The Danish Royal Family, in the eye of the hurricane

A few weeks ago, the Queen of Denmark took a step that ended secular traditions: withdraw his youngest son and his grandchildren, the treatment of Danish princes. The Glücksburgs have ruled the country since the mid-19th century, when territorial changes were taking place in Europe and the dynasty maintained ties with the other Scandinavian kingdoms. The Danes remained neutral in World War I and suffered from the Nazi occupation between 1940-1945, although the King chose to remain among his fellow citizens: the decision was criticized and also applauded, but Denmark recovered from the war to become one of the most prosperous parliamentary monarchies in Europe. They say that her fortune is extraordinary and her jewels, too.

But they have not been left out of the scandal: for decades the prince consort wanted to be King and repeatedly threatened to leave the country. At the head of the dynasty, since 1970, Queen Margarita, who had to face the difficulties of a salic law that limited her rights to access the throne.

Christian IX with his family at Fredensborg Palace in 1883 by Laurits Tuxen

It was the year 1863 when Cristian IX was proclaimed King of Denmark. Frederick VII had died without descendants who could perpetuate the main line of the Oldenburg dynasty and after different agreements, they opted for the designation of this prince of the Glücksburg house. Those were the days of the nationalist impulses of Bismarck who, with his “blood and fire” policy, led the new Danish monarch to a war in which the duchies of Schleswig, Holstern and Lavenburg were lost. The Kaiser’s Germany began a unification that would make the country the main continental power, while Denmark saw its borders reduced.

Despite everything, the sovereign managed to lead one of the longest reigns of his time and “place” many of his descendants on the main thrones of the continent. He was, as he was nicknamed, “Europe’s father-in-law”: his daughter Alejandra became Queen of the United Kingdom by marriage to Edward VII, Dagmar became Imperial Czarina of all the Russias, (Maria Fiódorovna, mother of the ill-fated Nicholas II), his youngest son, George, became King of Greece and the first-born male , in his successor with the name of Frederick VIII.

The sovereign managed to lead one of the longest reigns of his time and “place” many of his descendants on the main thrones of the continent.

Frederick VIII acceded to the throne in 1906. He was married to Louise of Sweden, who contributed to the crown many of the fabulous jewels that had belonged to her grandmother, Josephine of Leuchtemberg. During his brief reign, Denmark consolidated parliamentarism and he exported another of his princes to the newly created kingdom of Norway: the second of his sons, Charles, left for Oslo to be crowned king as Haakon VII. The Danish Monarch died suddenly in 1912 – it was even said that in a brothel – and was succeeded by his eldest son, Christian X.

Denmark was already a parliamentary democracy, so the tasks of the Crown had been confined to institutional powers. Despite this, the King played a leading role in achieving Danish neutrality in the War of 1914, in alliance with the other Scandinavian countries. A period of modernization followed, in which the sovereign gained even greater popularity. Still governing the Social Democrats, the Prime Minister, Thorvald Stauring, went so far as to affirm that “if the Republic were voted for, I would vote for the King as president.” However, his role was determined by the circumstances surrounding the country at the beginning of World War II.

In the first months of Nazi expansion, Denmark fell to German military dominance: the authorities signed the capitulation in April 1940, in exchange for maintaining political independence in internal affairs. The Kings did not go into exile – their brother Haakon VII of Norway did, after resisting the Nazis – and remained in Copenhagen. In those days and while the civilian population was showing signs of clandestine resistance movements, the eldest granddaughter of the kings, Margarita, was born in the Amalienborg Palace. Later came Princesses Benedicta and Ana María, eventually Queen of Greece by marriage to Constantine, brother of Doña Sofía. But in Denmark, by the Royal Ordinance of 1853, women could not reign…

At the head of the dynasty, since 1970, was Queen Margarita, who, in order to access the throne, had to face the difficulties of a Salic law that limited her rights.

Christian of Denmark died in 1947. He was succeeded by his son, the already mature Frederick IX, who had a hard time deciding on marriage, although the final choice was very successful: Ingrid of Sweden. The country experienced significant economic development at a time when industrialization made agriculture and livestock the main engine of the country. In 1953 Parliament approved a constitutional reform that allowed women to ascend to the throne, the country became a member of the United Nations, founder of NATO and joined the then EEC, the predecessor of the current European Union. In 1972, King Federico IX died. His daughter Margarita acceded to the throne: she was the first Danish sovereign in many centuries.

The Queen of DenmarkGTRES

The young Margarita had married in 1969 with the French diplomat and count, Henri de Monpezat. In the link she wore a Jorgen Berden design made in silk, with a square neckline, flared skirt and the diadem that Cartier had made for her grandmother, the princess of Connaught. He was controversial from the beginning and with each tantrum over his status as a consort –not a King– he fled to his French vineyards. The second of the couple’s children starred in a wedding in 1995 with the young woman of Chinese descent, Alejandra Manley, from whom he divorced years later. She kept the title of Countess of Frederiksborg and he married again, this time with a French executive.

The eldest and heir, Federico, who had made great headlines in gossip magazines, surprised by announcing his decision to marry an Australian lawyer, from Tasmania, whom he had met at the Sydney Olympic Games. Since then, the disagreements between them seem to have been continuous. But the Queen has stood up: masking it as a measure to “safeguard the future and continuity of the Crown” she made the decision to strip the title of Your Royal Highnesses to the family of Joaquín, the youngest of your children. Could it be that he is following the example of other royal relatives in his desire to reduce the number of active members at the service of the institution?

The Danish Royal Family, in the eye of the hurricane