Feast of Christian X of Denmark and Haakon VII of Norway (April 20)   1 comment

Above:  The Coat of Arms of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++

CHRISTIAN X OF DENMARK (SEPTEMBER 26, 1870-APRIL 20, 1947)

King of Denmark and Iceland

Born Christian Carl Frederik Albert Alexander Vilhelm Glucksburg

brother of

HAAKON VII OF NORWAY (AUGUST 3, 1872-SEPTEMBER 21, 1957)

King of Norway

Born Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel Glucksburg

+++++++++++++++++++++++

RESISTERS OF NAZISM

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Christian X and Haakon VII led their populations in opposing Nazi occupation.

In 1863 the Danish throne passed to the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg.  The new monarch, Christian IX (reigned 1863-1906), eventually became the “Father-in-Law of Europe,” rivaling Queen Victoria (reigned 1837-1901) for the number of royal relatives.  Christian IX’s adolescent son, Frederick, became the Crown Prince of Denmark and, as an elderly man, King Frederick VIII (reigned 1906-1912).

The future Frederick VIII and his wife, Louise of Sweden (1851-1926), daughter of King Carl XV (reigned 1859-1872) and Queen Louise of Sweden, raised eight children, including two kings.  Frederick was a loving father, but his wife was, according to her nieces and nephews, the “Despot.”  Louise was a humorless and Pietistic Lutheran (a “Sad Dane”) obsessed with sin.  Her definition of sin included sleeping on a soft mattress and eating food that was not plain.  On the other hand, Louise taught her children a Bible verse every day and instructed them in memorizing hymns.  The children suffered under the “Despot,” who transformed the future Christian X into a distant, tyrannical father.

Both future kings received military training and served as officers.  According to their father’s insistence, they did not receive any special treatment.  Christian joined the army and rose to the rank of Major General before succeeding his father in 1912.  Carl became a navy man, starting as a cadet at the age of 14 years.

The future kings entered into wedded life.  Carl married Maud, daughter of the future King Edward VII of Great Britain and Ireland (reigned 1901-1910) and Queen Alexandra (daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Queen Louise of Hesse-Cassel) at Buckingham Palace, London, on September 22, 1896.  Maud gave birth to a son, Alexander (1903-1991).  Christian married Princess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwein at Cannes, France, on April 26, 1898.  Their sons were Frederick (1899-1972) and Knud (1900-1976).

Norway regained its independence in 1905.  The Kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden had become united via a series of royal unions, culminating in the formation of the Kalmar Union (1397-1523).  The last Norwegian-born King of Norway had been Olav IV (reigned 1380-1387), who had previously become the King of Denmark.  Sweden had broken away from the Scandinavian monarchical union in 1523, leaving Norway united with Denmark.  Then, after the Napoleonic Wars, Norway had become attached to Sweden.  In 1905, with the restoration of Norwegian independence, sought a monarch.  Prince Carl of Denmark accepted the invitation.  He became Haakon VII and his son, Alexander, became Crown Prince Olav.  Haakon VII was a conscientious monarch in perhaps the most democratic–even democratic socialist–society in Europe.  The King, interested in public and cultural life, never even tried to interfere with government ministers.  The royal family, true to the upbringing of the monarch, lived simply.

Crown Prince Christian became King Christian X in 1912.  He was also a constitutional monarch, although the constitution, as it existed in 1920, permitted him some powers.  In 1920, between parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Theodore Carl Zahle, in office since 1913, lost his majority in the Riksdag.  The monarch invoked his constitutional powers to ask Zahle to resign.  The Prime Minister refused, so Christian X dismissed him.  These actions, allegedly a royal coup, according to certain critics, were within constitutional bounds.  Many Radicals and Socialists threatened a general strike.  Some even spoke briefly of abolishing the monarchy and transforming Denmark into a republic.  The Easter Crisis of 1920 ended in compromise; a caretaker government took office and new elections ensued.  Never again did Christian X intervene in government.

Christian X’s attitude toward his family began to soften in the 1930s.  His daughter-in-law, Crown Prince Ingrid (originally of Sweden), did not shy away from standing up to him.  Many liked and respected her and improved his relationship with her and his sons.  Related to that mellowing was the changing nature of Christian X’s relationship to the people.  He started riding a horse without police escort through Copenhagen every morning.

Germany invaded Denmark in 1940.  Christian X continued to ride a horse through the capital city, with the public as his body guards, until a horse threw him on October 19, 1942.  He spent the rest of his life in a wheel chair and made few public appearances.

A frequently repeated story tells us that Christian X wore the Star of David, in solidarity with Danish Jews.  However, John Van der Kiste, author of Northern Crowns:  The Kings of Modern Scandinavia (1996) and other books about royalty, cites Queen Margrethe II, granddaughter of Christian X, in refuting the story.  Van der Kiste writes that the Nazi occupiers never required Danish Jews to wear the Star of David.  According to Queen Margrethe II, via Van der Kiste, the origin of that popular story was an errand boy in Copenhagen.  This errand boy seems to have remarked,

…if they try to enforce the yellow star here, the King will be first to wear it.

–Page 116

He would have, indeed.

Christian X, King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947 and King of Iceland from 1918 to 1944, died, aged 76 years, on April 20, 1947.  Crown Prince Frederick became King Frederick IX (reigned 1947-1972).

Haakon VII led the Norwegian government-in-exile from England from 1940 to 1944.  He and Crown Prince Olav fled to the homeland of the late Queen Maud (died in 1938) when Nazi forces invaded Norway in 1940.  Crown Princess Martha and her children, in Stockholm at the time, accepted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s invitation to come to the United States.  In Norway the monogram “H7” became the symbol of the resistance.  In 1945, when the royal family returned to Norway, Haakon VII was a national hero.

The aged monarch soldiered on for about a decade before a fall in his bathroom broke his thighbone and made him an invalid.  He died of heart failure at 4:35 a.m., on September 21, 1957.  Haakon VII was 85 years old.  Crown Prince Olav became King Olav V (reigned 1957-1991).

Christian X and Haakon VII were decent and honorable men who opposed tyranny.  They, as constitutional monarchs, were symbols–symbols who grasped the full power of symbolism and used it for positive purposes.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 12, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF DESIDERIUS ERASMUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF JOHN GUALBERT, FOUNDER OF THE VALLOMBROSAN BENEDICTINES

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES RENATUS VERBEEK, MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF PETER RICKSECKER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MISSIONARY, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; STUDENT OF JOHANN CHRISTIAN BECHLER, MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; FATHER OF JULIUS THEODORE BECHLER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servants Christian X of Denmark and Haakon VII of Norway,

to work for justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

One response to “Feast of Christian X of Denmark and Haakon VII of Norway (April 20)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Feast of Wilhelm Wexels, Marie Wexelsen, Ludwig Lindeman, and Magnus Landstad (October 9) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: