Christian X of Denmark and Iceland was born just before midnight on Monday, 26 September 1870 at Charlottenlund Palace in Copenhagen.

King Christian IX of Denmark Photo: © HM Dronningens Håndbibliotek, Kongernes Samling

The Royal Court of Denmark has released some photos to mark the 150th Anniversary of King Christian’s birth on Saturday, 26 September 2020.

Birth of an heir

He was the eldest son of Frederik VIII and Lovisa of Sweden’s eight children, and the older brother of King Haakon VII of Norway.

Crown Princess (later Queen) Lovisa with a young Prince Christian. Photo: © Amalienborg Museum, Kongernes Samling

His grandfather, Christian IX, known as the ‘Father-in-Law of Europe’, had been on the Danish throne for seven years. Christian’s parents were the Crown Prince and Crown Princess at the time.

King Christian X. Photo: © Amalienborg Museum, Kongernes Samling

A 21-gun salute was fired from Battery Sixtus on Holmen at sunrise to announce a new heir had been born.

Author Hans Christian Andersen gave a copy of his illustrated adventures to the little prince, probably the first gift he ever received.

King Christian X was the first in the Glücksborg line to be born as heir to the throne. Photo: © Amalienborg Museum, Kongernes Samling

Prince Christian married Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Cannes on 26 April 1898 and they had two sons: Frederik IX, the father of Queen Margrethe, and Prince Knud.

They were given Christian VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg as their residence and Sorgenfri Palace, north of Copenhagen, as a summer home.

King Christian X. Photo: © Amalienborg Museum, Kongernes Samling

The people of Denmark gave the couple Marselisborg Palace in Aarhus as a wedding present in 1898. 

Christian became Crown Prince, aged 35, when his grandfather died on 29 January 1906, and became King six years later.

Crown Prince Christian and Crown Princess Alexandrine with their son Frederik in 1900

He ascended the Danish throne on 14 May 1912, as the third Glücksborg monarch, and king of Iceland and reigned until his death on the 20th of April 1947.

However, King Christian was only king of Iceland from 1 December 1918 until 17 June 1944 when the monarchy was abolished. Iceland has been a republic ever since.

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Symbol of Resistance

He reigned during two World Wars and remained in Denmark after the Nazis invaded during the Second one on 9 April 1940.

King Christian rides through Copenhagen on his 70th Birthday, 26 September 1940.

King Christian remained in Denmark throughout the occupation and continuing his daily rides on his horse, Jubilee, unaccompanied by a groom or a guard, through the streets of Copenhagen. He earned the respect of the population, and became a symbol of resistance.

The King also secretly provided funds to help Jews escaping from Denmark to safety in unoccupied Sweden.

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