Princess Benedikte of Denmark

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Princess Benedikte
Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
Princess Benedikte of Denmark -2.jpg
The Princess at the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 8 June 2013
Spouse Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (m. 1968)
Issue Hereditary Prince Gustav
Princess Alexandra
Princess Nathalie
Full name
Benedikte Astrid Ingeborg Ingrid
House House of Glücksburg[1]
Father Frederick IX of Denmark
Mother Princess Ingrid of Sweden
Born (1944-04-29) 29 April 1944 (age 71)
Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen, 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. Princess Benedikte is currently eleventh in the line of succession to the Danish throne.[2]

Birth and family[edit]

Princess Benedikte's birthplace: Frederick VIII's Palace at Amalienborg, photographed in 2006

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.[3]

She was baptised on 24 May 1944 in the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen. Her godparents were the King and Queen of Denmark (her paternal grandparents), Prince Gustav of Denmark (paternal great-uncle), the King of Sweden (maternal great-grandfather), Count Sigvard Bernadotte af Wisborg (maternal uncle), Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark (paternal aunt), Princess Ingeborg of Sweden (father's aunt), Princess Margaret of Denmark (father's first cousin), Sir Alexander Ramsay (maternal grandmother's brother-in-law) and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.[4]

Early life[edit]

Princess Benedikte as a bridesmaid at the 1962 wedding of Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern.

On 20 April 1947, King Christian X died and Benedikte's father ascended the throne as King Frederick IX.

Like her sisters, Benedikte grew up at Amalienborg Palace and attended local schools. She spent summer holidays with the royal family at Gråsten Palace in Southern Jutland.

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 heir presumptive, and Princess Benedikte became second in the line of succession.

Along with her younger sister, Anne-Marie, Benedikte was a bridesmaid at the 1962 wedding of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark.


Princess Benedikte with Prince Richard before their marriage.

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.[5]


Princess Benedikte at the summer camp of The Danish Guide and Scout Association in 1999.

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.[6]

She is also involved in equestrian sport, and has acted as an honorary patron of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses.[7] In 2006, she ran in an election for president of the International Equestrian Federation, but she was heavily defeated, earning only 16 votes and placing last out of the three candidates.[8]

Children and grandchildren[edit]

The children of Princess Benedikte are styled as Highnesses in Denmark by an Order in Council. Elsewhere they are Serene Highnesses by courtesy.

Titles, styles, honours and awards[edit]

Benedikte's monogram

Benedikte enjoys the style of Royal Highness and has been Princess of Denmark since birth.[9] As the wife of the Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleberg, she is also entitled to the title of Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleberg.

National Honours
Foreign Honours
Awards and Patronages



  1. ^ "150 years of the House of Glücksborg". Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Succession to the throne – Official website of the Danish Monarchy
  3. ^ Peter Øvig Knudsen: Efter drabet (s. 191), forlaget Press, Oslo 2003, ISBN 82-7547-119-2
  4. ^ Prinsesse Benediktes fødsel og dåb – Website of the Danish National Archives.
  5. ^ Conditional Consent, Dynastic Rights and the Danish Law of Succession at the Wayback Machine (archived August 7, 2009), Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard.
  6. ^ 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]
  7. ^ "Three candidates for the FEI Presidency". FEI. International Equestrian Federation. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Haya of Jordan Elected FEI President". Phelps Sports. Phelps Sports. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte". Danish Royal Court. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^,+with+sisters,+May+2+2014.jpg
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado. 24 April 1980.
  28. ^ "Noblesse et Royautés", Guests to Victoria of Sweden's wedding 3, Photo
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b

External links[edit]

Princess Benedikte of Denmark
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 29 April 1944
Lines of succession
Preceded by
Princess Athena of Denmark
Line of succession to the Danish throne
11th position
Succeeded by
Princess Elisabeth of Denmark
Line of succession to the British throne
descended from Arthur, son of Victoria
Succeeded by
The Hereditary Prince of