Queen Louise

Queen from 1863. Born Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel as the eldest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hesse-Kassel and Princess Louise Charlotte of Denmark. Married Prince Christian (IX) in 1842, with whom she had six children: Prince Frederik (VIII), Princess Alexandra (later Queen of England), Prince Vilhelm (later George I of Greece), Princess Dagmar (later Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia), Princess Thyra (later Duchess of Cumberland) and Prince Valdemar.

That Princess Louise married Prince Christian was a crucial precondition for the couple’s accession to the throne, as her mother was the sister of Christian VIII. It was also Louise who ensured that the couple’s children married so advantageously that the couple were already known as “Europe’s in-laws” in their own time, and it was very much she who took the lead in social terms. Queen Louise must therefore be given her part of the credit for the Danish population coming to accept the Glücksburg line of the Royal Family, in spite of the deep scepticism she and Christian IX were met with during their first years as king and queen.

Queen Louise was in many ways the incarnation of the female ideals of her age. She was the focal point of an exemplary family and was artistically and socially gifted, but at the same time she always kept herself in the shadow of her husband, as was expected at the time. Queen Louise was also engaged in very extensive charity work, which amongst other things resulted in the founding of Diakonissestiftesen (The Deaconess Foundation) in Frederiksberg.