monogram of the bestowing monarch. On its front, the cross bears the crowned monogram of Christian V as well as the motto of the Order: Gud og Kongen (God and the King). On the reverse, the crowned monograms of Valdemar II Sejr, Christian V and Frederik VI, as well as the years 1219, 1671 and 1808 appear. In each of the four angles of the cross a royal crown has been placed.

The Grand Commander class has been reserved to persons of princely origin, and not more than seven Orders are bestowed. The Grand Commanders wear the badge on a necklet (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies). An eight-pointed silver star is worn on the left side of the chest.

The insignia of the Grand Cross class consist of the badge, the star of the Order (the same as for Grand Commanders), the collar and the sash. The collar of the Order is of gold and the sash is white with a red border. The sash is draped from the right shoulder to the left hip.

Commanders 1st Degree and Commanders wear the badge on the necklet (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies). Commanders 1st Degree also wear a breast cross.

Knights 1st Degree and Knights wear their cross on a chest ribbon (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies). Knights 1st Degree have a rosette on the chest ribbon or bow.

The Cross of Honour of the Dannebrog is awarded to Danes on whom the Order of the Dannebrog has already been bestowed. It is also worn by the individual members of the royal family. Its badge is all in silver and it is worn on a ribbon (gentlemen) or bow (ladies) with rosette.

The insignia of the Order must be returned upon the death of the holder.

Extracts taken from

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Thank you Margrethe II.

My question is this; what is the order that HSH Princess Marguerite was awarded? Please review the link to the Glorious (IMHO) Glittering Royal Events link that I have supplied.

Thank you Glittering Royal Events and, again, thank you Margrethe II.
michelleq said:
Thank you Margrethe II.

My question is this; what is the order that HSH Princess Marguerite was awarded? Please review the link to the Glorious (IMHO) Glittering Royal Events link that I have supplied.

Thank you Glittering Royal Events and, again, thank you Margrethe II.

You're most welcome michelleq,

Oh, I dont think I made myself clear. Sorry for the confusion. I meant to say that only Alexandra & Mary's father's recieved the Order, and not their mother/step mother. I meant no connection to Princess Marguerite who was also awardered the Order upon her sons marriage into the Danish royal house.

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I see that one of the shields is the Berleburg's; is the other from her swedish Family?
michelleq said:
I see that one of the shields is the Berleburg's; is the other from her swedish Family?
The Fürstin was from the Fouché d'Otrante family so I would guess it's their Coat of Arms.
The Order of the Dannebrog

I'd like to add a little and to ask a couple of questions.

The Order of the Dannebrog was opened to women in 1958, AFAIK. I'm not sure whether there were some exceptions for women of royal origin prior to that date.

Are there any foreign Grand Commanders of the Order of Dannebrog?

By the way, has someone been awarded both the Order of Dannebrog and the Order of the Elephant simultaneously, i.e. receiving two Danish orders of chivalry on the same day?
It was the Order of the Elephant that was opened to females in 1958. The Order of the Dannebrog was opened to females in 1951.

King Harald of Norway is a Grand Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog.
Thank you for the info, it seems I've mixed the two orders up. :)
magnik said:
Thank you H.M. Margrethe. Have you or anyone closer picture of it?

I don´t have a pic of it but it looks like this monogram of the Crownprincesse (Kronprinsessen) exept the crown

Dronningen - Queen (Margrethe Regina)
Regentparret - ? Regency couple
Prinsen - Prince (Henrik)
Kronprinsen - Crown Prince (Frederick)
Kronprinsessen - Crown Princess (Mary)
Kronprinsparret - Crown Principaly couple
Prins Joachim
Prinsesse Alexandra
P. Joachim and Pss. Alexandra
Dronningens private - Queens private monogram
Prinsesse Benedikte
carlota said:
lillia, from left to right, top to bottom:

queen, reigning couple, prince (henrik), crown prince, crown princess, crown princely couple, prince joachim, princess alexandra, prince joachim and princess alexandra, queen private and princess benedikte.

EDIT: magnik, i just saw you posted this before... :)

thank you both, carlota and magnik:)

could someone please explain a little about why the queen would have a seperate private monogram? what would it be used for?
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Lillia said:
could someone please explain a little about why the queen would have a seperate private monogram? what would it be used for?
As an example: when the Queen is doing 'private' correspondence she would use paper with her 'private' monogram. When she is writing as the Queen of Denmark she would use the Queen's monogram. It is to differentiate the two roles through the use of symbols. The monograms could also possibly be used on certain items to show the difference between personal and Crown ownership, although this would be a murky area.
Thank you so much for posting those monograms! I loved that! Did Margarethe design each and everyone of them?
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