At 3.30 p.m. today the christening of the twins born to Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark on 8 January took place in Holmen’s Church in Copenhagen and in keeping with Danish royal traditions it was only then that the names given to the children were made publicly known. The Prince’s name is Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander, while his slightly younger sister is named Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda.
While the heirs in direct line are always called either Christian or Frederik the Danes tend to choose less traditional names for younger royals, with Joachim, Felix, Viggo and Flemming as some examples from the current dynasty (which has reigned since 1863). I cannot think of any previous princes named Vincent, but the name might perhaps be seen as a reflection of what Crown Prince Frederik has said about his French roots becoming more and more important to him.
Most Danish princes, unless they are far down the line of succession, mostly have either Frederik or Christian among their names just in case they should succeed to the throne. Minik is a Greenlandic name, while Alexander is a more traditional royal name. The last Danish royal to be named so was Prince Alexander, who in 1905 became Crown Prince of Norway and got the name Olav instead. Prince Nikolai also has Alexander among his names.
Princess Josephine’s nearest family namesake is her father’s second cousin Josephine af Rosenborg, one of the three daughters of Count Christian of Rosenborg. It was also the name of the Princess’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Queen Josephina (Joséphine) of Sweden and Norway and of the latter’s grandmother, Empress Joséphine of the French.
Sophia was the name of the Princess’s great-great-great-grandmother, Queen Sophia of Sweden and Norway, and was also among the names of Queen Ingrid (Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta). In its more Danish version Sophie it has also been used by several Danish queens: Sophie of Pomerania, the wife of Frederik I; Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, the consort of Frederik II; Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg, wife of Frederik III; Anna Sophie Reventlow, the third wife and second queen of Frederik IV; Sophie Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, consort of Christian VI; and Marie Sophie Frederikke of Hesse-Cassel, wife of Frederik VI. To this could be added Princess Sophie Magdalene, daughter of Frederik V and eventually Queen of Sweden as the consort of Gustaf III; Princess Sophie Hedvig, daughter of Christian V; Princess Anna Sophie, daughter of Frederik III and later Electress of Saxony; and Princess Sophie, daughter of Christian IV.
Ivalo is again a Greenlandic name, while Mathilda might bring assocations to Crown Princess Mary’s native Australia. It is also a name associated with the unfortunate Queen Caroline Mathilde, née Princess Carolina Mathilda of Britain, who was married to the insane Christian VII, had an affair with the royal physician Johann Friedrich Struensee, was divorced and banished to Hanover and died there at the age of 24.
Prince Vincent’s godparents are his uncle John Stuart Donaldson, Prince Felipe of Spain, his father’s first cousin Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, his mother’s lady-in-waiting Caroline Hering, Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille and Baroness Helle Reedtz-Thott, the latter two friends of his parents. Princess Josephine’s godparents are her aunts Princess Marie and Patricia Bailey, Prince Charles of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Count Bendt Wedell, Birgitte Handwerk and Josephine Rechner, the latter three friends of the parents.
While the Prince wore the christening gown which has been used for most royal christenings since Christian X in 1870, Princess Josephine wore a previously unused dress which Queen Margrethe found among the belongings of the late Queen Ingrid. Textile conservators have concluded that it dates from around 1940 and it has been suggested that someone may have given it to the then Crown Princess Ingrid when her first child was born.
Except for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and their four children the baptism was attended by the following royals and relatives: The Queen and Prince Consort, Prince Joachim and Princess Marie, Princes Nikolai, Felix and Henrik, Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Carina Axelsson, ex-Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes, Prince Nikolaós and Princess Tatiana of Greece, Prince Charles and Princess Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and their daughters Maria Carolina and Maria Chiara, John and Susan Donaldson (maternal grandfather and step-grandmother), John Stuart Donaldson (uncle), Patricia Bailey (aunt), Catherine Murray (great-aunt), Guillaume Bardin (cousin of Crown Prince Frederik) and his wife, Count Valdemar of Rosenborg and Countess Marina of Rosenborg.
Following the christening there was a reception at Frederik VIII’s Mansion at Amalienborg, where a private dinner was also scheduled to take place tonight.