Frederik IX

King of Denmark from 1947. In 1935 he married Princess Ingrid of Sweden with whom he had three daughters: Princess Margrethe (b. 1940; from 1972 HM Queen Margrethe II), Princess Benedikte (b. 1944), and Princess Anne-Marie (b. 1946; Queen of Greece 1964-73).

Frederik IX was the first Danish king to definitively waive political influence. He to a large degree defined the role of the modern monarch in Denmark, and was probably the best-loved king Denmark has ever had. As Crown Prince he broke with a long tradition in the Royal Family by training with the navy instead of the army, and he became the first king since Christian IV (1577 – 1648) who could sail a ship. His long career as a naval officer came to influence his style as king to a high degree.

Frederik IX was an excellent conductor and mastered a broad classical repertoire. He didn’t conduct in public, but often did so at private performances, especially with the Royal Orchestra, which each year gave the King a concert as a birthday present. Frederik IX was a true family man, and he and Queen Ingrid made the Royal Family far more of a presence for the Danes by inviting the media indoors. Frederik IX was also the first king to make televised New Year Speeches, which continue to forge an important link between the Royal Family and the populace.