Danish Kings and Queens

Thank-you to Selwyn for this information.

The Danish royal family is among the oldest in the world; its lineage can be traced back to Gorm the Old in the late 9th century. The early Danish kings expanded their kingdom into parts of Sweden and Norway, and in the 11th century Canute the Great ruled over both Denmark and England.

In 1387 Queen Margrethe ascended the throne and succeeded in uniting Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and parts of Finland in the Union of Kalmar. Sweden and Finland seceded in 1523 but the rest of the union remained until the early 19th century.

Before 1660 the monarchy of Denmark was elected, meaning the king's oldest son did not necessarily inherit the throne. However, after 1660 the monarchy became absolute, and from this time the king's oldest son always took the throne after his father. In 1849 Denmark received a democratic constitution, which changed the monarchy from absolute to constitutional. This meant the king could not act with legislative or political power. However the monarch is still the ceremonial leader of both church and state, and no law can be activated nor can any translation of the bible within the Folkekirke (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark) be authorized without the king or queen's signature.

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NameYearsAlso Known As
Gorm the Oldc. 936-958
Harald I Bluetooth958-986(Harold)
Svend I Forkbeard986-1014(Sven, Swegen, Sweyn)
Harald II1014-1018(Harold)
Knud II the Great1018-1035(Canute, Cnut)
Knud III the Hardy1035-1042(Canute, Hardeknud, Hardicanute, Harthacnut, Knut)
Magnus the Good1042-1047
Svend II1047-1074(Sven, Sweyn)
Harald III Hen1074-1080(Harold)
Knud IV the Holy1080-1086(Canute, Knut, Knute)
Oluf I Hunger1086-1095(Olaf)
Erik I Evergood1095-1103(Eric)
Niels1104-1134(Nicholas)
Erik II the Memorable1134-1137(Eric)
Erik III the Lamb1137-1146(Eric)
Knud V Magnussen1146-1157(Canute, Knut)
Svend III Grathe1146-1157(Sven, Sweyn)
Valdemar I the Great1157-1182(Waldemar)
Knud VI1182-1202(Canute, Knut)
Valdemar II the Victorious1202-1241(Waldemar)
Erik IV Ploughpenny1241-1250(Eric)
Abel1250-1252
Christoffer I1252-1259(Christopher)
Erik V Klipping1259-1286(Eric)
Erik VI Menved1286-1319(Eric)
Christoffer II1320-1326; 1330-1332(Christopher)
Valdemar III1326-1330(Waldemar)
Valdemar IV Atterdag1340-1375(Waldemar)
Oluf II1376-1387(Olaf)
Margrete I1387-1412(Margaret, Margrethe)
Erik VII of Pomerania1412-1439(Eric)
Christoffer III of Bavaria1440-1448(Christopher)
Christian I1448-1481
Hans1481-1513(John)
Christian II1513-1523
Frederik I1523-1533(Frederick)
Christian III1534-1559
Frederik II1559-1588(Frederick)
Christian IV1588-1648
Frederik III1648-1670(Frederick)
Christian V1670-1699
Frederik IV1699-1730(Frederick)
Christian VI1730-1746
Frederik V1746-1766(Frederick)
Christian VII1766-1808
Frederik VI1808-1839(Frederick)
Christian VIII1839-1848
Frederik VII1848-1863(Frederick)
Christian IX1863-1906
Frederik VIII1906-1912(Frederick)
Christian X1912-1947
Frederik IX1947-1972(Frederick)
Margrethe II of Denmark1972-(Margaret, Margrete, Alexandrine, Þórhildur, Ingrid)