Queen Sofía of Spain
Sofía of Greece and Denmark is a member of the Spanish royal family who served as Queen of Spain during the reign of her husband, King Juan Carlos I, from 1975 to 2014. Queen Sofía is the first child of King Paul of Frederica of Hanover; as her family was forced into exile during the Second World War, she spent part of her childhood in South Africa, returning to Greece in 1946. She completed her secondary education in a boarding school in Germany before returning to Greece where she specialised in childcare and archaeology, she married Juan Carlos, son of the Spanish pretender Infante Juan, on 14 May 1962 with whom she has had three children: Elena and Felipe. She became queen upon her husband's accession in 1975. On 19 June 2014, Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of their son Felipe VI. Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark was born on 2 November 1938, in Psychiko, Greece, the eldest child of King Paul and his wife, Queen Frederica. Sofia is a member of the Greek branch of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg dynasty.
Her brother is the deposed King Constantine II and her sister is Princess Irene. Princess Sophia spent some of her childhood in Egypt where she took her early education in El Nasr Girls' College in Alexandria, she lived in South Africa during her family's exile from Greece during World War II, where her sister Irene was born. They returned to Greece in 1946, she finished her education at the prestigious Schloss Salem boarding school in Southern Germany, studied childcare and archeology in Athens. She studied at Fitzwilliam College, now, though not a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, she was a reserve member, alongside her brother Constantine, of Greece's gold medal-winning sailing team in the 1960 Summer Olympics. Sofía met her paternal third cousin the Infante Juan Carlos of Spain on a cruise in the Greek Islands in 1954; the couple married on 14 May 1962, at the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Dionysius in Athens. The bride's gown was made by Jean Dessès and she was attended by her sister Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, the groom's sister Infanta Pilar of Spain, Sofía's future sister-in-law Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, along with Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess Anne of Orléans and Princess Tatiana Radziwill.
Sofia converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism to become more palatable to Catholic Spain, thus relinquished her rights to the Greek throne. Along with this, the usual Latinisation of her Greek name was changed from Sophia to the Spanish variant, Sofía. In 1969, Infante Juan Carlos, never Prince of Asturias, was given the official title of "Prince of Spain" by the Spanish state. Juan Carlos acceded upon the death of Francisco Franco; the couple have three children: Elena. Their four grandsons and four granddaughters are Felipe and Victoria de Marichalar y de Borbón, Pablo and Irene Urdangarín y de Borbón, Leonor, Princess of Asturias and Sofía, all of whom are in the line of succession to the Spanish throne. Besides accompanying her husband on official visits and occasions, Queen Sofía has solo engagements, she is executive president of the Queen Sofía Foundation, which in 1993, sent funds for relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is honorary president of the Royal Board on Education and Care of Handicapped Persons of Spain, as well as the Spanish Foundation for Aid for Drug Addicts.
She takes special interest in programs against drug addiction, travelling to conferences in both Spain and abroad. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is named after her, as is Reina Sofía Airport in Tenerife; the Queen is an Honorary Member of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts and of the Spanish Royal Academy of History. She has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Rosario, Cambridge, Georgetown, Evora, St. Mary's University, New York. A keen supporter of sport, the Queen attended the final match of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships – Men's Singles where she watched Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal win for a second time, as well as the 2010 FIFA World Cup where the Spanish team was crowned as world champion. Queen Sofía has been honorary president of the Spanish Unicef Committee since 1971, she has been working with Dr. Muhammed Yunus on his Grameen Bank, which offers microcredits to women across the world. Queen Sofía has travelled to Bangladesh, Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico to support the activities of the organization led by Yunus.
Queen Sofía has been a strong supporter of Somaly Mam's efforts and of the NGO she founded—Agir pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire —in combatting child prostitution and slavery in Cambodia. In 1998, Mam was awarded the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in her presence. In July 2012, the Queen visited the Philippines for a fourth time, she inspected several development projects around the former Spanish colony that her country's government is funding via the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo. She visited the National Library, National Museum and the University of Santo Tomas, which had the oldest extant university charter in Asia and housed the world's largest collection of
Princess Thyra of Denmark
Princess Thyra of Denmark, Danish pronunciation:, was the youngest daughter and fifth child of Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel. In 1878, she married the exiled heir to the Kingdom of Hanover; as the Kingdom of Hanover had been annexed by Prussia in 1866, she spent most of her life in exile with her husband in Austria. Thyra was the younger sister of Frederik VIII of Denmark, Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, George I of Greece, Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia and an elder sister of Prince Valdemar of Denmark. Princess Thyra was born on 29 September 1853 at the Yellow Palace in Copenhagen as the third daughter and fifth child of Prince Christian and Princess Louise of Denmark; as a child, she shared a bedroom with her elder sisters and Dagmar, was taught how to sew and knit her own clothes and socks. Her family had been obscure but happy until her father, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, was chosen with the consent of the great powers to succeed his childless distant cousin, Frederick VII, to the Danish throne.
Just two months before Thyra's birth, the new Act of Succession had been passed and Prince Christian given the title of Prince of Denmark. In 1863, when Thyra was 10 years old, King Frederick VII died, her father succeeded to the throne of Denmark as King Christian IX. Earlier the same year, her brother Vilhelm had been elected King of Greece, her sister Alexandra had married Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. In 1866, her other sister Dagmar married the tsarevich of Alexander. Thyra was an attractive and gentle young woman, with dark hair and dark blue eyes, Queen Louise wanted her youngest daughter to make a good marriage as her elder daughters had. Thyra's first suitor was King Willem III of the Netherlands, but as he was thirty-six years older than she was, she rejected him. In her youth, Thyra had fallen in love with Vilhelm Frimann Marcher, a lieutenant in the cavalry, which resulted in a pregnancy, her brother George I of Greece suggested. She gave birth to a girl, Maria, on 8 November 1871 at Schloss Glücksburg, adopted by Rasmus and Anne Marie Jørgensen of Odense shortly after birth and renamed Kate.
Marcher killed himself on 4 January 1872 after a confrontation with the King. On 21 December/22 December 1878, she married Crown Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, at the chapel of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen. Ernst Augustus was the eldest child and only son of King George V of Hanover and his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. Ernest Augustus had been born as a Crown Prince of Hanover, but in 1866 his father had been deprived of his throne, when the Kingdom of Hanover was annexed by Prussia after siding with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War. Thanks to her marriage, Thyra became Duchess of Cumberland and Teviotdale, Duchess of Brunswick-Luneburg, she was styled Crown Princess of Hanover. Her husband died on 14 November 1923. Thyra survived him by nine years and died in Gmunden, Upper Austria, on 26 February 1933; the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland had six children: 29 September 1853 – 21 December 1858: Her Highness Princess Thyra of Denmark 21 December 1858 – 22 December 1878: Her Royal Highness Princess Thyra of Denmark 22 December 1878 – 28 March 1919: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Hanover and Duchess of Cumberland and Teviotdale 28 March 1919 – 26 February 1933: Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Thyra of Hanover Spain: 814th Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa Royal House of Hannover Royal House of Denmark Princess Thyra at the website of the Royal Danish Collection at Amalienborg Palace
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011; the Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America behind New York City, San Francisco, Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census. 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage. Vancouver is classed as a Beta global city. Vancouver is named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life, the Economist Intelligence Unit acknowledged it as the first city ranked among the top-ten of the world's most well-living cities for five consecutive years.
Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events, including the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, UN Habitat I, Expo 86, the World Police and Fire Games in 1989 and 2009. In 2014, following thirty years in California, the TED conference made Vancouver its indefinite home. Several matches of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup were played in Vancouver, including the final at BC Place; the original settlement, named Gastown, grew up on clearcuts on the west edge of the Hastings Mill logging sawmill's property, where a makeshift tavern had been set up on a plank between two stumps and the proprietor, Gassy Jack, persuaded the curious millworkers to build him a tavern, on July 1, 1867. From that first enterprise, other stores and some hotels appeared along the waterfront to the west. Gastown became formally laid out as a registered townsite dubbed Granville, B. I.. As part of the land and political deal whereby the area of the townsite was made the railhead of the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was renamed "Vancouver" and incorporated shortly thereafter as a city, in 1886.
By 1887, the Canadian Pacific transcontinental railway was extended westward to the city to take advantage of its large natural seaport to the Pacific Ocean, which soon became a vital link in a trade route between the Orient / East Asia, Eastern Canada, Europe. As of 2014, Port Metro Vancouver is the third-largest port by tonnage in the Americas, 27th in the world, the busiest and largest in Canada, the most diversified port in North America. While forestry remains its largest industry, Vancouver is well known as an urban centre surrounded by nature, making tourism its second-largest industry. Major film production studios in Vancouver and nearby Burnaby have turned Greater Vancouver and nearby areas into one of the largest film production centres in North America, earning it the nickname "Hollywood North"; the city takes its name from George Vancouver, who explored the inner harbour of Burrard Inlet in 1792 and gave various places British names. The family name "Vancouver" itself originates from the Dutch "Van Coevorden", denoting somebody from the city of Coevorden, Netherlands.
The explorer's ancestors came to England "from Coevorden", the origin of the name that became "Vancouver". Archaeological records indicate that Aboriginal people were living in the "Vancouver" area from 8,000 to 10,000 years ago; the city is located in the traditional and presently unceded territories of the Squamish and Tseil-Waututh peoples of the Coast Salish group. They had villages in various parts of present-day Vancouver, such as Stanley Park, False Creek, Point Grey and near the mouth of the Fraser River. Europeans became acquainted with the area of the future Vancouver when José María Narváez of Spain explored the coast of present-day Point Grey and parts of Burrard Inlet in 1791—although one author contends that Francis Drake may have visited the area in 1579; the explorer and North West Company trader Simon Fraser and his crew became the first-known Europeans to set foot on the site of the present-day city. In 1808, they travelled from the east down the Fraser River as far as Point Grey.
The Fraser Gold Rush of 1858 brought over 25,000 men from California, to nearby New Westminster on the Fraser River, on their way to the Fraser Canyon, bypassing what would become Vancouver. Vancouver is among British Columbia's youngest cities. A sawmill established at Moodyville in 1863, began the city's long relationship with logging, it was followed by mills owned by Captain Edward Stamp on the south shore of the inlet. Stamp, who had begun logging in the Port Alberni area, first attempted to run a mill at Brockton Point, but difficult currents and reefs forced the relocation of the operation in 1867 to a point near the foot of Dunlevy Street; this mill, known as the Hastings Mill, became the nucleus. The mill's central role in the city waned after the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s, it remained important to the local economy until it closed in the 1920s. The settlement which came to be called Gastown grew around
Marie of Saxe-Altenburg
Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, VA was Queen of Hanover and the consort of George V, a grandson of George III of the United Kingdom and Queen Charlotte. Marie was born at Hildburghausen, as Princess Marie of Saxe-Hildburghausen, the eldest daughter of Joseph, the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Hildburghausen and Duchess Amelia of Württemberg. In 1826, the family moved to Altenburg as a result of a transfer of territories among the various branches of the Ernestine Wettins, Marie took the title Princess of Saxe-Altenburg in place of the previous. Marie married, on 18 February 1843, at Hanover, Crown Prince of Hanover, they had three children: Prince Ernest Augustus, Princess Frederica, Princess Marie. The Crown Prince, blind since his youth, his wife became King and Queen of Hanover upon the death of his father, Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, on 18 November 1851. Between 1858 and 1867 George V had Marienburg Castle built as a birthday present to his wife, named after her. However, he was expelled from his kingdom in 1866 as a result of his support for Austria in the Austro-Prussian War, on 20 September 1866, the Kingdom was annexed by Prussia.
George never abdicated. Marie succeeded in having the Hanoverian crown jewels and other precious items smuggled abroad, before leaving for Austria herself. There, the family moved into a villa in Gmunden near Salzburg, which they rented and acquired. On 18 September 1872, Queen Marie was godmother to Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein. Princess Marie Louise was the youngest daughter of Princess Helena. George V. died in 1878 on a travel in Paris where he had attempted to re-establish his Guelphic Legion, a military unit aimed at a re-conquest of his kingdom. He was buried in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Queen Marie died, some twenty-eight years after her husband, on 9 January 1907, in The Queen's Villa at Gmunden, where she was buried in a mausoleum that her eldest son had built next to his residence, Cumberland Castle. 14 April 1818 – 12 November 1826: Her Highness Princess Marie of Saxe-Hildburghausen 12 November 1826 – 18 February 1843: Her Highness Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg 18 February 1843 – 18 November 1851: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Hanover 18 November 1851 – 9 January 1907: Her Majesty The Queen of Hanover
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is the husband of Elizabeth II. Philip was born into the Danish royal families, he was born in Greece. After being educated in France and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Pacific Fleets. After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents, he married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was created Baron Earl of Merioneth and Duke of Edinburgh. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, was formally made a British prince in 1957.
Philip and Elizabeth have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward. A keen sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving, he is a patron, president or member of over 780 organisations and serves as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award for people aged 14 to 24. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest male member of the British royal family. Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, at the age of 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born in Mon Repos on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921, the only son and fifth and final child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.
Philip's four elder sisters were Margarita, Theodora and Sophie. He was baptised in the Greek Orthodox rite at St. George's Church in the Old Fortress in Corfu, his godparents were his paternal grandmother Queen Olga of Greece, represented by Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark, Alexandros S. Kokotos, the Mayor of Corfu, representing the people of Corfu. Shortly after Philip's birth, his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg known as Louis Mountbatten, Marquess of Milford Haven, died in London. Louis was a naturalised British citizen, after a career in the Royal Navy, had renounced his German titles and adopted the surname Mountbatten—an Anglicized version of Battenberg—during the First World War, owing to anti-German sentiment in Great Britain. After visiting London for the memorial and his mother returned to Greece where Prince Andrew had remained behind to command an army division embroiled in the Greco-Turkish War; the war went badly for Greece, the Turks made large gains. On 22 September 1922, Philip's uncle, King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate and the new military government arrested Prince Andrew, along with others.
The commander of the army, General Georgios Hatzianestis, five senior politicians were executed. Prince Andrew's life was believed to be in danger, Alice was under surveillance. In December, a revolutionary court banished Prince Andrew from Greece for life; the British naval vessel HMS Calypso evacuated Prince Andrew's family, with Philip carried to safety in a cot made from a fruit box. Philip's family went to France, where they settled in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud in a house lent to them by his wealthy aunt, Princess George of Greece and Denmark; because Philip left Greece as a baby, he does not have a strong grasp of the Greek language. In 1992, he said that he "could understand a certain amount". Philip has stated that he has thought of himself as Danish, his family spoke English and German. Philip, who in his youth was known for his charm, was linked to a number of women including Osla Benning. Philip was first educated at The Elms, an American school in Paris run by Donald MacJannet, who described Philip as a "know it all smarty person, but always remarkably polite".
In 1928, he was sent to the United Kingdom to attend Cheam School, living with his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, at Kensington Palace and his uncle, George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, at Lynden Manor in Bray, Berkshire. In the next three years, his four sisters married German princes and moved to Germany, his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and placed in an asylum, his father took up residence in Monte Carlo. Philip had little contact with his mother for the remainder of his childhood. In 1933, he was sent to Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, which had the "advantage of saving school fees" because it was owned by the family of his brother-in-law, Margrave of Baden. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Salem's Jewish founder, Kurt Hahn, fled persecution and founded Gordonstoun School in Scotland, which Philip moved to after two terms at Salem. In 1937, his sister Cecilie, her husband Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, her two young sons and Alexander, her newborn infant, her mother-in-law, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, were killed in an air crash at Ostend.
The following year, his uncle and guardian Lord Milford Haven died of bone marrow cancer. After leaving Gordonstoun in early 193
Caroline, Princess of Hanover
Caroline, Princess of Hanover, is the eldest child of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, the American actress Grace Kelly. She is the elder sister of Prince Albert Princess Stéphanie; until the births of her niece and nephew, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques, in December 2014 she had been heir presumptive to the throne of Monaco since 2005, a position which she held from 1957 to 1958. Caroline is married to Ernst August, Prince of Hanover, the heir to the former throne of the Kingdom of Hanover, as well as the heir male of George III of the United Kingdom. Caroline was born on 23 January 1957 in Monaco, she is the eldest child of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, his wife, former American actress Grace Kelly. Christened Caroline Louise Marguerite, she belongs to the House of Grimaldi, she was the heir presumptive from her birth to 14 March 1958, when her brother Prince Albert was born. On 1 February 1965, her younger sister Princess Stéphanie was born. Caroline is a legitimate patrilineal descendant of the Dukes of Polignac, as such belongs to the historical French nobility.
Through her mother, she is of German descent. As a child, she spent some of her time at the home of her maternal grandparents John B. Kelly Sr. and Margaret Major in Philadelphia. In an interview for People in April 1982, shortly before her death, Grace described Caroline and Stéphanie as "warm, amusing and capable girls. They're much in tune with their era. Besides being good students, they are good athletes -- swimmers. Both can play the piano and ride a horse. But, above all, my children are conscious of their position and considerate of others, they are sympathetic to the problems and concerns in the world today."Caroline spent the summer of 1971 at Camp Oneka in the Poconos. While there, unbeknownst to her parents, she was protected by the United States Secret Service. Princess Grace died on 14 September 1982, the day after suffering a stroke while driving her car, as she and Princess Stéphanie were returning home to Monaco from a visit to France; the princess received her French baccalauréat in 1974 with honors.
She was educated at St Mary's School Ascot. Caroline continued her studies at the Sorbonne University, where she received a diploma in philosophy and minors in psychology and biology, she is fluent in French, Spanish and Italian. In 1979, Princess Caroline was appointed by her father as the president of the Monegasque Committee for the International Year of the Child. Two years in 1981, she founded her own foundation Jeune J'écoute. Other philanthropic organizations Caroline has been involved with include the World Association of Children's Friends, the Princess Grace Foundation, the Prince Pierre Foundation, the Peter Le Marchant Trust and UNICEF, her other patronages include the International School of Paris, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, which she founded, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Association des Guides et Scouts de Monaco, the Monte Carlo Garden Club and The Spring Arts Festival. Following her mother's death in 1982, Caroline served as de facto first lady of Monaco until her brother married Charlene Wittstock in 2011.
She attends important social events in Monaco related to the Monegasque Princely Family, such as the National Day celebrations, the annual Rose Ball, the Red Cross Ball and the Formula One competition Monaco Grand Prix. Due to her commitment to philanthropy and arts, Caroline was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on 2 December 2003; the UNICEF honoured her with Children's Champion Award on 20 May 2006. The next year, she travelled to the Republic of South Africa to meet its former president Nelson Mandela. In December 2011, the World Association of Children's Friends honoured her for "tireless endeavours in continuing the organisation's legacy", her personal friend and the Chanel head designer Karl Lagerfeld presented her the award. Caroline had previously been given the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Charles, had been appointed as the Commander of the Order of Cultural Merit. Caroline's personal interests include horseback riding and skiing. Since her youth, she has been considered an international fashion icon and as one of the best dressed women in the world.
In November 2011, an exhibition honouring Princess Caroline was opened at the National Museum of Monaco. Caroline was romantically linked to many famous men, including Mark Shand, the younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Following her divorce from Philippe Junot, she was engaged to Robertino Rossellini, the son of Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman. Between her second and third marriages, Caroline had a relationship with French actor Vincent Lindon. Princess Caroline's first husband was a Parisian banker, they were married civilly in Monaco on 28 June 1978, religiously on 29 June 1978. Their lavish wedding ceremony was attended by some 65 guests, including Hollywood stars Ava Gardner, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra; the couple divorced, childless, on 9 October 1980. In 1992, the Roman Catholic Church granted the princess a canonical declaration of nullity, her second husband was the sportsman heir to an Italian industrial fortune. They were married civilly in Monaco on 29 December 1983, and
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 1863 until his death in 1906. From 1863 to 1864, he was concurrently Duke of Schleswig and Lauenburg. Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish throne. However, in 1852, Christian was chosen as heir to the Danish monarchy in light of the expected extinction of the senior line of the House of Oldenburg. Upon the death of King Frederick VII of Denmark in 1863, Christian acceded to the throne as the first Danish monarch of the House of Glücksburg; the beginning of his reign was marked by the Danish defeat in the Second Schleswig War and the subsequent loss of the duchies of Schleswig and Lauenburg which made the king immensely unpopular. The following years of his reign were dominated by political disputes as Denmark had only become a constitutional monarchy in 1849 and the balance of power between the sovereign and parliament was still in dispute.
In spite of his initial unpopularity and the many years of political strife, where the king was in conflict with large parts of the population, his popularity recovered towards the end of his reign, he became a national icon due to the length of his reign and the high standards of personal morality with which he was identified. Christian married his second cousin, Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel, in 1842, their six children married into other royal families across Europe, earning him the sobriquet "the father-in-law of Europe". Margrethe II of Denmark, Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Philippe of Belgium, Harald V of Norway, Felipe VI of Spain, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Constantine II of Greece, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Queen Sofia of Spain, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, are among his descendants. Christian was born on 8 April 1818 at Gottorf Castle near the town of Schleswig in the Duchy of Schleswig as Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck, the fourth son of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck, Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel.
He was named after Prince Christian of Denmark, the King Christian VIII, his godfather. Christian's father was the head of the ducal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck, a junior male branch of the House of Oldenburg. Through his father, Christian was thus a direct male-line descendant of King Christian III of Denmark and an agnatic descendant of Helvig of Schauenburg, mother of King Christian I of Denmark, the "Semi-Salic" heiress of her brother Adolf of Schauenburg, last Schauenburg duke of Schleswig and count of Holstein; as such, Christian was eligible to succeed in the twin duchies of Schleswig-Holstein, but not first in line. Christian's mother was a daughter of Landgrave Charles of Hesse, a Danish Field Marshal and Royal Governor of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, his wife Princess Louise of Denmark, a daughter of Frederick V of Denmark. Through his mother, Christian was thus a great-grandson of Frederick V, great-great-grandson of George II of Great Britain and a descendant of several other monarchs, but had no direct claim to any European throne.
Christian lived with his parents and many siblings at Gottorf Castle, where the family stayed with Duke Friedrich Wilhelm's parents-in-law. However, on 6 June 1825, Duke Friedrich Wilhelm was appointed Duke of Glücksburg by his brother-in-law Frederick VI of Denmark, as the elder Glücksburg line had become extinct in 1779, he subsequently changed his title to Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and founded the younger Glücksburg line. Subsequently, the family moved to Glücksburg Castle, where Christian was raised with his siblings under their father's supervision. Following the early death of the father in 1831, Christian grew up in Denmark and was educated in the Military Academy of Copenhagen; as a young man, Christian unsuccessfully sought the hand of his third cousin, Queen Victoria, in marriage. At the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen on 26 May 1842, he married his half-second cousin, Louise of Hesse-Kassel, a niece of Christian VIII. In 1852, with the approval of the great powers of Europe, Christian was chosen by King Frederick VII to be heir presumptive after the extinction of the most senior line to the Danish throne, as Frederick VII seemed incapable of fathering children.
A justification for this choice was his marriage to Louise of Hesse-Kassel, who—as a niece of Christian VIII of Denmark—was related to the royal family. Frederick VII's childlessness had presented a thorny dilemma and the question of succession to the Danish throne proved problematic. Denmark's adherence to the Salic Law and a burgeoning nationalism within the German-speaking parts of Schleswig-Holstein hindered all hopes of a peaceful solution. Proposed resolutions to keep the two Duchies together and part of Denmark proved unsatisfactory to both Danish and German interests. While Denmark had adopted the Salic Law, this only affected the descendants of Frederick III of Denmark, the first hereditary monarch of Denmark. Agnatic descent from Frederick III would end with the death of the childless King Frederick VII and his childless uncle, Prince Ferdinand. At that point, the law of succession promulgated by Frederick III provided for a Semi-Salic succession. There were, several ways to interpret to whom the crown could pass, since the provision was not clear as to whether a claimant to the throne could be the closest female relative or not.
As the nations of Europe looked on, the numerous descendants of Hel