Danish Kings and Queens

Thank-you to Selwyn for this information.

The Danish royal family is among the oldest in the world; its lineage can be traced back to Gorm the Old in the late 9th century. The early Danish kings expanded their kingdom into parts of Sweden and Norway, and in the 11th century Canute the Great ruled over both Denmark and England.

In 1387 Queen Margrethe ascended the throne and succeeded in uniting Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and parts of Finland in the Union of Kalmar. Sweden and Finland seceded in 1523 but the rest of the union remained until the early 19th century.

Before 1660 the monarchy of Denmark was elected, meaning the king's oldest son did not necessarily inherit the throne. However, after 1660 the monarchy became absolute, and from this time the king's oldest son always took the throne after his father. In 1849 Denmark received a democratic constitution, which changed the monarchy from absolute to constitutional. This meant the king could not act with legislative or political power. However the monarch is still the ceremonial leader of both church and state, and no law can be activated nor can any translation of the bible within the Folkekirke (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark) be authorized without the king or queen's signature.

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NameYears
Gorm the Oldc. 936-958
Harald I Bluetooth958-986
Svend I Forkbeard986-1014
Harald II1014-1018
Knud II the Great1018-1035
Knud III the Hardy1035-1042
Magnus the Good1042-1047
Svend II1047-1074
Harald III Hen1074-1080
Knud IV the Holy1080-1086
Oluf I Hunger1086-1095
Erik I Evergood1095-1103
Niels1104-1134
Erik II the Memorable1134-1137
Erik III the Lamb1137-1146
Knud V Magnussen1146-1157
Svend III Grathe1146-1157
Valdemar I the Great1157-1182
Knud VI1182-1202
Valdemar II the Victorious1202-1241
Erik IV Ploughpenny1241-1250
Abel1250-1252
Christoffer I1252-1259
Erik V Klipping1259-1286
Erik VI Menved1286-1319
Christoffer II1320-1326; 1330-1332
Valdemar III1326-1330
Valdemar IV Atterdag1340-1375
Oluf II1376-1387
Margrete I1387-1412
Erik VII of Pomerania1412-1439
Christoffer III of Bavaria1440-1448
Christian I1448-1481
Hans1481-1513
Christian II1513-1523
Frederik I1523-1533
Christian III1534-1559
Frederik II1559-1588
Christian IV1588-1648
Frederik III1648-1670
Christian V1670-1699
Frederik IV1699-1730
Christian VI1730-1746
Frederik V1746-1766
Christian VII1766-1808
Frederik VI1808-1839
Christian VIII1839-1848
Frederik VII1848-1863
Christian IX1863-1906
Frederik VIII1906-1912
Christian X1912-1947
Frederik IX1947-1972
Margrethe II of Denmark1972-