The Danish Royal Family consists of the dynastic family of the current monarch, Margrethe II. All members of the royal family, except the Queen, hold the title of Prince/Princess of Denmark. Dynastic children of the monarch and of the heir apparent, Crown Prince Frederik, are accorded the style of His/Her Royal Highness, while other members of the dynasty are addressed as His/Her Highness. The Queen is styled Her Majesty.
The Queen and her siblings belong to the House of Glücksburg, which is a branch of the House of Oldenburg. The Queen's children and male-line descendants belong agnatically to the House of Monpezat, and were given the concurrent title Count/Countess of Monpezat by royal decree on 30 April 2008.
The royal family enjoys remarkably high approval ratings in Denmark, ranging between 82% and 92%.
The Danish Royal Family includes:
- HM Margrethe II (1940)
- TRH Crown Prince Frederik (1968) and Crown Princess Mary (1972)
- TRH Prince Joachim (1969) and Princess Marie (1976)
- HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1944)
- HM Queen Anne-Marie of Greece 1 (1946)
Royal family of Greece
- Main article: Greek Royal Family
Most of the members of the deposed royal family of Greece hold the title of Prince/Princess of Greece and Denmark with the qualification of His/Her Highness, pursuant to the Royal Cabinet Order of 1774 and as agnatic descendants of George I of Greece, who, as the son of the future Christian IX of Denmark, was (and remained) a "Prince of Denmark" prior to his accession to the throne of Greece in 1863. Until 1953, his dynastic male-line descendants remained in Denmark's order succession. However, no Danish act has revoked usage of the princely title for these descendants, neither for those living in 1953, nor for those born subsequently or who have since married into the dynasty.
There are three members of the Greek royal family who are not known to bear the title of Prince/ss of Denmark with the qualification of His/Her Highness:
- Marina Karella, wife of Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark
Royal family of Norway
- Main article: Norwegian Royal Family
The royal family of Norway descends in the legitimate male line from Frederick VIII of Denmark, Margrethe II's great-grandfather. Haakon VII of Norway, who was born Prince Carl of Denmark as Frederick VIII's younger son, was, like his uncle, George I of Greece, invited to reign over another nation. As with the Greek branch's descendants, members of the Norwegian line no longer have succession rights to the Danish crown, but unlike the Greek dynasts, they discontinued use of Danish royal titles upon ascending their foreign throne in 1905.
Ducal family of Schleswig-Holstein
- Main article: Ducal Family of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
The Ducal Family descends in the legitimate male line from Christian III of Denmark. As with the Greek branch's descendants, members of the Schleswig-Holstein line no longer have succession rights to the Danish crown, but unlike the Greek dynasts, they discontinued use of Danish royal titles upon ascending their foreign throne in 1564.
Counts and Countesses of Rosenborg
Danish princes who marry without consent of the Danish monarch lose their dynastic rights, including royal title. The ex-dynasts are then usually accorded the hereditary title "Count of Rosenborg". Those living, along with any living spouses and legitimate male-line descendants are:
- TE Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie of Rosenborg
- TE Countess Josephine, Countess Camilla, and Countess Feodora of Rosenborg
- TE Count Ulrik and Countess Judi of Rosenborg
- HE Countess Charlotte of Rosenborg
- TE Count Axel and Countess Jutta of Rosenborg
- TE Count Birger and Countess Lynne of Rosenborg
- TE Count Carl Johan
- HE Countess Désirée of Rosenborg
- HE Countess Karin of Rosenborg
Line of succession
- Main article: Succession to the Danish throne
The first law governing the succession to the Danish throne as a hereditary monarchy was the Kongeloven (Lex Regia), enacted 14 November 1665, and published in 1709. It declared that the crown of Denmark shall descend by heredity to the legitimate descendants of Frederick III of Denmark, and that the order of succession shall follow semi-Salic primogeniture, according to which the crown is inherited by an heir, with preference among the Monarch's children to males over females; among siblings to the elder over the younger; and among Frederick III's remoter descendants by substitution, senior branches over junior branches. Female descendants were eligible to inherit the throne in the event there were no eligible surviving male dynasts born in the male line. As for the duchies, Holstein and Lauenburg where the King ruled as duke, these lands adhered to Salic law (meaning that only males could inherit the ducal throne), and by mutual agreement were permanently conjoined. The duchies of Schleswig (a Danish fief), Holstein and Lauenburg (German fiefs) were joined in personal union with the Crown of Denmark.
This difference caused problems when Frederick VII of Denmark proved childless, making a change in dynasty imminent, and causing the lines of succession for the duchies on one hand and for Denmark on the other to diverge. That meant that the new King of Denmark would not also be the new Duke of Schleswig or Duke of Holstein. To ensure the continued adhesion of the Elbe duchies to the Danish Crown, the line of succession to the duchies was modified in the London Protocol of 1852, which designated Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg as the new heir apparent, although he was, strictly, the heir neither to the Crown of Denmark nor to the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein or Lauenburg by primogeniture. Originally, the Danish prime minister Christian Albrecht Bluhme wanted to keep the separate hereditary principles, but in the end the government decided on a uniform agnatic primogeniture, which was accepted by the Parliament.
This order of succession remained in effect for a hundred years, then the Salic law was changed to male-preference primogeniture in 1953, meaning that females could inherit, but only if they had no brothers. In 2009, the mode of inheritance of the throne was once more changed, this time into an absolute primogeniture. This imposed no immediate change on the line of succession as it was then, as Prince Vincent had not yet been born. The current line of succession is:
- Crown Prince Frederik
- Prince Christian
- Princess Isabella
- Prince Vincent
- Princess Josephine
- Prince Joachim
- Prince Nikolai
- Prince Felix
- Prince Henrik
- Princess Athena
- Princess Benedikte1
- 1Princess Benedikte's children have no succession rights. This is because the marriage consent given to her had very specific provisions; if Benedikte ever became the heir presumptive, she and her husband would have to take permanent residence in Denmark and her children would only have succession rights if they had applied for naturalization upon reaching adulthood, and taken up residence in Denmark: (a) at the time of becoming the immediate heir to the throne, and (b) no later than when they reached the age of mandatory schooling under Danish law. Since the children continued to be educated in Germany well past the mandatory schooling age, they are deemed to no longer have succession rights.
Privileges and Restrictions
Following the transformation of Denmark's monarchy from elective (at least theoretically, although it had generally descended to the eldest son of the House of Oldenburg since 1448) to hereditary in 1660, the so-called Kongelov established the reign "by the grace of God" of Frederick III and his posterity. Of the articles of this law, all except Article 21 and Article 25 have since been repealed by amendments to the Constitution in 1849, 1853, 1953 and 2009.
Article 21 states "No Prince of the Blood, who resides here in the Realm and in Our territory, shall marry, or leave the Country, or take service under foreign Masters, unless he receives Permission from the King". Under this provision, princes of Denmark who permanently reside in other realms by express permission of the Danish Crown (i.e. members of the dynasties of Greece, Norway, and the United Kingdom) do not thereby forfeit their royalty in Denmark, nor are they bound to obtain prior permission to travel abroad or to marry from its sovereign, although since 1950 those not descended in male-line from Christian IX are no longer in the line of succession to the Danish throne. However, those who do reside in Denmark or its territories continue to require the monarch's prior permission to travel abroad and to marry.
Article 25 stipulates, with respect to blood members of the Royal dynasty: "They should answer to no Magistrate Judges, but their first and last Judge shall be the King, or to whomsoever He decrees." The wording excludes those whose blood cannot be traced to a Danish monarch (e.g. the present Crown Princess).
- Succession to the British throne
- Succession to the former Greek throne
- Succession to the Norwegian throne