Frederick VIII of Denmark

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Frederick VIII (Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl) (3 June 1843 – 14 May 1912) was King of Denmark from 1906 to 1912.



He was the eldest son of King Christian IX and his wife, Denmark's heiress, Louise of Hesse - and was born in Copenhagen. As Crown Prince of Denmark he formally took part in the war of 1864 against Austria and Prussia, and subsequently assisted his father in the duties of government. He became king of Denmark on Christian's death in January 1906.

In many ways Frederick VIII was a liberal ruler who was much more favorable to the new parliamentarian system than his father had been. Because of his very late accession to the throne he only got few years to show his ability and he was weakened by ill health.

On his return journey from Nice a trip to France, King Frederick made a short stop in Hamburg, staying at the Hotel Hamburger Hof. The evening of his arrival, Frederick (incognito) took a walk on the Jungfernstieg. While walking he became faint and collapsed on a park bench and died. He was discovered by a police officer who took him to a Hafen hospital where he was pronounced dead. His cause of death was announced as a paralysis-attack. He was interred with other members of the Danish royal family in Roskilde Cathedral near Copenhagen.

The royal families of Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Luxembourg are descended from King Frederick VIII. Denmark comes naturally, Norway's family goes through the line of his son, Prince Carl, and the families of Belgium and Luxembourg are descended from his daughter, Princess Ingeborg of Denmark.

Family and issue

Louise of Hesse wanted her eldest son married as well as her two daughters, Alexandra and Dagmar had. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom had two yet unmarried daughters, Princess Helena and Princess Louise, and Louise tried to marry Frederick to one of them. However, the British Queen didn't want her daughters to marry the heirs to foreign crowns, as this would force them to live abroad. She preferred German princes who could establish homes in the UK. In addition, Victoria had always been pro-German and another Danish alliance (Frederick's sister, Alexandra, had married Victoria's eldest son, the Prince of Wales), would not have been in line with her German interests.

In July 1868, Frederick became engaged to the 17-year-old only daughter of Charles XV of Sweden, Louise of Sweden. Princess Louise's family was related by marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte. She belonged to the Bernadotte dynasty, which had ruled in Sweden since 1818, when the founder, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleon's generals, was elected King of Sweden with the name of Charles XIV of Sweden. He married Desiree Clary, who had once been engaged to the French Emperor. Charles XIV's son, Oscar I of Sweden, married Josephine of Leuchtenberg, grandddaughter of Napoleon's first wife, the Empress Josephine. King Oscar I and Queen Josephine were Princess Louise's paternal grandparents.

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