Taking a look at Princess Benedikte as she turns 80

princess benedikte
Photo: Kongehuset ©

Princess Benedikte of Denmark was born on 29 April 1944 as the second daughter of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark (née of Sweden), who were the Crown Prince and Crown Princess at the time. Her elder sister reigned as Queen Margrethe II from 1972 until 2024, while her younger sister Anne-Marie was Queen of Greece as the wife of King Constantine II.

At the time of her birth, Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany, but members of a Danish resistance group nevertheless performed a 21-gun salute. Her baptism took place on 24 May 1944 at Holmen Church. Her godparents were her paternal grandparents, King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine, Prince Gustav of Denmark, King Gustav V of Sweden, Sigvard Bernadotte, Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark, Princess Ingeborg of Denmark, Princess Margaretha of Sweden, Sir Alexander Ramsay and Queen Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother).

Princess Benedikte and her two sisters grew up at Frederik VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg, and they often spent the summer at Gråsten Palace in Southern Jutland. Her father became King Frederik IX of Denmark upon her grandfather’s death on 20 April 1947. At that time, King Frederik IX had just three daughters and no sons and women were not allowed to rule in their own right. A new Act of Succession paved the way for Margrethe to eventually succeed her father. It operated on the basis of male-preference primogeniture so that if a younger brother had been born, he would have taken precedence over his sisters. This was eventually changed to absolute primogeniture in 2009. Following the new Act, Princess Benedikte became second in the line of succession.

Princess Benedikte received her education at a private school in Copenhagen, but she also attended a boarding school in England and a finishing school in Switzerland.

On 3 February 1968, Princess Benedikte married Richard, 6th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg at Fredensborg Palace. She wore an off-white diamond satin gown with matching lace. Her lace veil had previously been worn by both her mother and her two sisters. After the wedding, they went to live at Schloss Berleburg in Germany.

Bad berleburg
Photo by Moniek Bloks

The couple went on to have three children: Prince Gustav (born 1969), Princess Alexandra (born 1970) and Princess Nathalie (born 1975). Although Princess Benedikte retained her place in the line of succession, her children are not included as they were not raised in Denmark. Princess Benedikte was widowed in 2017.

Princess Benedikte still performs royal duties in Denmark and is the patron of many charities and other organisations. She can also act as a regent in the monarch’s absence. She is currently tenth and last in the Danish line of succession.

About Moniek Bloks 2749 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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