International Royals

How do titles work within the Danish Royal Family?

We simplify a very complex topic.
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There are countless titles and ranks within monarchies, and they can be very confusing to try and understand.

Continue reading through to find out just exactly how royal and noble titles work in the Danish Royal Family.

The Danish royal family.

(Image: Steen Brogaard, Kongehuset)

Within the immediate royal family, the highest title is King or Queen. At the moment Queen Margrethe II is the reigning Danish monarch, however she has recently announced her abdication from the throne.

This means that her son, the current Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, will become King on 14 January 2023. Alongside him, Frederik’s wife Mary will become Queen Consort of Denmark.

This in turn will mean that their eldest son, Prince Christian, will then become the new Crown Prince of Denmark.

So, essentially, the hierarchy of titles goes King and/or Queen, then Crown Prince and/or Crown Princess, and then Prince and/or Princess. But what comes next?

The current system of Danish titles has been in effect since 1671, and is as follows:

1. Duke and/or Duchess

In Denmark, the title of Duke and/or Duchess is reserved for the Royal family and relatives, and is not part of the “nobility”.

Only two families bear the title of ‘Duke’ in Denmark, and they don’t count as “nobility”: The Dukes of Schleswig who are originally descendants of Gerhard III, and the Duke of Glücksbierg whose title has been passed down through generations of his family since 1818 from the French family, Decazes.

2. Marquess and/or Marchioness

The title of Marquess/Marchioness is quite rare. In fact, Denmark has never had a citizen granted with this title.

In 1709, Frederik IV of Denmark, who was also King of Norway, granted the title Marquess of Lista to an Italian man who died without children and thus the title ended there.

Norway remains the only country in Scandinavia where the title of marquess has been granted.

Prince Joachim’s children are now referred to as Count and Countess.

(Image: Getty)

3. Count and/or Countess

Count and/or Countess seems to be the most popular title within Denmark.

In 2022, a rather shocking change of titles occurred within the immediate royal family, and Queen Margrethe stripped her youngest son’s children of their Prince and Princess titles, changing them to Counts and Countess.

The statement from the Danish royal family stated, “Her Majesty has decided that, as of 1 January 2023, His Royal Highness Prince Joachim’s descendants can only use their titles as counts and countess of Monpezat, as the titles of prince and princess that they have held up until now will be discontinued. Prince Joachim’s descendants will thus have to be addressed as excellencies in the future”.

As such, Prince Joachim’s children are now referred to as Count Nikolai, Count Felix, Count Henrik and Countess Athena.

4. Baron and/or Baroness

There are quite a few barons and baronesses in Denmark, and people with the title of baron may pass down this same title to all of their immediate family members.

Barons and baronesses have no real privileges in modern day Denmark, with their titles merely being symbolic and having historical significance.

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