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Frederick IX
King of Denmark
Reign 20 April 1947 – 14 January 1972
Predecessor Christian X
Successor Margrethe II
Spouse Ingrid of Sweden
Issue
Margrethe II of Denmark

Benedikte, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

Queen Anne-Marie of Greece

House House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Father Christian X of Denmark
Mother Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Born

(1899-03-11)11 March 1899

Sorgenfri Palace

Died 14 January 1972(1972-01-14) (aged 72)Amalienborg Palace
Burial Roskilde Cathedral
Religion Lutheranism

Frederick IX (Christian Frederik Franz Michael Carl Valdemar Georg) (11 March 1899 – 14 January 1972) was King of Denmark from 20 April 1947 until his death on 14 January 1972.

He was the son of King Christian X of Denmark and Queen Alexandrine, born Duchess of Mecklenburg, and the fourth Danish monarch of the House of Glücksburg.

Birth and familyEdit

Prince Frederick was born on 11 March 1899 at Sorgenfri Palace in Kongens Lyngby on Zealand during the reign of his great-grandfather King Christian IX. His father was Prince Christian of Denmark (later King Christian X), the eldest son of Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Louise of Sweden (later King Frederick VIII and Queen Louise). His mother was Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a daughter of Frederick Francis III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia.

He was baptised at Sorgenfri Palace on 9 April 1899. The young prince had 21 godparents, among them his great-grandfather Christian IX of Denmark, Nicholas II of Russia, George I of Greece, Oscar II of Sweden, his grandfather Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of the United Kingdom) and his uncle Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Frederick's only sibling, Knud, was born one year after Frederick.

Early lifeEdit

Christian IX died on 29 January 1906, and Frederick's grandfather Crown Prince Frederick succeeded him as King Frederick VIII. Frederick's father became crown prince, and Frederick moved up to second in line to the throne.

Just six years later, on 14 May 1912, King Frederick VIII died, and Frederick's father ascended the throne as King Christian X. Frederick himself now became crown prince.

Frederick was educated at the Royal Danish Naval Academy (breaking Danish royal tradition by choosing a naval instead of an army career) and the University of Copenhagen. Before he became king, he had acquired the rank of Rear Admiral and he had had several senior commands on active service. He apparently acquired several tattoos during his naval service.

In addition, with his great love of music, the king was an able piano player and conductor.

Marriage and IssueEdit

In 1922, Frederick was engaged to Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, his second cousin and the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark; however they never wed.

Instead, he married Princess Ingrid of Sweden (1910–2000) at Storkyrkan in Stockholm on 24 May 1935. She was a daughter of Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf (later King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden) and his first wife, Princess Margaret of Connaught. They were related in several ways. In descent from Oscar I of Sweden and Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden, they were double third cousins. In descent from Paul I of Russia, Frederick was a fourth cousin of Ingrid's mother.

They had three daughters:

ReignEdit

From 1942 until 1943, Frederick acted as regent on behalf of his father who was temporarily incapacitated after a fall from his horse in October 1942.

On 20 April 1947, Christian X died, and Frederick succeeded to the throne. He was proclaimed king from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace by Prime Minister Knud Kristensen.

Frederick's reign saw great change. During these years, Danish society shook off the restrictions of an agricultural society and developed a welfare state. And, as a consequence of the booming economy of the 1960s, women entered the labour market. In other words, Denmark became a modern country, which meant new demands on the monarchy.

SuccessionEdit

When he had no sons, it was expected that his younger brother Knud would inherit the throne, in accordance with Denmark's succession law (Royal Ordinance of 1853).

However, in 1953, an Act of Succession was passed, changing the method of succession to cognatic primogeniture. This meant that his daughters could succeed if he had no sons. His eldest daughter, Margrethe, did so, as Queen Margrethe II. By order of 27 March 1953 the succession to the throne was limited to the issue of King Christian X.

DeathEdit

Shortly after the King had delivered his New Year's Address to the Nation at the 1971/72 turn of the year, he became ill with flu-like symptoms. After a few days rest, he suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to the Kommune hospital on January 3. After a brief period of apparent improvement, the King's condition took a negative turn on January 11, and he died 3 days later, on January 14, at 7.50 pm surrounded by his immediate family and closest friends, having been unconscious since the previous day.

Following his death, the King's coffin was transported to his home at Amalienborg Palace, where it stood until January 18, when it was moved to the chapel at Christiansborg Palace. There the King was placed on castrum doloris, a ceremony largely unchanged since introduced at the burial of Frederick III in 1670, and the last remaining Royal ceremony where the Danish Crown Regalia is used. The King then lay in state for six days until his funeral, during which period the public could pay their last respects.

The funeral took place on January 24, 1972, and was split in two parts. First a brief ceremony was held in the chapel where the king had laid in state, where the Bishop of Copenhagen, Willy Westergaard Madsen said a brief prayer, followed by a hymn, before the coffin was carried out of the chapel by members of the Royal Life Guards and placed on a gun carriage for the journey through Copenhagen to Copenhagen Central Station. The gun carriage was pulled by 48 seamen and was escorted by honor guards from the Danish Army, Air Force, and Navy, as well as honor guards from France, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.

At the Copenhagen Central Station, the coffin was placed in a special railway carriage for the rail journey to Roskilde. The funeral train was pulled by two DSB class E) steam engines. Once in Roskilde, the coffin was pulled through the city by a group of seamen to Roskilde Cathedral where the final ceremony took place.

Previous rulers had been interred in the cathedral, but it was the King's wish to be buried outside.

He was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Queen Margrethe II. Queen Ingrid survived her husband by 28 years. She died on 7 November 2000. Her remains were interred alongside him at the burial site outside Roskilde Cathedral.

LegacyEdit

On 20 April 1982, a statue of King Frederik IX dressed in the uniform of an admiral was unveiled by the Copenhagen harbour on the 35th anniversary of his accession to the throne in 1947 and in the tenth year after his death.

The Crown Prince Frederick Bridge which spans the Roskilde Fjord between the town of Frederikssund and the peninsula of Hornsherred, as well as the Frederick IX Bridge which spans the Guldborgsund strait between the islands of Falster and Lolland, are both named after Frederick IX.

Titles, styles and honoursEdit

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 11 March 1899 – 14 May 1912: His Royal Highness Prince Frederick of Denmark
  • 14 May 1912 – 1 December 1918: His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Denmark
  • 1 December 1918 - 17 June 1944: His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Denmark and Iceland
  • 17 June 1944 - 20 April 1947: His Royal Highness The Crown Prince of Denmark
  • 20 April 1947 – 14 January 1972: His Majesty The King of Denmark

HonoursEdit

He was appointed 912th Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1951.

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