Princess Ingeborg of Denmark

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For other people of the same name, see Ingeborg of Denmark.
Princess Ingeborg
Duchess of Västergötland
Ingeborg of Sweden.jpg
Spouse Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland
Issue Margaretha, Princess Axel of Denmark
Märtha, Crown Princess of Norway
Astrid, Queen of the Belgians
Prince Carl Bernadotte
Full name
Ingeborg Charlotte Caroline Frederikke
House House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Father Frederick VIII of Denmark
Mother Louise of Sweden
Born (1878-08-02)2 August 1878
Charlottenlund Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Died 12 March 1958(1958-03-12) (aged 79)
Stockholm, Sweden

Princess Ingeborg of Denmark (Ingeborg Charlotta Carolina Frederikke Louise; 2 August 1878 – 12 March 1958) was the daughter of Frederick VIII of Denmark and maternal grandmother of Harald V of Norway and Baudouin and Albert II of Belgium.

Early life[edit]

Princess Ingeborg's birthplace, Charlottenlund Palace

Princess Ingeborg was born on 2 August 1878 at Charlottenlund Palace north of Copenhagen as the daughter of Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, the eldest son of King Christian IX of Denmark. Her mother was Princess Louise of Sweden.


In May 1897, Princess Ingeborg was engaged to Prince Carl of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland. Prince Carl was the third son of King Oscar II of Sweden and Sophia of Nassau.

They married on 27 August 1897 in the chapel at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen and spent their wedding trip in Germany.

The couple had four children:

  1. Princess Margaretha of Sweden, later Princess of Denmark (1899–1977).
  2. Princess Märtha of Sweden, later Crown Princess of Norway (1901–1954).
  3. Princess Astrid of Sweden, later Queen of the Belgians (1905–1935).
  4. Prince Carl Bernadotte, known as Carl Jr., later Prince Bernadotte, a Belgian title (1911–2003).

In 1947, on the occasion of their wedding anniversary, her spouse admitted that their marriage had been completely arranged by their respective fathers, and Ingeborg herself added: "I married a complete stranger!"

The marriage was popular because she was the granddaughter of the popular king Charles XV of Sweden and IV of Norway, and she was a personal success in Sweden. It was said of her, that of all foreign princesses married into the Swedish royal house, she was perhaps the one best suited to be Queen consort of Sweden, and for the first ten years in Sweden, she almost was: from 1897 until 1907, Queen Sophia seldom showed herself at public occasions and Crown Princess Victoria spent most of her time abroad for health reasons, so Princess Ingeborg was thereby given a lot of representational duties and filled the position of first lady at the Swedish court. She is regarded to have performed her representational duties with a combination of dignity and easygoing friendliness, and she became a center of social life with her wittiness.

Ingeborg was interested in sports, especially ice skating, and at the automobile exhibition of Stockholm in 1903, she and the Crown Prince, Gustav, made a spontaneous demonstration trip in a car from Scania. In 1908, she accompanied Prince William to his wedding with Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna in Russia.

Family life[edit]

She lived a harmonious family life, and the family was known as "The happy family". The children were given a simple upbringing, and expected to learn household tasks: they were, for example, given a real stove in their play cottage, on which they cooked real food. She and Carl lived an informal and intimate family life with their children, and their family were generally referred to as "Prince Carl's".

Ingeborg created an easy atmosphere in the entertaining of her spouse's officer colleagues and was admired for her handling of the economic difficulties experienced when a bank they invested in crashed in 1922 and they had to sell their home. Ingeborg was well liked and popular in Sweden because of her good humor, her easy-going and jolly personality and her informal way of acting. Her greatest interest is said to have been her family life: she was portrayed as a symbol of a wife and mother in many magazines and was for many years the most popular member of the royal house.

In 1905, the Norwegian government discussed making them king and queen of Norway, but Carl, however, denied the offer, and the couple was equally relieved when this did not come about. Instead, her brother was elected monarch of Norway. Ingeborg handled the difficult situation of being a member of the Swedish and the Danish royal houses and becoming the sister of the Norwegian monarch well, and later used this to bring the three royal houses together again after the tension created due to the 1905 crisis. Politically, Ingeborg had democratic and liberal sympathies and disliked the conservatives, views she expressed during the governmental crisis in 1918. During the World War II in 1940–45, she demonstrated publicly against Nazi Germany by blocking the window of her house which faced the German embassy in Stockholm.

Princess Ingeborg has the distinction of being the grandmother of three European monarchs, King Harald V of Norway, King Baudouin of the Belgians, King Albert II of the Belgians. And she is great-grandmother of two: Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Philippe, King of the Belgians