May 26 – Birthday of Prince Frederik of Denmark

Posted on May 26, 2018

From what I've seen, the eyes of the world have turned toward Prince Harry of Britain, and his wonderful blending-of-two-worlds wedding, but there are other princes in the world. Today's famous birthday is not just a prince, but a crown prince.

A crown prince is a boy or man who has a semi-guarantee of one day becoming king. (A girl or woman who has a similar "guarantee" is of course a crown princess.) It often refers to someone who is next in line for the throne - and it's always someone whose claim to the throne couldn't be upset by someone else's birth.

Going back to the British royals, Harry is not a crown prince, because his father, Prince Charles, is next in line for the throne, and it is Harry's brother, Prince William, who is slated for the throne after Charles.

(Of course, there is no guarantee in life, and it's possible for someone who is next in line for the throne to die before becoming king (or queen). That's why I said "semi-guarantee." If Prince Charles dies before his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, then Prince William would become king when the Queen dies.) 

Anyway, onto our famous birthday, Prince Frederik of Denmark. He is the son of Queen Margrethe II, so he is the heir apparent and the crown prince. It's very likely that he will be King of Denmark someday.

It's interesting to note that the Danish royal tradition is for crown princes to be named either Frederick or Christian. That seems like it would make things much more confusing?!

This is the Danish royal family tree. I guess Queen Margrethe II
had two sons, Frederik and Joachim.

Note that Frederik's oldest son, as per tradition, is Christian.

Note that this naming tradition holds only for the House of Oldenburg and the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg - so it's "only" been since the mid-1400s. Before that there were plenty of other names, some used often, such as Christopher and Olaf and Valdemar. If you're wondering, the Danish kings are up to #9 or 10: Christian X and Frederick IX.

The crown prince running.
Today's Frederik - probably destined to be Frederik X - seems very cool. He hasn't just traveled the world, he has also lived and studied in several foreign nations, including France and the U.S. He married an Australian woman. He cares a lot about the environment, scientific research, and global warming. He encourages Danish people to participate in sports. He himself is a marathon runner and a sailor, and he is the first royal person to ever complete an Ironman competition. He is even a member of the International Olympic Committee.

The crown prince and his wife enjoying and promoting science.

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