Everything you need to know about the Danish royal family

Queen Margrethe of Denmark, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Prince Christian of Denmark, Princess Isabella of Denmark, Prince Vincent of Denmark, Princess Josephine, Prince Joachim of Denmark, Princess Marie of Denmark, Prince Nikolai of Denmark, Prince Felix of Denmark, Prince Henrik of Denmark and Princess Athena of Denmark pose on the balcony of Amalienborg palace during the Danish Queen's 78th Birthday celebrations on April 16, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Danish royal family is pictured on the balcony of Amalienborg palace in 2018. Photo: Getty Images

Who are the Danish royal family?

The Royal Danish House has existed for more than 1000 years, making it the world’s second oldest monarchy, after Japan.

Today, at the head of the Danish royal family is Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II. Queen Margrethe’s husband of 53 years Prince Henrik died in February 2018 at the age of 83.

The heir to the throne is her son HRH Crown Prince Frederik. His Australian-born wife, HRH Crown Princess Mary, will become queen when Frederik becomes king.

Frederick has a younger brother, HRH Prince Joachim, but the line of succession to the throne passes first to Frederik and Mary’s children, Prince Christian, Princess Isabella and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.

Princess Mary and Prince Frederik during the unveiling of a portrait of Crown Prince Frederik by Australian painter Ralph Heimans at Frederiksborg Palace on May 24, 2018 in Hillerod, Denmark. The exhibitions 'Ralph Heinmans Portraits' and 'HRH Crown Price Frederik - Prince of Denamrk' both open on the occasion of the 50th birthday of The Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.
Princess Mary and Prince Frederik pose with their four children in Hillerod, Denmark. Photo: Getty Images
Princess Marie of Denmark, Prince Joachim of Denmark, Prince Henrik of Denmark, Princess Athena of Denmark, Prince Nikolai of Denmark, Countess Alexandra of Denmark and Prince Felix of Denmark attend the 18th birthday celebration of Prince Nikolai at royal ship Dannebrog on August 28, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Prince Frederick has a younger brother, HRH Prince Joachim, who is pictured here with Princess Marie of Denmark, Prince Joachim of Denmark, Prince Henrik of Denmark, Princess Athena of Denmark, Prince Nikolai of Denmark, Countess Alexandra of Denmark and Prince Felix of Denmark at the 18th birthday celebration of Prince Nikolai. Photo: Getty Images

Prince Joachim has one son, Prince Nikolai from his first marriage to Alexandra Countess of Frederiksborg.

With his current wife Princess Marie, he has Prince Felix, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena, who are all included in the order of succession to the throne.

All of the Danish royal family have the last name Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

Why won’t Queen Margrethe be buried next to her husband Prince Henrik?

Because he didn’t want her to be! Married to Queen Margrethe for over 50 years, Prince Henrik always wanted to be known as king consort, but his wife never gave him the title. He was known first as her prince consort, then simply as prince.

He made it known publicly he was unhappy about the title, stating she’d “made a fool out of him.” The year before he died, he announced he didn’t want to be buried next to his wife, countering the 459-year old Danish tradition of burying spouses together.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Henrik of Denmark attend Queen Margrethe's 76th Birthday Celebration at Amalienborg Palace on April 16, 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark
Queen Margrethe’s husband of 53 years, Prince Henrik, died in February 2018 at the age of 83. Photo: Getty Images

The Royal Danish House confirmed his decision before he died, saying: "It is no secret that the prince for many years has been unhappy with his role and the title he has been awarded in the Danish monarchy.

For the prince, the decision not to be buried beside the queen is the natural consequence of not having been treated equally to his spouse - by not having the title and role he has desired."

Instead, he was cremated. Half his ashes were spread over Danish waters and the other half in private gardens at Fredensborg Castle, just outside Copenhagen.

Where do the Danish Royal Family live?

There are four buildings the family use for both their official and private lives.

Amalienborg in Copenhagen is made up of four palaces. Queen Margrethe lives in Christian IX’s Palace during the winter. Prince Frederik, Princess Mary and their children live in Frederik VIII’s palace.

In the spring and autumn, Queen Margrethe lives at Copenhagen’s Fredensborg Palace. This is also where the family celebrate weddings and birthdays, and where the Queen receives visits from other heads of state during official visits.

Marselisborg Palace is in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city. Queen Margrethe spends her summers here.

A large group of tourists walk towards Crown prince Frederiks and Crown Princess Marys residence, Frederik VIIIs palace at Amalienborg on August 28, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Amalienborg Palace is a complex of 4  palaces.
Princess Mary and Prince Frederik live at Frederik VIIIs palace at Amalienborg. Photo: Getty Images

The whole royal family use Gråsten Palace in the summer. There is also a royal yacht, called Dannebrog, which the family stay on during summer cruises and overseas trips.

The Queen also has three private residences; Marselisborg Slot in Aarhus, Château de Caix in France, and the royal hunting lodge in Jutland.

However, things are changing for the royal family. At the beginning of 2019, Prince Joachim and his family moved to Paris, where he’s taking part in a military training course.

Princess Mary will temporarily move to Switzerland in January 2020 to live closer to her four children who will be at boarding school in Lemania.

Can I follow the Danish royal family on Instagram?

Yes! They have a family account @detdanskekongehus, which often shows surprisingly personal photos of the family and their children’s activities. Look out for photos taken by Princess Mary, which are signed off with H.K.H. Kronprinsessen.

What religion are the Danish royal family?

They belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark, which 75 per cent of the population are believed to follow.

It’s tradition for non-Danes who marry in to the royal family to convert and become members of the church.

Princess Mary converted from her Presbyterianism faith before marrying Prince Frederik in 2004, and Prince Henrik converted from Catholicism before marrying Queen Margrethe in 1968.

Wedding of Prince Frederik of Denmark and Mary Donaldson : After the ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark on May 14, 2004.
Princess Mary married Prince Frederik in 2004. Photo: Getty Images

What is the net worth of the Danish royal family?

Around AUD$57.8million, according to Business Insider. The family receive around AUD$18.5 million a year from the Danish Civil List which covers personal expenses and the running of their households.

This puts them seventh on the list of the richest royal families in the world. Their wealth is small fry compared to the English royal family who are the fourth richest royal family with around AUD$872.5 million, and the Luxembourg royal family, who are the richest in the world with a fortune of AUD$5.8billion.

What do the Danish Royal family like to do?

Queen Margrethe II loves painting and has held public exhibitions of her watercolours and textiles. She’s the patron of the Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, amongst many other academies and charities.

Prince Frederik has a masters degree in political science and an extensive military education. He’s currently patron of the International Red Cross and runs the Crown Prince Frederik Foundation, which provides financial assistance to students who want to take scientific expeditions overseas or study social policy subjects.

Princess Mary has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2009, and is the patron of several charities including Twins Research Australia and UNFPA.

Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark attend the opening ceremony of the 129th International Olympic Committee session, in Rio de Janeiro on August 1, 2016, ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Princess Mary has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 2009. Photo: Getty Images

What did the Danish Royal family do during World War 2?

King Christian, who was the grandfather of the current Queen Margrethe II, become extremely respected for his behaviour during World War II, when Denmark was occupied by the Nazis.

As a symbol of resistance, the king chose to ride his horse through the streets of Copenhagen everyday - without bodyguards or protection. He was also active in stopping Danish Jews being persecuted. He died in 1947, three years after the end of the war.

Does the Danish royal family have a coat of arms?

Yes, their current coat of arms was established in 1972. It has fewer quarterings than previous versions, as Queen Margrethe decided not to hold some of the official titles her male predecessors had.

As well as displaying the arms of Denmark, it also shows the arms Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are territories within the Kingdom of Denmark.

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