Many people contact us with questions about Denmark's Royal Family. Rather than emailing people back individually, we are capturing the questions and answers on this page. This is a living document, meaning that new questions and answers will be added to it all the time!
|Who is the present monarch of Denmark?|
|What is Queen Margrethe's address?|
|What are the current laws of succession?|
|Have women always been able to be the Danish monarch?|
|What is the Danish Royal Family's last name?|
|How does one address the Royal Family?|
|Can a member of the Danish Royal Family marry whomever s/he chooses?|
|Is Denmark the only European monarchy that has had royals marry non-Europeans?|
|How long has there been a monarchy in Denmark?|
|What is the Royal Family's coat of arms?|
|Have any Danish royals become ruling monarchs of other countries?|
|Have any Danish royals become consorts of monarchs?|
|How is Queen Margrethe related to other current European monarchs?|
Q: Who is the present monarch of Denmark?
A: Queen Margrethe II is the present monarch. She succeeded her father, King Frederik IX, upon his death on January 14, 1972.
Q: What is Queen Margrethe's address?
A: The Private Secretary to HM The Queen
DK-1257 Copenhagen K.
Q: What are the current laws of succession?
A: Only descendants of King Christian X and his wife Queen Alexandrine may inherit the Danish throne. As in the United Kingdom, succession is by primogeniture whereby males take precedence over females and the oldest children take precedence over the younger ones. The monarch must be a member of the Lutheran Evangelical Church and must have Parliament’s permission to marry. For more information, see Denmark: Succession to the Throne Act
Q: Have women always been able to be the Danish monarch?
A: The succession law was changed in 1953 to allow female succession. The monarch at that time, King Frederik IX, had only three daughters. Before 1953, the Salic Law, which prohibits female succession, was in effect. Queen Margrethe II is the second Danish queen regnant. Queen Margrethe I (1353-1412), daughter of King Valdemar IV of Denmark and wife of King Haakon VI of Norway, ruled as regent for her son Olaf, but he died at age 17. Margrethe declared her infant cousin, Eric of Pomerania, as heir and she continued to rule as his regent. When Eric came of age, homage was paid to him but for the rest of her life, Margrethe I effectively ruled Denmark.
Q: What is the Danish Royal Family's last name?
A: The Danish Royal Family’s last name is Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg married Princess Luise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel, a granddaughter of King Frederik V of Denmark, in 1810. Christian, their fourth son, was chosen by the childless King Frederik VII of Denmark to be his heir. Christian acceded to the Danish throne as King Christian IX in 1863. The royal families of Norway and Greece also belong to the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.
Q: How does one address the Royal Family?
A: Queen Margrethe II is addressed as Her Majesty The Queen and her husband is addressed as His Royal Highness The Prince Consort. Only children of the monarch, children of the heir to the throne and their wives are addressed as His/Her Royal Highness. All other princes and princesses are addressed as His/Her Highness.
Q: Can a member of the Danish Royal Family marry whomever s/he chooses?
A: Members of the Danish Royal Family must contract a lawful marriage. The monarch must have the consent of Parliament and those in line of succession must have the consent of the monarch and the Council of Ministers.
Q: Is Denmark the only European monarchy that has had royals marry non-Europeans?
A: Both children of Queen Margrethe have married non-Europeans but so have Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark married Australian Mary Donaldson and his brother Prince Joachim married Alexandra Manley of Hong Kong. Joachim and Alexandra have since separated.
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands married Maxima Zorreguieta of Argentina; Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein married Angela Brown, an African-American woman from the United States;
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg married Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista who was born in Cuba.
In the past, the Duke of Windsor (the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom) married American Wallis Simpson and Prince Rainier of Monaco married American actress Grace Kelly.
Q: How long has there been a monarchy in Denmark?
A: The Danish monarchy can be traced at least back to Gorm the Old who died in 958. Denmark’s monarchy is the world’s second oldest. Only Japan’s monarchy is older.
Q. What is the Royal Family's coat of arms?
A: Information about the Danish Royal Coat of Arms can be found at:
The Royal Coat of Arms
Q. Have any Danish royals become ruling monarchs of other countries?
A. Prince William, second son of King Christian IX of Denmark, was elected King of the Hellenes (Greece) on March 30, 1863 at the age of 17. He reigned as King George I of the Hellenes until 1913, when he was assassinated. Some of George I’s prominent descendants are former King Constantine II of Greece and his sister Queen Sofia of Spain and Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
Prince Karl, second son of King Frederik VIII of Denmark, was elected King of Norway upon the dissolution of the union of Sweden and Norway in 1905. He ruled Norway as King Haakon VII until his death in 1957. Haakon married his first cousin, Princess Maud of Great Britain, youngest daughter of King Edward VII of Great Britain and his wife Alexandra, daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark. King Harald V, the present King of Norway is the grandson of King Haakon VII of Norway.
Q. Have any Danish royals become consorts of monarchs?
A. Princess Anne of Denmark, second daughter of King Frederik II of Denmark, married King James VI of Scotland (son of Mary, Queen of Scots) in 1589. King James succeeded to the British throne as King James I upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. Among Anne and James’ children are King Charles I of Great Britain, who was beheaded during the British Civil War and Princess Elizabeth from whom today’s present British Royal Family is descended.
Prince George of Denmark, third son of King Frederik III of Denmark, wed the future Queen Anne of Great Britain in 1683. George fathered 17 children with Anne but only William, Duke of Gloucester survived infancy only to die at age 11. Anne succeeded to the British throne in 1702 and George died in 1708.
Princess Alexandra, eldest daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark, married the future King Edward VII of Great Britain, son of Queen Victoria, in 1863. Alexandra was a very popular Princess of Wales during her mother-in-law’s long reign. Her husband succeeded to the British throne in 1901 upon the death of Queen Victoria and reigned until 1910. Among Alexandra’s six children are King George V of Great Britain and Queen Maud of Norway. Alexandra died in 1925 at the age of 81. The members of the present British Royal Family are her descendants.
Princess Dagmar of Denmark, second daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark, married Tsarevich Alexander Alexandrovich, son and heir of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, in 1866. Upon her marriage, she converted to Russian Orthodoxy and took the name Marie Feodorovna. Her husband succeeded to the Russian throne as Tsar Alexander III upon the assassination of his father in 1881. Marie Feodorovna was the mother of Russia’s last monarch, Tsar Nicholas II. After the Russian Revolution, she settled in her native Denmark where she died in 1928 at the age of 81. The former Princess Dagmar of Denmark was buried in Roskilde Cathedral, the resting place of the Danish Royal Family. In September, 2006, the remains of Marie Feodorovna will be returned to Russia to be buried alongside her husband at the Fortress of Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg, the burial place of the Romanovs.
Q. How is Queen Margrethe related to other current European monarchs?
A. Belgium: King Albert II and Queen Margrethe are both descendants of King Oscar II of Sweden. Albert is his great grandson and Margrethe is his great great granddaughter.
Liechtenstein: Prince Hans-Adam II and Queen Margrethe are both descendants of King Maximilian I Josef of Bavaria. Hans-Adam is his great great great grandson and Margrethe is his great great great great granddaughter.
Luxembourg: Grand Duke Henri and Queen Margrethe are both descendants of King Frederik VIII of Denmark. Henri is his great great grandson and Margrethe is his great granddaughter.
Monaco: Prince Rainier and Queen Margrethe are both descendants of Margrave Karl Ludwig of Baden. Rainier is his great great great great grandson and Margrethe is his great great great great great great granddaughter.
Netherlands: Queen Beatrix and Queen Margrethe are both descendants of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Beatrix is his great granddaughter and Margrethe is his great great granddaughter.
Norway: King Harald V and Queen Margrethe are both great grandchildren of King Frederik VIII of Denmark.
Spain: King Juan Carlos and Queen Margrethe are both great great grandchildren of Queen Victoria of Great Britain.
Sweden: King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Margrethe are both grandchildren of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.
United Kingdom: Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Margrethe are both descendants of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and King Christian IX of Denmark. Elizabeth and Margrethe are both great great granddaughters of Queen Victoria and King Christian IX of Denmark.