Denmark Royalty Family: Facts, History & Visiting Tips

Danish Royal family tree
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The Danish monarchy is one of the oldest in the world and one of the most firmly established and popular institutions in Denmark.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, which means that the monarch cannot independently perform political acts. The monarch’s main tasks are to represent Denmark abroad and to be a figurehead at home.

History of the Danish Monarchy – Denmark Royalty History Overview

Why exactly is Denmark a monarchy? Well, back in the 10th century a guy called Gorm the Old (buried 958 in Jelling in Jutland) consolidated power in what was previously a loosely unified nation.

Along with his son Harald I Bluetooth, he moved the royal residence to Zealand. These are the first two kings who with any certainty can be dated and located in connection with the unification of Denmark.

The two great lines of the Danish Royal House are the House of Oldenborg and the House of Glücksborg. The first representative of the House of Oldenborg became King in 1448, and the last King of the House of Oldenborg was King Frederik VII, as he had no heir to the throne.

Royalty of Denmark today
royalty_of_denmark

In 1863, the first representative of the House of Glücksborg became King, and the present Royal Family are direct descendants of this Royal House.

Whilst most of the constitutional monarchy Denmark’s rulers have been kings, perhaps the most influential was Queen Margrete I (1387-1412).

In a period of war and political games, she was able to unite Denmark, Norway and Sweden into one powerful region and increase the crown’s influence.

The Danish monarchy has a long tradition that has developed over the centuries. The Denmark monarchy history and societal influence can be seen in many parts of the capital such as the architecture of Christian IV (born in 1588) or the changing of the guard.

You may also be lucky enough to bump into one of the royal family on their bikes or in a shop! They lead quite public and relatively “normal” lives!

5 Facts about Denmark Royal Family

  1. The current Queen – Margrete can race her lineage the whole way back to the first Danish King Gorm The Old.
  1. The Danish Monarchy is one of the most ancient in the world. It is over 1200 years old!
  1. The Danish Royal Family is celebrated for having saved the vast majority of Denmark’s Jewish population during the war.
  1. Prince Henrik chose to have his body cremated on his death. This ended the tradition of the royal couple being buried together.
  1. The monarch of Denmark must be a Lutheran.

Danish Royal Family Members

The Danish Royal Family includes The Queen of Denmark and her family.

All members hold the title of Prince or Princess of Denmark with the style of His or Her Royal Highness (Hans or Hendes Kongelige Højhed), or His or Her Highness (Hans or Hendes Højhed).

Royal family in Denmark Copenhagen
denmark_royal_family

Today, Margrethe II (born 16 April 1940) is the queen regnant of Denmark. With her husband, Prince Consort Henrik, she has two sons, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is the heir apparent to the throne of Denmark. When Crown Prince Frederik becomes king, he will be King Frederik X of Denmark.

Queen Margrethe The Second

Queen Margrethe the second is an extremely popular figurehead – recent popularity figures for the Royal House were over 80%.

She became queen in 1972 – and only because the constitution was amended in the 1950s to allow females to inherit the throne.

In recent years, the laws were further amended to allow first-born female children to take precedence over younger male siblings.

Prince Frederik of Denmark

Prince Frederik of Denmark is the heir to the Danish throne. As Danish Royal Family tradition dictates, the firstborn males are entitled Frederik or Christian, alternating between generations.

He is known for being the first member of the Danish Royal family to get a university degree. He graduated in Political Science, and later took an MSC in the same subject. He has even served as the first secretary of the Danish embassy in Paris.

Danish Prince Joachim

Prince Joachim of Denmark is the younger brother of Crown Prince Frederik. Previously second in line to the throne, he is now sixth behind Prince Frederik and his four children.

The Prince enjoys a successful career in the Danish military, however, in 2020 he was admitted to hospital with a blood clot on the brain. He has since recovered.

Princess Marie

French-born Princess Marie is the second wife of Prince Joachim following his divorce from his first wife.

She has two children with Prince Joachim – Henrik and Athena.

The rulers of Denmark
ruler_of_denmark

Prince Vincent

Fourth in line to the throne of Denmark is Prince Vincent.

He is the third child of Prince Frederik, a twin, and the youngest grandson of Prince Margrethe. His twin sister is called Josephine.

Princess Benedikte

Princess Benedikte is Queen Margrethe’s younger sister. She enjoys a prominent Royal career and often stands in for the queen on royal engagements.

She is eleventh in line to the Danish throne, however, her three children are not. That is because they were not raised in Denmark, rather in Germany.

King Christian

If you are doing a search for King Christian of Denmark, you may want to be a bit more specific!

Since the Danish Royal Family enjoys a tradition of alternately naming each male heir either Christian or Frederik, there are quite a lot of King Christians! Christian X of Denmark was the last one – he died in 1947.

Danish Royal Family Rules

The Denmark monarchy certainly at times seems a more accessible monarchy than that of – for example – the British Royal Family.

All about Denmark Royalty History
denmark_royalty_history

Its members can often be seen out and about enjoying public life in Denmark. But, there are some transitional rules that the members must follow.

Here are just a few:

  • Alternating Christian and Frederik for first born male heirs – ok, so this isn’t really a rule, more of a tradition. But, it has been a custom or generations that would be pretty hard to break
  • Royal baby names are only announced at the christening service! That means, several months can go by before the names of some royal babies are known.
  • The Queen is not allowed to partake in political life, but she has been known to travel abroad to open doors for Danish businesses
  • With growing numbers of grandchildren, it has been decided that only Prince Nikolai – Prince Frederik’s oldest son and future King – will receive any royal allowance after the age of 18.
  • The Danish constitution states that the royal family must be members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark

What You Can Find on the Denmark Royal Family Website?

You can get a lot more information on the Danish Royal family by visiting the official website.

This includes information on the Danish Royal Family tree and the engagements of the current ruler of Denmark, Queen Margrethe.

Denmark Royal Palace Architecture

The Amalienborg Palace is actually a collection of four palaces. They became the official homes of the Danish Royal Family following a fire at the Christiansborg Palace in 1794.

Christiansborg Palace Opening hours and tickets
christiansborg_palace

Built in Rocco style, each “house” has a different name. The Queen resides in the winter in the Christian IX Palace.

Find out more about the details of each palace on our Amalienborg Palace Guide.

What Will Likely Happen to Denmark Once all the Danish Royalty Is Dead?

Due to a pretty elaborate plan for succession to the Danish throne, which details heirs to the Denmark crown as well as protocols to follow to reduce the risk of everyone dying at once – it is likely this is not going to be an issue.

The more likely event that would eliminate the Crown of Denmark would be a shift in public opinion and the popularity of the Monarchy, which could lead to a republican movement.

Even that looks quite unlikely – the Danish Monarchy currently enjoys huge popularity of over 80%.

Denmark Royal Palace – Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace in Denmark

Queen Margrethe occupies three or four palaces during the year! In the winter months, the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen.

Parts of the palace can be visited during a visit to Copenhagen. In the summer, she usually visits either Marselisborg Palace in Aarhus or Grasten in Jutland.

In the spring and autumn, you will usually find them here enjoying the surroundings of Fredensborg Palace.

Can You Get Tickets for the Home of the Danish Royal Family?

You can visit parts of the Amalienborg Palace in the Amalienborg Museum area.

It includes untouched rooms from previous monarchs, as well as exhibitions and a banqueting hall.

Get your tickets here online today, or consider a city pass that allows access to many attractions in Denmark.


Best Time to Visit Denmark Royalty & Opening Hours

Change guards time Blue Palace Denmark
amalienborg_palace_changing_guards
Days Opening Hours
MondaysClosed
End Oct – 30th Dec11 am – 4 pm
Throughout the year10 am – 5 pm

The Amalienborg Palace is open from 10 am to 5 pm.

From the end of October to 30th December, it is only open from 11 am to 4 pm. Throughout the year, the palace is closed on Monday.

Check the website in advance of visiting in case there are any seasonal or ceremonial variations.

How to Get to Denmark Royalty Amalienborg Palace

The most likely palace for you to visit as a tourist to Copenhagen will be the Amalienborg Palace.

Take the subway from the central train station in the city to Marmorkirken St. Then, it’s a 5-minute walk to the palace and grounds.

Frequently Asked Questions about Danish Royalty

Denmark’s royalty expected at Prince Harry’s wedding?

Prince Harrys wedding to Meghan Markle had a restricted guestlist of just 600 people, and only a select few royals attended (those with personal relationships). So, the Danish royal family did not attend.

What religion is the Danish Royal family?

The royalty of Denmark are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark.

Does Denmark have a king?

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and currently has a Queen at its head.

Who was the first king of Denmark?

The first King of Denmark and forefather of Denmark Royalty is widely agreed to be Gorm the Old.

Does Denmark have a Monarchy?

Yes, Denmark has a constitutional monarchy headed by either a king or queen.

Final Words about Denmark Royalty

The world of Denmark Royalty might be just a little bit clearer now, but you can only get the true feeling for this important Danish institution by visiting some of its landmarks.

Book your tickets today for the Amalienborg palace, or perhaps sort out a hotel nearby so you can enjoy watching the changing of the guard!

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