Mary of Denmark: Frederick international

The Kingdom of Denmark, a Scandinavian country of about 6 million inhabitants, including the Faroe Islands and Greenland in the Atlantic, inaugurates a new monarchical era. After 52 years on the throne, Queen Margaret II will hand over the crown this Sunday to her first-born son, who will be proclaimed Frederick The announcement of the 83-year-old emperor’s abdication on December 31 came as great surprise to all areas of the country. His own family came to know a few days ago. The Queen remains very popular, and has managed to maintain her individuality without retreating from the position she has held for half a century. The new king, 55, faces the challenge of maintaining the simplicity that characterizes him without compromising the dignity of the monarchy.

“Federico likes sports and pop music, and he has more freedom to pursue his hobbies. The question is whether all this is enough and worthy of a king,” Sebastian Olden-Jorgensen, a historian at the University of Copenhagen and an expert on the Royal House, explains over the phone. The Queen has greater intellectual interests than her son, “and by now they were a good combination of closeness and seriousness.” “Now he himself has to rise to the occasion, because as a king people expect more than tactics of closeness and normality.”

Prince Frederik Andre Henrik Christian received his primary education in Copenhagen and was interned in France, the native country of his father, the late Prince Henry. He studied political science at Aarhus University in Denmark and spent a year at Harvard University in the United States. During that stay, he worked in the Danish delegation to the United Nations in 1994, where he was also able to take advantage of his knowledge of French, English and German. In 1998, she served as First Secretary at her country’s embassy in France. He has gone through three army academies (land, sea and air) and has run in the Copenhagen, Paris and New York marathons. His great love for sport led him to the social sphere and in 2018, on the occasion of his 50th birthday, he launched the Royal Race: a competition that brings together more than 80,000 annual participants. His former love for parties and his ease in talking to the public is well known. Today he assures that he feels comfortable with his destiny. And Princess Mary, Frederick’s wife and queen, was found within a few hours? “It is also very popular. And if there were disagreements between him and Margarita II in the past, this has had no impact on their actions. “Both are great professionals,” says the historian.

Having barely recovered from the surprise of the abdication, both the royal family and the government of Social Democratic Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen made a real effort to prepare Frederick X’s proclamation in 14 days. It is not a coronation like in the United Kingdom. , It comes close to the accession to the throne of King William of the Netherlands, who succeeded his mother, now Princess Beatrice, in 2013. “For the past 150 years, Danish monarchs have been proclaimed from the balcony of Parliament after swearing – or signing – the Constitution. A small and quiet ceremony,” recalls the same expert. “The last coronation took place in 1648 in the medieval European style, as we saw with Charles III in London.” According to him, the British tradition is justified because it has not been broken with time. “Even if you don’t agree, monarchs in the United Kingdom have been crowned this way, with pomp and circumstance, without interruption.” In Denmark, on the other hand, “it would mean resuming the medieval ritual, and that makes no sense in modern society.”


The Crown’s accounts, also a potentially thorny issue in Denmark, where polls show only 15% republican sentiment, are a recurring source of discussion. This year, the Queen and the royal family (Prince Frederick and his brother Joachim, and Princesses Mary and Benedicta) have received a total of 121 million Danish crowns: approximately 16 million euros. The Royal House knows there are talks about the cost of the monarchy, so in the future only Frederick’s eldest son Prince Christian (18 years old) will receive a stipend. Not so her three siblings, Isabella (16) and twins Vincent and Josephine (13). Although he will remain a prince, he will have to find a professional outlet. Prince Joachim lives in the United States with his family and is the defense industry attaché at the Danish Embassy. It remains to be seen whether he retains his share in the official amount he now receives. This is a calculation that Parliament must review along with the remaining official funds allocated to the Crown. He will attend the proclamation, while his wife, Mary, will remain in Washington with their children.

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Margaret II is the eldest daughter of Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden. Since she has no male brothers, allowing women to rule required a referendum and approval of a constitutional amendment. Frederick comes to the throne with very little institutional upheaval. The monarchy was popular when his mother was declared monarch following his father’s death on 14 January 1972. Over time, the mother, who will retain the title of queen after the abdication, has increased her influence. Olden-Jorgensen says that she has managed to become “not only the queen but also herself”. And this is something that other kings have not achieved to that extent. “Think of the British Queen Elizabeth II. “He fully recognized his task, which he executed perfectly, and almost disappeared as a person.”

Historians attribute part of the monarchy’s good health to luck. “There has never been a tragedy in the Danish royal family like Diana of Wales or Meghan Markle, the wife of England’s Prince Henry,” he pointed out. Yes, the stripping of princely titles from Prince Joaquin’s four sons has sparked a crisis that is still ongoing. The explanation given was that these grandchildren, Nikolaus (24), Felix (21), Heinrich (14), and Athena (11) were to be free to shape their own lives. The system has not reassured this part of the family, which has been hurt.

The current Danish dynasty is related to the House of Glucksberg, a branch of the Royal House of Oldenburg, both originating from Germany. Its members have occupied the throne since 1863. A year later, Denmark lost the so-called War of the Duchies which pitted it against the Austrian Empire and Prussia. The Danes had to give up Schleswig, Holstein and Saxony Lauenburg, which were annexed by the other two powers, and this marked what would be a monarchy from then on.

“Of course it’s very old. But Denmark’s recent history as a monarchy and as a state begins with the disastrous war of 1864,” explains Olden-Jorgensen. In his opinion, the present is an expression of the recent past and not of imperial memory, despite the fact that there were Danish colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and India. “After 1864, Denmark was a small power and there was no monarchical political agenda; “That’s his strength,” he adds. “The monarchies in Europe that have been successful, that have survived, have distanced themselves from day-to-day politics. With a few exceptions, such as Spain, where it has sometimes played a more political role,” he says. In Denmark, there is “freedom to work in the cultural and social sphere.”

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(tags to translate) Margrethe of Denmark

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