Denmark's House of Glucksburg and the Current Line of Succession

King Frederik X begins reign

The Danish royal House of Glucksburg underwent many changes as Queen Margrethe II, Denmark's longest reigning monarch in the new millennium, formally abdicated.

Following the abdication of the Queen and the accession to the throne of King Frederik X, the line of succession to the Danish throne also has movements. 

King Frederik X begins reign
King Frederik X and his son and heir, Crown Prince Christian

However, their line of succession is slim. Currently, the royal house only has 10 individuals eligible to succeed King Frederik X.

This is due to the Act of Succession established in 1953 limiting the Danish Line of Succession to the descendants of King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine.

However, two grandsons (and their descendants) of King Christian X through his second son, Prince Knud, were removed from the line of succession upon marrying commoners without the consent of King Frederik IX. The Danish throne was left with only Frederik IX's direct descendants eligible to succeed.

Queen Margrethe abdicates
Three daughters of Frederik IX. Queen Anne-Marie, Queen Margrethe II, and Princess Benedikte

Princess Benedikte married a German prince in 1968 (Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg).  The rules of succession in Denmark at that time stated that royal children must be raised in Denmark until their maturity age to be eligible to succeed, however, this was not followed because all Princess Benedikte's three children were raised in Berleburg Castle in Germany, so they became ineligible to succeed.  

Queen Anne Marie renounced her place, and those of her descendants, in the line of succession, when she married a foreign monarch (her second cousin, King Constantine II of Greece) in 1964.

King Frederik X begins reign
Denmark's new King and Queen, Frederik X and Mary

Royal House name: Glucksburg since 1863

The House of Glucksburg in Denmark succeeded the House of Oldenburg in 1863, when the last Danish monarch from the House of Oldenburg, Frederick VII, died without direct heirs. 

King Frederik X begins reign
The new Danish royal family

The first Glucksburg monarch in Denmark was King Christian IX, who was born in 1818 as the younger son of Frederick William, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448.

Christian IX was Frederick VII's second cousin and his wife, Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel, was Frederick VII's paternal first cousin. 

It began the tradition of alternating the names of Frederik and Christian for the next Danish kings. Christian IX's successor was his eldest son, King Frederik VIII, who in return succeeded by his son, Christian X. 

Glucksburg Kings in Europe
King Harald V, King Charles III, and King Frederik X 

Three reigning Kings in Europe are Glucksburg by blood: 

  1. King Frederik X (Denmark): Christian IX -> Frederick VIII -> Christian X -> Frederik IX .-> Margrethe II -> Frederik X
  2. King Harald V (Norway): Christian IX -> Frederick VIII -> Haakon VII -> Olaf V -> Harald V
  3. King Charles III (United Kingdom): Christian IX -> George I -> Prince Andrew -> Prince Philip -> Charles III

Five reigning monarchs in Europe (apart from Frederik X) are Christian IX's direct descendants: 

  • King Charles III of the United Kingdom - through King George I of Greece and Queen Alexandra (wife of Edward VII of Britain)
  • King Felipe VI of Spain - through King George I of Greece and Princess Thyra (who married Ernest Augusts III of Hanover)
  • King Harald V of Norway- through King Frederick VIII and Queen Alexandra (wife of Edward VII of Britain)
  • King Philippe of Belgium through King Frederick VIII (via his daughter, Princess Ingeborg) 
  • Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg through King Frederick VIII (via his daughter, Princess Ingeborg) 

King Frederik X begins reign
From left: King Frederik X, Princess Josephine, Crown Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, Queen Mary

Since 2009, the Danish throne has followed an Absolute Primogeniture Law of Succession, giving equal rights to females. The elder sisters won't be outranked by their younger brothers in the line of succession anymore. 

Prince Joachim of Denmark and family
From left: Count Nikolai, Princess Marie, Countess Athena, Count Henrik, Prince Joachim, and Count Felix

Upon the abdication of Queen Margrethe and the accession of her son to the Danish throne, the current line of succession follows below list:

  1. Crown Prince Christian - eldest son of Frederik X
  2. Princess Isabella - eldest daughter of Frederik X
  3. Prince Vincent - younger son of Frederik X
  4. Princess Josephine - younger daughter of Frederik X
  5. Prince Joachim - younger brother of Frederik X
  6. Count Nikolai of Monpezat - eldest son of Prince Joachim
  7. Count Felix of Monpezat - second son of Prince Joachim
  8. Count Henrik of Monpezat - third son of Prince Joachim
  9. Countess Athena of Monpezat - only daughter of Prince Joachim
  10. Princess Benedikte - maternal aunt of Frederik X

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