Friday, 15 November 2013

On this date: 150 years of the Glücksburgs

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.


  1. I think Christian IX had a remote right to succeed to the hereditary throne of Frederik III
    - not because of the patriline from Christian III, but
    - because his mother was Louise Caroline, daughter of Frederik V. In my view, if those dozens of personages ahead of Louise Caroline's branch had died and also Christian's own elder brothers had died without progeny, then Christian IX would have succeeded in his own right derived from Frederik V. (This carnage however would have meant that Christian's own children had also died.... so he could then have had problems about to whom the throne pass after him.)


    1. That is indeed true - a very theoretical right of succession, but still a right. If so, Christian IX's heir would have been his next brother, Prince Julius, but as he died childless in 1903, Christian IX would have been succeeded by the next brother, Prince Hans, who lived until 1911.

      The same is indeed the case today with Prince Philip of Britain, who is something like 600th in line to the British throne, making his highly unlikely succession to the throne dependent of the deaths of all those hundreds ahead of him, including his own descendants. In that case I think Prince Philip's heir would have been Margrave Maximilian of Baden, the eldest son of his second sister (the descendants of his eldest sister are also descended from the second son of Queen Victoria and thus higher up in the order of succession than Prince Philip, who is descended from her second daughter).


Comments are welcome, but should be signed - preferably by a name, but an initial or a nick will also be accepted. Advertisements are not allowed. COMMENTS WHICH DO NOT COMPLY WITH THESE RULES WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED.