King Frederik IX of Denmark KG GCB GCVO

Christian Frederik Franz Michael Carl Valdemar Georg of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg was born on 11th Mar 1899 at Sorgenfri Palace in Zealand. He was the son of Christian X and Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He had 21 godparents at his christening on 9th April, one of which was Edward VII.

Frederik was educated at the Royal Danish Naval Academy, the first Danish Royal to choose a Navy career. He went on to university in Copenhagen. He took his naval career very seriously and had several senior commands on active service reaching the rank of Rear Admiral before he was king. He acquired several tattoos as a sailor. He must have been the life and soul of parties because he was a piano player and conductor.

In 1922 he was engaged to marry Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark but they did not wed. However in 1935 he married Princess Ingrid of Sweden and they had three daughters, the eldest of which became Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. The Danish constitution demanded that Frederik's younger brother Knud be heir to the throne as Frederik had only daughters and no son, but in 1953 an Act of Succession was passed to allow Margrethe to take the throne.

In 1959 The Buffs spent 18 months in Germany at Dortmund, then went to Denmark where they were inspected by their Colonel-in-Chief, King Frederik IX in November 1960. He also attended their amalgamation parade on 1st Mar 1961 at Shorncliffe along with Queen Elizabeth II. He continued as Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Own Buffs until 1st April 1967 when they were absorbed into the Queen's Regiment.

Frederik became ill in January 1972 shortly after giving his New Year's address to the nation. He had flu symptoms and then cardiac arrest, dying on 14th January. His body lay in state for 6 days at the chapel at Christiansborg Palace. After a funeral procession through Copenhagen where his coffin was pulled by 48 sailors he was buried outside Roskilde Cathedral.

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by Stephen Luscombe