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Titel: Kongehuset
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Frederik VIII

  • King of Denmark from 1906 to 1912
  • Motto: "The Lord is my Help"
  • Born: 3 June 1843
  • Son of: Christian IX and Queen Louise, born Princess of Hessen-Kassel
  • Married: 28 July 1869 to Princess Lovisa of Sweden (1851-1926)
  • Children: Prince: Christian (10.), Carl (who was crowned King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905), Harald and Gustav. Princesses: Louise, Ingeborg, Thyra and Dagmar

When His father became King in 1863, Crown Prince Frederik entered the State Council where he actively supported the King's fruitless opposition to the coming into effect of the November Constitution. Apart from this, he was in general reduced to the role of a passive onlooker during his 43 years as Crown Prince because the King almost consistently kept him out of affairs of state.

Crown Prince Frederik had had a military education, but throughout life he had taken a keen interest in politics and was a declared supporter of the parliamentary system, which his father remained opposed to for so long. The provisional legislation, i.e. the adoption of provisional Finance Bills against the majority of the Folketing (Danish Parliament), was in his opinion directly dangerous for society as well as the monarchy. He sympathised openly with the efforts of the supporters of rapprochement, which eventually led to the political Change of System of 1901.

After the death of his father in 1906, Frederik VIII succeeded to the throne at the age of 63, and subsequently developed cooperation based on confidence with the changing Venstre (Liberal) Governments. He was particularly interested in the defence issue as a result of the growing danger of a major war. The half-hearted defence agreement of 1909 was therefore a great disappointment to him.

In his relations with people, Frederik VIII like his father was kind and unobtrusive, and he soon became popular both with politicians and with the population at large. However, he did not reign for long. For quite some time he had suffered from heart problems. While staying in Hamburg in 1912 on his way home from Nice where he had visited a health resort, he died all of a sudden during one of the anonymous, unaccompanied city walks that he had always enjoyed. It meant that he was spared the experience of the large-scale war whose ominous shadow had loomed over his reign. It meant, at the same time, that society took finally leave of the old order whose last death throes coincided with the rule of Frederik VIII.