Frederik VI

Frederik VI was the King of Denmark from 1808 and of Norway 1808-1814; son of Christian VII and Caroline Mathilde of Great Britain. In 1790 he was married to Marie Sophie Frederikke of Hesse-Kassel. He had no male heirs.

Frederik VI had a difficult childhood. When he was four years old he lost all contact with his mother, when her relationship with Struensee was disclosed, and he never became close to his mentally ill father. He did not receive a good education, but was in possession of a sense of duty and determination. In 1784 Frederik was behind a coup and from then on he was the real representative of Royal power. Domestically he implemented a series of reforms. Externally Denmark was at war with Great Britain in 1801 and 1807-1814. That led to the State Bankruptcy in 1813 and the loss of Norway the following year.

Frederik VI was a popular King; he appeared as the epitome of an absolutist father figure. At the same time he, the Queen and their daughters personified the comfortable bourgeois family, not least when they were sailing on the canals in Frederiksberg Have, visible to the population.