Princess Benedikte of Denmark
Princess Benedikte of Denmark RE SKmd (Benedikte Astrid Ingeborg Ingrid; born 29 April 1944) is the second daughter of Frederick IX and Ingrid of Sweden. She is the younger sister of the reigning Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, and the older sister of Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
Princess Benedikte often represents her elder sister at official or semi-official events. She and her husband, Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, have three children. Benedikte is currently eleventh in the line of succession to the Danish throne.
Birth and family
Princess Benedikte was born on 29 April 1944 at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen as the second child of Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Ingrid of Denmark. Her father was the eldest son of King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, and her mother was the only daughter of Crown Prince Gustav Adolf and Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden.
Her birth took place during Nazi Germany's Occupation of Denmark. The day after the birth of the princess, members of the Danish resistance group Holger Danske performed a salute of 21 bombs in the Ørstedsparken public park in central Copenhagen as a reference to the traditional 21-gun salute performed by the Danish Army and Navy at the occasion of royal births.
She was baptised on 24 May 1944 in the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. Her godparents were the King and Queen of Denmark, Prince Gustav of Denmark, the King of Sweden, Count Sigvard Bernadotte af Wisborg, Sir Alexander Ramsay, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark, Princess Margaret of Denmark, and Princess Ingeborg of Sweden.
On 20 April 1947, King Christian X died and Benedikte's father ascended the throne as King Frederick IX.
At the time of her birth, only males could ascend the throne of Denmark. As her parents had no sons, it was assumed that her uncle Prince Knud would one day assume the throne. The popularity of Frederick IX and his daughters and the more prominent role of women in Danish life paved the way for a new Act of Succession in 1953 which permitted female succession to the throne following the principle of male-preference primogeniture, where a female can ascend to the throne if she has no brothers. Benedikte's elder sister Margrethe therefore became heiress presumptive, and Princess Benedikte became second in the line of succession.
Benedikte was married on 3 February 1968 at Fredensborg Palace Church to Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, born in Giessen on 29 October 1934. He is the son of Prince Gustav Albrecht, 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1907–1944) and his wife, Margareta Fouché d'Otrante (1909–2005). The King decreed that her children would need to be raised in Denmark in order to have succession rights. Since the condition was not met, Princess Benedikte's three children are not in line to succeed to the throne.
Princess Benedikte is very much involved in the scout/guide organization in Denmark as well as internationally. When she was a child, a special scout unit was created, so that she could join the guides. Now her involvement is more at the organisational level as she is chairman for Pigespejdernes fællesråd (Joint Committee of Girl Guides in Denmark). She is protector for De grønne pigespejdere (The Green Girl Guides, Denmark) and Det Danske Spejderkorps (The Danish Guide and Scout Association). In addition she is patron of the Olave Baden Powell Society (OB-PS), a support organisation for the international girl guide/scout organisation WAGGGS.
She is an honorary member of the St Georges Guilds in Denmark. In 2007 she was awarded with a prize of honour by this Scout association for adults.
Children and grandchildren
- The Hereditary Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (Gustav Frederik Philip Richard; born 12 January 1969).
- Princess Alexandra Rosemarie Ingrid Benedikte of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. born 20 November 1970. On 6 June 1998 at Gråsten Palace, she was married to Count Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth. The couple has two children:
- Count Friedrich Richard Oscar Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth (born 14 September 1999).
- Countess Ingrid Alexandra Irma Astrid Benedikte von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth (born 16 August 2003).
- Princess Nathalie Xenia Margrethe Benedikte of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (born 2 May 1975). On 27 May 2010, she was married to Alexander Johannsmann. The couple has one child:
- Konstantin Gustav Heinrich Richard Johannsmann (born 24 July 2010).
The children of Princess Benedikte are styled as Highnesses in Denmark by Order in Council. Elsewhere they are Serene Highnesses by courtesy.
Titles, styles and honours
Honours and decorations
Princess Benedikte has been awarded the following honours:
- Knight of the Order of the Elephant (R.E.)
- Royal Family Order of Queen Margrethe II
- Royal Family Order of Frederick IX of Denmark
- Grand Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog (S.Kmd.)
- The Silver Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Commemorative
- 70th Birthday Medal of Her Majesty The Queen (Em.16.apr.2010.)
- Argentina: Grand Cross of Order of the Liberator General San Martín
- Belgium: Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
- Finland: Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
- Germany: Grand Cross 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Greece (former kingdom): 1st Class of the Order of Saints Olga and Sophia (17/09/1964)
- Holy See: Cross of Honour "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice"
- Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (20/04/1964)
- Luxembourg: Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
- Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown
- Norway: Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav (1974)
- Spain: Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (15/03/1980).
- Sweden: Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Polar Star
- Tunisia: 2nd Class of the Order of the Republic (Tunisia)
- Succession to the throne – Official website of the Danish Monarchy
- Peter Øvig Knudsen: Efter drabet (s. 191), forlaget Press, Oslo 2003, ISBN 82-7547-119-2
- Prinsesse Benediktes fødsel og dåb – Website of the Danish National Archives.
- Conditional Consent, Dynastic Rights and the Danish Law of Succession at the Wayback Machine (archived August 7, 2009), Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard.
- Rosenbom, Niels (December 2007). "Prize of honour to HRH Princess Benedikte" (– Scholar search). World Gazette Mondiale-News from the International Scout and Guide Fellowship (an organisation for adults)-ISGF.[dead link]
- "Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- Royal website page, translation
- S.A.R. Benedikte Principessa di Danimarca. Quirinale.it (1964-04-20). Retrieved on 2014-04-23.
- Boletín Oficial del Estado. 24 April 1980.
- "Noblesse et Royautés", Guests to Victoria of Sweden's wedding 3, Photo
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Princess Benedikte of Denmark
Cadet branch of the House of OldenburgBorn: 29 April 1944
|Lines of succession|
Princess Athena of Denmark
|Line of succession to the Danish throne
Princess Elisabeth of Denmark
|Line of succession to the British throne
descended from Arthur, son of Victoria
The Hereditary Prince of