Saturday, May 8, 2010

Princess Elisabeth of Denmark turns 75

Princess Caroline-Mathilde with her daughter
King Christian X with his first grandchild

All three photos from my collection

Princess Elisabeth Caroline-Mathilde Alexandrine Helena Olga Thyra Feodora Estrid Margarethe Désirée of Denmark celebrates her 75th birthday today. The eldest child and only daughter of the late Hereditary Prince Knud of Denmark and his wife, Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark. Knud and Caroline-Mathilde were first cousins.
HH Princess Elisabeth was born in Copenhagen on May 8, 1935. She was also the first grandchild of King Christian IX and Queen Alexandrine. The Princess did not have dynastic rights as women were barred from the throne until the law was changed in 1953.
Prince Knud's position as second in line to the throne was solidified after his brother, Crown Prince Frederik married Princess Ingrid of Denmark, and fathered three daughters, Margrethe, Benedikte and Anne Marie. Frederick succeeded to the throne in 1947. Knud became the heir presumptive, and believed that he would eventually succeed to the throne. New legislation was planned, however, and in 1953, a new succession law to allow females to inherit was passed. Margrethe became the heiress presumptive, and Knud, much to his disappointment, moved down from first in line to fourth in line.
Princess Elisabeth, who was 23 when the law was changed, became a dynast, after her father and two older brothers, Christian and Ingolf. But after both her brothers married commoners and lost their rights, Elisabeth moved up two spots in the line of succession.
Today she is ninth (and last) in the line of succession.
The Princess worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1956 until her retirement in 2001. She spent several years at Royal Danish Ministry in Washington, D.C.
Princess Elisabeth has never married. She lived with Claus Hermansen for more than 20 years until his death in 1997.


savoiabeatrice said...

Marlene,do you know is she a paid member of the royal family? They have her listed on their website as a member and isn't her working for the Ministry of Foreign affairs a conflict of interest. I could be wrong, just wondering. Bea

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Elisabeth remains a member of the royal family because she remains HH - she did not marry, so she did not lose her rights. She does not receive a parliamentary allowance as a member of the royal family. Thus, she had to work for a living. Her brother, Ingolf, receives 1.4 million kroner a year - and this may be for losing his position as a main heir to the throne after the change of law in 1953. He did renounce his rights when he married a commoner. This allowance was not given to Elisabeth nor the other son, Christian.