Frederik VII was the King of Denmark from 1848; son of Christian VIII and Charlotte Frederikke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He was married for the first time to Vilhelmine of Denmark, second time to Mariane of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and in 1850 he was married to Louise Rasmussen, Countess Danner. He had no heirs.
As a Crown Prince, Frederik lived a debauched life, which contributed to the discussions concerning the abolishment of the absolute monarchy. The year after his succession Denmark became a constitutional monarchy with the King’s signing of the Constitution on the 5th June, 1849. His reign was marked by the national confrontation in Schleswig-Holstein (the Three Years War, 1848-1850), at which the King became a national symbol of unity.
Frederik VII was unstable by nature, but his unpretentious style won him many supporters. His marriage to Louise Rasmussen was a cause of great opposition in bourgeois circles, but the couple were popular with the rural population. He was interested in national history and archeology, and he organized excavations in many parts of the country.
Frederik VII's megaphone
Frederik VII applied this megaphone, made of nickel silver, on board the steam schooner “Falken” (The Falcon). The ship was the monarchs private property, but was equipped and maintained by the Royal Danish Navy. The megaphone was used to address the ships crew, 16 men in total. The 19th century was stamped by industrial enterprise and nickel silver was no exception to this. The alloying of copper, nickel and zinc is an artifical material from industrial production. It resembles silver in style and characteristics but contains no elemental silver. As Frederik VII’s helmet of aluminium, displayed in the same room, the megaphone illustrates the king’s interest in modern inventions and the technological developement.