Born on May 26, 1968, Frederik André Henrik Christian is the eldest son of Queen Margrethe and the late Prince Henrik.His journey to becoming a future king has been marked by significant transformation and growth.
Frederik has a younger brother, Prince Joachim, and four children with his wife, Mary Donaldson, whom he married in 2004. His children are Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent, and Princess Josephine. He is also the godfather of Prince Nikolai, Prince Felix, Prince Oscar, and Princess Ingrid Alexandra.
Frederik received his primary education at Krebs’ Skole in Copenhagen and later attended the École des Roches, a boarding school in Normandy, France. He graduated from the University of Aarhus in 1995 with a degree in political science. He also studied at Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and the National Defense College.
Frederik has served in the Royal Danish Army, the Royal Danish Navy, and the Danish Frogmen Corps. He holds the rank of major general in the army and the air force, and rear admiral in the navy. He has participated in several military exercises and missions, including Operation Friction in the Persian Gulf, Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean, and Operation Ocean Shield in the Horn of Africa. He is also the patron of various military and humanitarian organizations, such as the Danish Veterans, the Danish Red Cross, and the Danish Refugee Council.
Frederik is an avid sportsman and adventurer. He has completed several marathons, triathlons, and ironman competitions. He has also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and trekked to the North Pole. He is a member of the International Olympic Committee and the honorary president of the Danish National Olympic Committee. He is also the patron of several sports and cultural associations, such as the Danish Football Association, the Danish Sailing Association, and the Royal Danish Theatre.
Frederik is fluent in Danish, French, English, and German. He has a keen interest in science, technology, and innovation. He is the patron of the Danish Science Festival, the Copenhagen Science City, and the Danish Industry Foundation. He is also involved in various initiatives to promote sustainability, renewable energy, and climate action. He is the patron of the World Wildlife Fund, the Global Green Growth Forum, and the Danish Green Investment Fund.
As a young man, Frederik struggled with the media attention and the knowledge of his future role as king. He was known for his fast lifestyle, including a fondness for fast cars and partying, which earned him the reputation of a “spoiled party prince” in the early 1990s. However, this perception began to change after he graduated from Aarhus University in 1995, becoming the first Danish royal to complete a university education. His education also included a stint at Harvard University in the United States, where he enrolled under the pseudonym Frederik Henriksen.
Frederik’s military training played a crucial role in his maturation. He served in the navy’s Frogmen Corps, where he was one of only four recruits to pass all tests in 1995. His adventurous spirit was also evident in his participation in a 3,500-kilometer ski expedition across Greenland in 2000. Despite several accidents, his popularity has soared, further boosted by initiatives like the Royal Run, annual fun runs across Denmark that he began in 2018.
Known for his passion for the environment, Frederik has been a champion of Denmark’s efforts to address the climate crisis. He has discreetly established himself as a key figure in the shadow of his mother, Queen Margrethe II. His approach to royalty is marked by a desire to be accessible and relatable, attending sports events and concerts, and insisting on being himself, a human being, even after taking the throne.
Frederik’s relationship with his mother is one of complementarity, with him joking about their different interests and skills during the queen’s jubilee celebrations. As he prepares to ascend the throne, Frederik embodies a blend of tradition and modernity, poised to lead Denmark’s thousand-year-old monarchy into the future.
The 6-foot-tall (1.82-meters-tall), chain-smoking Margrethe has been one of the most popular public figures in Denmark, where the monarch’s role is largely ceremonial. She often walked the streets of Copenhagen virtually unescorted and won the admiration of Danes for her warm manners and for her talents as a linguist and designer.
A keen skier, she was a member of a Danish women’s air force unit as a princess, taking part in judo courses and endurance tests in the snow. Margrethe remained tough even as she grew older. In 2011, at age 70, she visited Danish troops in southern Afghanistan wearing a military jumpsuit.
(With inputs from agencies)