Frederik III was the King of Denmark-Norway from 1648; he was married to Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1643 and father to Christian V. Frederik was a son of Christian IV and Anna Cathrine of Brandenburg, but he only became Successor to the Throne after the death of his brother, Christian, the Prince Elect, in 1647.
At his accession Frederik had to sign a strict charter that was intended to limit his powers. His position soon became stronger, not least because the powerful noblemen Hannibal Sehested and Corfitz Ulfeldt were removed from the Rigsråd (the Government). The disastrous wars with Sweden from 1657 to 1660 led to the loss of Scania, Halland and Blekinge. But the popularity of Frederik grew during the Siege of Copenhagen. While the nobility and the government fled, he stayed in the city with the legendary words: “I shall die in my nest”. He was, therefore, able to strengthen his position even further, and in 1660-1661 hereditary and absolutist monarchy was introduced in Denmark.
Frederik III was very interested in theology and the natural sciences. His large collection of books became the core of the Royal Library. Both he and the Queen were interested in French culture, and Rosenborg, which was the Royal family’s favorite residence in Copenhagen, was modernised in the French style.
Norwegian Lion – Ivory Ship
Ivory model of the frigate ‘Norwegian Lion’. The ship is made of ivory, the canons and rigging of silver. The model was carved in 1654 by Jacob Jensen Nordmand. During the reign of Frederik II Denmark had one of Europe’s very best naval forces, but in spite of Christian IV’s expansion of it, the Danish Navy was weakened in step with the declining political importance of Denmark after the Thirty Years’ War and later defeats. In spite of this the navy supported the Danish claim to levy the Sound Dues for a period of around 400 years, as one of the reasons given was that the Danish navy kept the entire Baltic Sea free of pirates. Although this was to some extent true early in the period, the argument became more and more theoretical.