Christian VIII

Christian VIII was the King of Denmark from 1839. His mother was Sophie Frederikke, wife of Christian VII’s brother Prince Frederik, the Heir Presumptive. It is widely believed that his father was the Heir Presumptive’s aide-de-camp. Christian was married to Charlotte Frederikke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1806; they had a son, Frederik (VII). The marriage was dissolved in 1810 and in 1815 he married Caroline Amalie of Augustenborg.

For a few months in 1814 he was King of Norway under the name Christian Frederik. In Norway he gave a new constitution. He abdicated when Norway transferred to Swedish supremacy. As King of Denmark he reigned during a time of upheaval when absolute monarchy came under pressure. He carried through extensive reforms but refused to introduce a new constitution.

Christian VIII had a thorough education, for example in history and literature. He was highly interested in culture and science, and during his reign the Court had an important place in the cultural life of Copenhagen. On journeys abroad he bought items from ancient Greece, which today constitute the core of the Classical collection in the National Museum.