Danish Language Blog

Kongefamilien Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Culture, Traditions


The Royal Family on the Faroe Islands: Queen Margrethe (in front) is followed by Prince Henrik (in green jacket); the lady in the centre is Crown Princess Mary; she’s accompanied by her husband, Crown Prince Frederik.

Having looked at the Danish words for various family members, the time has now come to lære at kende (get acquainted with) the Danish royal family. You’ve already said hello to the familieoverhoved (head of family, literally ’family over-head’!): Dronning Margrethe den anden (Queen Margareth the second), our friendly and kunstnerisk (artistic) queen since 1972. Besides being known for her cultured nytårstaler (New Year speeches) and somewhat excessive rygning (smoking), she’s a practising billedkunstner (graphical artist) with several udstillinger (exhibitions) on her CV. Among Hendes Majestæts (Her Majesty’s) most internationally known works are some illustrations she made for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ringenes Herre (The Lord of the Rings) in the 1970’ies. Besides, she has often been made into a work of art herself: You see her profile on every Danish 10 and 20 Kroner coin, as well as on several frimærke/r (stamp/s).

Let’s look at the rest of de kongelige (”the royal ones”, that is, kongefamilien, the royal family):

Prins Henrik (Prince Henrik) is French by birth, but danified his first name Henri after having married Margrethe in 1967. He’s known for his love of jagt (hunting) as well as poesi (poetry) – in fact, a collection of the prince’s digte (poems) was published in 2010. Henrik’s relations to the Danes haven’t always been easy, and he’s occasionally aired his frustrations of constantly having to stand in the shadow of his powerful wife and sons.

Henrik and Margrethe have two children: Frederik and Joachim.

Kronprins Frederik (Crown Prince Frederik) was born in 1968. After a rather wild youth – where he enjoyed driving dangerously fast biler (cars) – Frede, as the media like to call him, settled down, marrying the Australian Mary Donaldson (born 1972) in 2004. Kronprinsesse Mary has been extremely popular in Denmark, literally giving the royal family et nyt ansigt (a new face). The couple have 4 children: Christian (boy, 2005), Isabella (girl, 2007) and the twins Vincent and Josephine (boy and girl, 2011).

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie with newborn daughter 2

Prince Joachim and Princess Marie with their newborn daughter

Prinsesse Alexandra


Prins Joachim [YOH-ah-keem], born in 1969, has been married twice. He was the first of the two princes to engage in a relationship, giving Alexandra (1964) of Hongkong his word and the kys (kiss) of the decade when the two were married in Frederiksborg Slotskirke (Castle Church) in 1995. It was Denmark’s ”princess Diana” moment, and at least the female half of the population was in tears. The couple got two sons: Nikolai (1999) and Felix (2002).

Alas, the bliss came to an end, and in 2005 Alexandra and Joachim were formally skilt (divorced).

In 2007 Joachim married Marie (1976) of France. They’ve got a son and a daughter: Henrik (2009) and Athena (2011). The family lives at Schackenborg Slot (Castle) in Southern Jutland.

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.