- Christian VIII of Denmark
Christian VIII King of Denmark Reign 1839–1848 Predecessor Frederick VI Successor Frederick VII King of Norway Reign 1814 Predecessor Frederick VI Successor Charles II Consort Charlotte Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderborg-Augustenburg
Issue Frederick VII of Denmark Full name Christian Frederick House Oldenburg Father Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Denmark Mother Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Born 18 September 1786
Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen
Died 20 January 1848(aged 61)
Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen
Burial Roskilde Cathedral Religion Lutheranism Danish Royalty House of Oldenburg
Christian VIII Children Prince Christian Frederick Frederick VII
Christian VIII (Christian Frederik) (18 September 1786 – 20 January 1848), king of Denmark 1839–48 and, as Christian Frederick, of Norway 1814, eldest son of Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway and Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, was born in 1786 at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. His paternal grandparents were the late king Frederick V of Denmark and his second wife Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
He inherited the talents of his highly gifted mother, and his amiability and handsome features are said to have made him very popular in Copenhagen.
His unfortunate first marriage at Ludwigslust on 21 June 1806 with his cousin Charlotte Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Ludwigslust, 4 December 1784 – Rome, 13 July 1840) was dissolved by divorce in 1810. She was a daughter of Friedrich Franz I, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. His only surviving son from this marriage would become Frederick VII of Denmark. His first born son was Christian Frederik, who was born and died at Schloss Plön on 8 April 1807.
King of Norway
In May 1813, being the then heir presumptive of Denmark-Norway, he was sent as stattholder (the Danish King's highest representative in overseas territories) to Norway to promote the loyalty of the Norwegians to the dynasty, which had been very rudely shaken by the disastrous results of Frederick VI's adhesion to the falling fortunes of Napoleon I of France. He did all he could personally to strengthen the bonds between the Norwegians and the royal house of Denmark. Though his endeavours were opposed by the so-called Swedish party, which desired a dynastic union with Sweden, he placed himself at the head of the Norwegian party of independence after the Treaty of Kiel had forced the king to cede Norway to the king of Sweden. He was elected Regent of Norway by an assembly of notables on 16 February 1814.
See article on Norway in 1814
This election was confirmed by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly convoked at Eidsvoll on 10 April, and on 17 May the constitution was signed and Christian was unanimously elected king of Norway, under the name Christian Frederick.
Christian next attempted to interest the great powers in Norway's cause, but without success. On being pressed by the commissioners of the allied powers to bring about a union between Norway and Sweden in accordance with the terms of the treaty of Kiel, and then return to Denmark, he replied that, as a constitutional king, he could do nothing without the consent of the parliament (Storting), which would not be convoked until a suspension of hostilities on the part of Sweden.
Sweden refused Christian's conditions and a short campaign ensued, in which the Norwegian army was defeated by the forces of the Swedish crown prince Charles John. The brief war was finally concluded by the Convention of Moss on 14 August 1814. According to this treaty, king Christian Frederick transferred the executive power to the Storting, and then abdicated and returned to Denmark. The Storting in its turn adopted the constitutional amendments necessary to allow for a personal union with Sweden, and on 4 November elected Charles XIII of Sweden as the new king of Norway.
King of Denmark
Henceforth Christian's suspected democratic principles made him persona ingratissima at all the reactionary European courts, his own court included. He and his second wife, Princess Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (Copenhagen, 28 June 1796 - Amalienborg Palace, 9 March 1881) (daughter of Louise Augusta of Denmark, only sister of Frederick VI), whom he married at Augustenborg Palace on 22 May 1815, by whom he had no issue, lived in comparative retirement as leaders of the literary and scientific society of Copenhagen. She was the 290th Dame of the Royal Order of Queen Maria Luisa on 16 February 1834.
It was not until 1831 that old King Frederick gave him a seat in the council of state. On 13 December 1839 he ascended the Danish throne as Christian VIII. The Liberal party had high hopes of “the giver of constitutions,” but he disappointed his admirers by steadily rejecting every Liberal project. Administrative reform was the only reform he would promise. In his attitude to the growing national unrest in the twin-duchies he often seemed hesitating and half-hearted which damaged his position, and not until 1846 did he clearly support the idea of Schleswig being a Danish area.
Some historians and biographers believe, however, that king Christian would have given Denmark a free constitution had he lived long enough, and his last words are sometimes (rather tragically) recorded as "I didn't make it". ("Jeg nåede det ikke.")
King Christian VIII continued his predecessor's patronage of astronomy, awarding gold medals for the discovery of comets by telescope, and financially supporting Heinrich Christian Schumacher with his publication of the scientific journal Astronomische Nachrichten.
Seeing that his only legitimate son, the future Frederick VII, was apparently unable to beget heirs, he commenced arrangements to secure the succession in Denmark, which led to the future Christian IX being chosen as a hereditary prince, officially by a new law enacted on 31 July 1853, after an international treaty made in London.
He had ten children outside marriage. He carefully listed them and saw that they were treated well.
After his son Frederick VII died in 1863, his first cousin once removed, Christian IX of Denmark, ascended the throne of Denmark.
In 1905, 57 years after his demise, and 91 years after his struggle in support of independence and his own brief kingship in Norway, his great-grandnephew Prince Carl of Denmark was chosen to become the first king of independent Norway, and took the name Haakon VII of Norway.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Obituary (astronomy)Christian VIIIBorn: 18 September 1786 Died: 20 January 1848
Regnal titles Preceded by
King of Norway
King of Denmark
Duke of Schleswig, Holstein
Danish princes The generations are numbered from the ascension of Christian I as King of Denmark in 1448. 1st generationPrince Olaf · Prince Knut · John · Frederick I 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generation 5th generationPrince Frederick · Christian, Prince Elect · Frederick III · Prince Ulrik 6th generation 7th generation 8th generationPrince Christian · Christian VI · Prince Frederik Charles · Prince George · Prince Frederik Christian · Prince Charles 9th generation 10th generation 11th generation 12th generationPrince Christian · Prince Christian · Frederick VII 13th generation 14th generation 15th generation 16th generation 17th generation 18th generation *also a prince of Greece
**lost his title due to an unequal marriage
***not a Danish prince by birth, but a royal prince consort
Monarchs of Denmark Early monarchsc.916–1412(Harthacnut) · Gorm the Old · Harald Bluetooth · Sweyn Forkbeard1 · Harald II · Cnut the Great1 · Harthacanute1 · Magnus the Good · Sweyn II · Harald III · Canute the Saint · Olaf I · Eric Evergood · Niels · Eric the Memorable · Eric Lamb · Sweyn Grathe / Canute V / Valdemar the Great · Canute VI · Valdemar the Victorious / Valdemar the Young · Eric Plough-tax · Abel · Christopher I · Eric Klipping · Eric Menved · Christopher II · Valdemar III · Christopher II · Interregnum · Valdemar Atterdag · Olaf II · Margaret I2 Palatinate-Neumarkt1397–1448 Oldenburg1448–1863 Schleswig-Holstein-
Italics indicates Danish monarchs who were also monarchs of Norway.
1 Also monarch of England. 2 Also monarch of Sweden. 3 Also monarch of Iceland.
Monarchs of Norway Fairhair dynasty · rival
rulers of other housesc. 870–985
1035–1319Harald I Fairhair · Eric Bloodaxe · Haakon I the Good · Harald II Greycloak · Haakon Sigurdsson 1 · Olaf I Tryggvason · Eiríkr Hákonarson 1 & Sveinn Hákonarson 1 & Hákon Eiríksson 1 · Sweyn Forkbeard · Olaf II the Saint · Hákon Eiríksson 1 · Canute the Great · Sveinn Álfífuson 1 · Magnus I the Good · Harald III Hardrada · Magnus II Haraldsson · Olaf III Kyrre · Haakon Magnusson & Magnus III Barefoot · Olaf Magnusson · Eystein I Magnusson · Sigurd I the Crusader · Magnus IV the Blind · Harald IV Gille · Sigurd the Noisy · Sigurd II Munn · Eystein II Haraldsson · Inge I Haraldsson the Hunchback · Haakon II Broadshoulder · Magnus Erlingsson · Sigurd Markusfostre · Olav the Unlucky · Eystein the Maiden · Sverre Sigurdsson · Jon Kuvlung · Sigurd Magnusson · Inge Magnusson · Haakon III Sverresson · Guttorm Sigurdsson · Inge II Bårdsson · Erling Stonewall · Philip Simonsson · Haakon IV Haakonsson · Haakon the Young · Magnus VI the Law-mender · Eric II Magnusson · Haakon V Magnusson
Bjelbo1319–1387 The Kalmar union1387–1448 Oldenburg1448–1814 Holstein-Gottorp
1 Regent. 2 Also Danish monarch. 3 Also Swedish monarch. 4 Also Danish and Swedish monarch.5 Also Danish and English monarch.
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