Line of succession to the Danish throne

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The Crown of Christian IV

The Danish Act of Succession,[1] adopted on 27 March 1953, restricts the throne to those descended from Christian X and his wife, Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, through approved marriages. Succession is governed by absolute primogeniture.[2]

Dynasts lose their right to the throne if they marry without the permission of the monarch, to be given in the Council of State. Individuals born to unmarried dynasts or to former dynasts that married without royal permission, and their descendants, are excluded from the throne. Further, when approving a marriage, the monarch can impose conditions that must be met in order for any resulting offspring to have succession rights. Should there be no eligible descendant of King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine, the parliament has the right to elect a monarch and determine a new line of succession.

Line of succession[edit]

Frederik, heir apparent to the Danish throne.

Note[edit]

The consent to Princess Benedikte's marriage to Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in 1968 was given on the condition that their children (and further descendants) would take up permanent residence in Denmark upon reaching the age of mandatory schooling. Since the condition was not met, Princess Benedikte's children are not deemed to have succession rights and are not included in the official line of succession.[2] It is unclear when exactly they lost their succession rights, whether their own descendants will have succession rights if raised in Denmark and whether their exclusion from the line of succession is constitutional, leading the Danish jurist Henrik Zahle to argue that the children of the Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg do have succession rights.[15]

History[edit]

Before 1953, various descendants of King Christian IX had succession rights in Denmark. The new Act of Succession terminated those rights but left the individuals involved in possession of their titles. This created a class of people with royal titles but no rights to the throne. As a distinction, those entitled to inherit the throne are called "Prins til Danmark" (Prince to Denmark, although this distinction is not made in English) while those without succession rights are referred to as "Prins af Danmark" (Prince of Denmark).

From 1853 until 1953, the crown passed according to agnatic primogeniture. The monarch in 1953, King Frederick IX, had three daughters but no sons. Under the 1953 act, the heir-presumptive to the throne was Hereditary Prince Knud, the King's younger brother. The Hereditary Prince was far less popular than the King was. Further, his mother-in-law, Princess Helena, was accused of supporting the Nazi movement during the Second World War. These factors, combined with a belief that the Salic Law was outdated, resulted in the movement to change the succession law so that Frederick's eldest daughter, the then Princess Margrethe, could inherit the throne. Thus, the Salic law was changed to male-preference primogeniture in 1953, meaning that females could inherit, but only if they had no brothers.

Prince Knud had three children. His sons married without the monarch's permission and lost both their royal titles and succession rights. Only Knud's daughter, the unmarried Princess Elisabeth, retains her rights to the throne. Queen Margrethe II's youngest sister, Anne-Marie, married King Constantine II of Greece in 1964. In view of the fact that she was marrying a foreign ruler, although he was himself a Prince of Denmark, consent to the marriage was given on the condition that Anne-Marie renounced her and her descendants' rights to the Danish throne.[15]

In 2008, the Danish parliament voted in favour of a new royal succession law that allows a first-born child to one day ascend the throne regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl, similar to that of Sweden and Norway. The bill was voted through two successive parliaments, and submitted to a referendum, ensuring that, in future, the heir apparent to the throne of Denmark would be the monarch's first-born child.[16] However, the 'yes' did not change the actual line of succession at that time.[17][18] The Crown Princess gave birth to twins on 8 January 2011. Upon their birth, the twins assumed the fourth and fifth place in the line of succession, according to the absolute primogeniture principle adopted, thereby not giving Prince Vincent precedence over his older sister Princess Isabella.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ICL - Denmark - Succession to the Throne Act". Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2011-04-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "The Royal House - The Danish Monarchy". www.kongehuset.dk. Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "The throne is inherited in King Christian 10. and Queen Alexandrine's posterity." 
  3. ^ "His Royal Highness The Crown Prince". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "The Crown Prince is the son of HM Queen Margrethe II and HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. He is in line to succeed to the throne and is the regent when HM The Queen is out of the country." 
  4. ^ "His Royal Highness Prince Christian". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "HRH Prince Christian is included in the order of succession to the Throne after HRH the Crown Prince." 
  5. ^ "Her Royal Highness Princess Isabella". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "Princess Isabella is included in the order of succession to the Throne after Prince Christian." 
  6. ^ "His Royal Highness Prince Vincent". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "HRH Prince Vincent is included in the order of succession to the Throne after HRH Princess Isabella." 
  7. ^ "Her Royal Highness Princess Josephine". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "HRH Princess Josephine is included in the order of succession to the Throne after HRH Prince Vincent." 
  8. ^ "His Royal Highness Prince Joachim". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "His Royal Highness Prince Joachim is the son of HM Queen Margrethe II and HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. He is included in the order of succession to the Throne and may act as Regent when HM The Queen and HRH Crown Prince Frederik are abroad." 
  9. ^ "His Highness Prince Nikolai". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "Prince Nikolai is included in the order of succession to the Throne." 
  10. ^ "His Highness Prince Felix". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "Prince Felix is included in the order of succession to the Throne." 
  11. ^ "His Highness Prince Henrik". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "Prince Henrik is included in the order of succession to the Throne." 
  12. ^ "Her Highness Princess Athena". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "Princess Athena is included in the order of succession to the Throne." 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Her Highness Princess Elisabeth". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. "Princess Elisabeth is the daughter of Prince Knud (Heir Presumptive to the Throne) (1900 - 1976) and Princess Caroline-Mathilde (1912 - 1995). Princess Elisabeth is included in the order of succession to the Throne." 
  15. ^ a b Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter (1999-02-02). "Conditional Consent, Dynastic Rights and the Danish Law of Succession". Hoelseth's Royal Corner. Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. Archived from the original on 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  16. ^ "Danish referendum on succession June 2009". 
  17. ^ "Females get the nod in Denmark". Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  18. ^ "Folketingets informationssystem". Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  19. ^ A Prince and a Princess are born. Retrieved 18 January 2011.