Today the House of Glücksburg has been on the Danish throne for 150 years. The former Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg ascended the Danish throne as King Christian IX upon the sudden death of King Frederik VII, which, ironically, happened at Glücksburg Castle on 15 November 1863.
The death of King Frederik VII marked the extinction of the House of Oldenburg, which had ascended the Danish throne with King Christian I in 1448. Two centuries later, in 1660, the Danish crown become hereditary in that dynasty. From the accession of King Frederik I in 1523 to the death of King Frederik VI in 1839 the Oldenburgs boasted an unbroken line of eleven generations where son succeeded father, an unusual long line of direct dynastic descent which could only be rivalled by the Capets of France and the Stuarts of Scotland. Upon the death of Frederik VI in 1839 the crown passed to his half-cousin (at least officially), Christian VIII, whose son, Frederik VII, had no legitimate children.
Prince Christian of Glücksburg belonged to a junior line of the Oldenburgs, descending from one of the 23 children of Duke Hans the Younger, a younger son of King Christian III, but had only a very remote rights of succession to the throne. However, by the semi-Salic law of that time, his wife, née Princess Louise of Hesse-Cassel, was in line to the throne after her mother, a sister of Christian VIII, and elder brother, who both renounced their rights in favour of Louise, who transferred them to her husband, who was the Russian candidate to the Danish throne and won the approval of the other great powers at a conference in London in 1852.
There will be no special celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the royal house, but today has been chosen as the date for the unveiling of a new group portrait of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Consort Henrik with their sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren by Thomas Kluge, who has earlier done portraits of Queen Margrethe, Prince Consort Henrik and Crown Prince Frederik.
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