Christian IX of Denmark

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Christian IX (8 April 1818 – 29 January 1906) was King of Denmark from 16 November 1863 to 29 January 1906. He became known as "the father-in-law of Europe", as his six children married into other royal houses; most current European monarchs are descended from him.


Early life

He was born in Gottorp, the fourth son of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Louise Caroline, Princess of Hesse. Through his mother, Christian was a great-grandson of Frederick V of Denmark, great-great-grandson of George II of Great Britain and descendant of several other monarchs, but had no direct claim to any European throne.

Through his father, Christian was a member of a junior male branch of the House of Oldenburg and a prince of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg line, a junior branch of the family which had ruled Denmark for centuries (he was a direct male-line descendant of King Christian III of Denmark) and was an (albeit junior) agnatic descendant of Helvig of Schauenburg (countess of Oldenburg), mother of King Christian I of Denmark, who was the "Semi-Salic" heiress of her brother Adolf of Schauenburg, last Schauenburg duke of Schleswig and count of Holstein. As such, Christian was eligible to succeed in the twin duchies of Schleswig-Holstein, but not first in the line.

He grew up in Denmark and was educated in the Military Academy of Copenhagen.

As a young man, he unsuccessfully sought the hand of his third cousin Queen Victoria in marriage. At the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen on 26 May 1842, he married Louise of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), a niece of Christian VIII.

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