Monday, May 14, 2012

Royal Death: King Frederik VIII of Denmark

May 14, 1912

The New York Times and other newspapers are reporting the death, earlier tonight, of King Frederik VIII of Denmark.   He was 68 years old.  According to the news reports, the death was "sudden."

Frederik was already 62 years old when he succeeded his father, Christian IX, in 1906.  His reign was "too short and the part his country has played of late in history has been too small to make him a very noteworthy character."    He played his part "as a constitutional monarch with an ability and high purpose that won him the admiration" of those opposed to monarchy.

Frederik was born June 3, 1843, the eldest son of King Christian IX and his wife, Louise of Hesse-Cassel.  On July 28, 1869, he married Princess Louise of Sweden and Norway.

The king was noted for being "the most approachable of men," and was often seen strolling through the streets of Copenhagen or Hvidore.   Once, when a group of American tourists found their way into gardens of one of his Summer palaces, the king "showed them around, and only revealed his identity as he shook hands at party."  He also told them: "If you want to see the stables, just say you have the King's permission."

Frederik is succeeded by his eldest son, Christian X, who is married to Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.  They have two sons, Frederik and Knud.  The elder son is now the Crown Prince. 

A younger son, King Haakon VII of Norway, is married to Princess Maud, youngest sister of King George V, while the eldest daughter, Princess Ingeborg is married to Prince Carl of Sweden.

Frederik has three sisters, Alexandra, the Dowager Queen of the United Kingdom,  Marie, the Dowager Empress of Russias, and Thyra, the Duchess of Cumberland.

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