Birthday: March 11, 1899
Died At Age: 72
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Frederick IX
Born Country: Denmark
Born in: Sorgenfri Palace, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Famous as: King
Emperors & Kings
Height: 1.98 m
Spouse/Ex-: Ingrid of Sweden (m. 1935)
father: Christian X of Denmark
mother: Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
children: Margrethe II of Denmark, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
Died on: January 14, 1972
place of death: Municipal Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
Who was Frederick IX of Denmark?
Frederick IX was the king of Denmark from 1947 to 1972. He was one of the most popular monarchs in Danish royalty. He was the first in the royal family to have a career in the Danish navy and not in the army. He became the crown prince in 1912, when his father became the king. With his father’s death in April 1947, Frederick became the king. Throughout his tenure as a king, Frederick maintained a strong bond between the subjects and the royalty. He brought prosperity to the nation and empowered its women. His innovative policies made Denmark one of the most modern and progressive nations of the time. Frederick had three daughters from his wife, Princess Ingrid of Sweden. However, he had no sons. Thus, when the succession to his throne became doubtful, instead of making his younger brother the heir presumptive, he altered the 'Act of Succession' in Denmark and allowed the royal daughters to succeed to the throne. After Frederick's death in 1972, his eldest daughter succeeded him and began ruling as the queen of Denmark.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on March 11, 1899, at 'Sorgenfri Palace' in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark, Frederick Franz Michael Carl Valdemar George was the elder son of Christian X and Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He had a younger brother, Knud.
Frederick's great-grandfather, King Christian IX, was the monarch back then. On April 9, 1899, Frederick was christened. He had 21 godparents, including his great-grandfather; Nicholas II of Russia; his paternal granduncle, King George I of Greece; King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway; Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark; his paternal grandfather, the prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of the U.K.); and his maternal uncle, Friedrich Franz IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Frederick was the first in the Danish royalty to go to a naval school instead of an army academy. He attended the 'Royal Danish Naval Academy' and then the 'University of Copenhagen.'
He was a great patron of music. He had inherited his interest in music from his mother, who was a prolific piano player and conductor. Growing up, he often performed as a guest conductor on the royal orchestra.
Frederick was shy and did not like sports. He, however, enjoyed driving cars.
Frederick had an unusual gift of memorizing railway schedules. He was so proud of this quality that he often entertained requests from the Copenhagen elite to inquire about the schedules of trains all over Europe.
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As the Prince of Denmark & Iceland
Christian IX died on January 29, 1906, and Frederick's grandfather, King Frederick VIII, passed away on May 14, 1912. His father ascended to the throne as King Christian X, making Frederick the crown prince of Denmark.
With the 'Danish–Icelandic Act of Union,' passed on December 1, 1918, Denmark established a free personal association through a common monarch, with the newly recognized sovereign state Iceland. Therefore, Frederick also became the crown prince of Iceland.
As the prince of Iceland, Frederick's name was officially spelled “Friðrik.”
Frederick, however, could never become the king of Iceland, since the Republic of Iceland was established on June 17, 1944.
Family & Personal Life
As a king, Frederick's father, Christian X, was highly popular, especially during both the World Wars. His popularity, however, got tarnished after the Easter Crisis of 1920.
Christian was a strict father, and both of his sons feared him. Frederick was close to his mother, who was a patron of various musical societies. She also loved gardening.
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Frederick's mother had two marriage prospects for him: Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia and Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, daughters of her cousin, Tsar Nicholas II.
However, he got engaged to his second cousin, Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, in 1922. Unfortunately, the engagement was called off, and Olga later married Prince Paul of Yugoslavia.
On March 15, 1935, Frederick was engaged to Princess Ingrid of Sweden, one of the daughters of Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, who later became the king of Sweden. They were double third cousins through Oscar I of Sweden and Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden. Frederick was also the fourth cousin of Ingrid's mother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, through Paul I of Russia.
Frederick and Ingrid's grand wedding took place at the 'Stockholm Cathedral' on May 24, 1935, and was a huge media affair in Sweden.
Back in Denmark, Frederick and Ingrid lived at Frederick VIII's 'Amalienborg Palace' in Copenhagen. The 'Gråsten Palace' in Northern Schleswig was their summer residence.
The couple had three daughters: Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (born on April 16, 1940), Princess Benedikte of Denmark (born on April 29, 1944), and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece (born on August 30, 1946).
Succession to the Throne
From 1942 to 1943, Frederick was a regent to his father, who was, back then, recovering from his injuries after falling from his horse in October 1942.
Frederick was a key figure of the Danish resistance movement against ‘Nazi’ Germany during World War II. The Germans even imprisoned him and his father from 1943 to 1945.
With Christian X's death on April 20, 1947, Frederick was named the king. Prime Minister Knud Kristensen made the announcement from the balcony of 'Christiansborg Palace.'
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The nation flourished under Frederick IX's reign. He lifted the restrictions of an agricultural society and expanded the welfare state.
In 1948, Frederick declared the Faroe Islands a self-governing country under the 'The Unity of the Realm.'
The economic boom of the 1960s led Danish women to enter the labor market, making Denmark a modern nation of the time.
Changes to the Act of Succession
Frederick and Ingrid had no sons. Hence, Prince Knud was expected to be the heir presumptive, according to Denmark's succession law, the 'Royal Ordinance' of 1853.
In 1953, under Frederick's reign, the 'Act of Succession' was reintroduced with a modification, allowing the daughters of kings to succeed to the throne in case the king had no sons. With this, Frederick's eldest daughter, Margrethe, became the heir presumptive.
After ascending to the throne, Margrethe II became the first female monarch of Denmark after Queen Margrethe I (1376–1412).
Soon after Frederick addressed his people on New Year's Eve in 1971, he fell ill, displaying flu-like symptoms. He was on rest for a couple of days but had a cardiac arrest later.
He was taken to the 'Copenhagen Municipal Hospital' on January 3, 1972. He did show some improvement, but his health deteriorated on January 11.
He died in the hospital on January 14, in the presence of his immediate family and closest friends. He had been unconscious since the previous day.
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Frederick's coffin was taken to his home at 'Amalienborg Palace,' where it was kept until January 18. It was then moved to the chapel at 'Christiansborg Palace.'
For 6 days until his funeral, Frederick was placed on “castrum doloris” for the public to pay their last respects.
Frederick's funeral, held on January 24, 1972, started with a brief ceremony in the chapel where he was laid on “castrum doloris,” with the bishop of Copenhagen, Willy Westergaard Madsen, saying a brief prayer, followed by a hymn.
Members of the 'Royal Life Guards' then took out the coffin and placed it on a gun carriage. The honor guards of the ‘Danish Army,’ ‘Air Force,’ and ‘Navy’ escorted the carriage. Honor guards from France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, too, were present to pay homage.
Unlike the previous rulers of Denmark, who had been interred in the 'Roskilde Cathedral,' Frederick was buried outside the cathedral, according to his last wish.
Queen Ingrid died on November 7, 2000, and her remains were buried beside Frederick’s grave.
On May 14, 1912, he was granted the Danish order of chivalry, the 'Order of the Elephant' (''Elefantordenen''), Denmark's highest-ranked honor.
He received the 'Cross of Honour of the Order of the Dannebrog' (''Dannebrogordenens Hæderstegn'') on March 11, 1917, and the 'Grand Commander, Order of the Dannebrog' on February 3, 1936.
He had also been bestowed with several foreign honors, from countries and imperial/royal families such as Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, the Dominican Republic, the Ethiopian Imperial Family, Finland, France, the German Imperial and Royal Family, the Mecklenburg Grand Ducal Family, the Greek Royal Family, Iceland, the Iranian Imperial Family, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, the Russian Imperial Family, Sweden, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
On April 20, 1982, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Frederick's ascension to the throne, the Copenhagen harbor unveiled a statue of the king in his admiral's uniform.
The 'Crown Prince Frederick Bridge' and the 'Frederick IX Bridge' have been named after the king.
In 1934, British army officer and polar explorer Sir Martin Lindsay discovered what is now known as the 'Crown Prince Frederick Range' in Greenland, during the 'British Trans-Greenland Expedition,' and named it after the king.