Princess Thyra of Denmark and her illegitimate daughter

On this day in history in 1933, Princess Thyra of Denmark died in Gmunden, Upper Austria. Thyra was the sister of Frederik VIII of Denmark, Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, George I of Greece and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia (Dagmar of Denmark). In December 1878, she married Crown Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale.

When reading about Princess Thyra I found out she had an illegitimate daughter. The father was Vilhelm Frimann Marcher, a lieutenant in the cavalry. She had the baby in Athens, Greece, where her brother ruled as George I. The press was told she had jaundice. She gave birth to a daughter named Maria on 8 November 1871. Apparently, the child was adopted by a Rasmus and Anne Marie Jørgensen and Maria was renamed Kate. In 1902 Kate married Frode Pløyen-Holstein. They were apparently childless and she died in 1964. Vilhelm Frimann Marcher killed himself on 4 January 1872 after a confrontation with the Danish king.

It doesn’t appear to have been a huge scandal at the time. The secret was probably well kept. Princess Thyra married quite well for a ‘tainted’ princess.


Vilhelm Frimann Marcher


Frode Pløyen-Holstein.


Possibly Kate/Maria with her adoptive mother


Kate/Maria in 1896

This story is also discussed in A Royal Family, a documentary about the house of Glücksburg. The documentary is in Danish, but the interviews are in English.

About Moniek 1170 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.


  1. Following her involvement with Marcher, Thyra was one of the leading candidates for a bride for Arthur, Duke of Connaught, the third son of Queen Victoria.

  2. Alexandra had a daughter as well in 1858. Margaret Irene was kept very quiet and she was born in New York, NY. Queen Louise had sailed from Germany to NY Oct 1857 to be there to give her granddaughter to an Irish family w the last name Galligher. Alexandra’s brother George I of Greece’s daughter was named after his niece Margaret.

    • What?? This is not true. First of all in 1858 Alexandra was only 13 (born in December 1844, for most of 1858 she would have only been 13 years old). Also Alexandra’s brother George I of Greece had 3 daughters (Alexandra, Marie, Olga) and none of them were named Margaret. Where did you ever get such hogwash.??

    • This is true I know as I belong to the family and they would have children prior to marriage common knowledge among royals, it was rivalry after all.
      However sometimes they kept the child,which in this case I believe they would have done and the child was adopted by a family member.

  3. It seems if there are descendants, they can be proven by DNA. Does anyone know if George’s or Alexandra’s DNA is available and public? A 13 year old female is capable of having a child…and if there was one, it is understandable that the family would not want it known.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.