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What Harry and Meghan could learn from the roles of Denmark’s royals

What Harry and Meghan could learn from the roles of Denmark's royals
Members of the Danish royal family at the opening of parliament. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
As the British royal family is plunged into an apparent crisis over the futures of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, could they learn anything from Denmark's royals?

British royals the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at the centre of quite the stir in the UK following their announcement last week that they want to “step back” from frontline royal duties and become self-funding.

Some have argued that, when the fuss dies down, ‘flexi-royal’ role for the Sussexes could be a way of modernizing the British monarchy.

But what is Denmark’s take on royals near and close to the throne mixing royal and non-royal duties?

None of the senior members of the Danish palace have strayed too far from official duties nor royal incomes, but some have ventured into civilian jobs.

Here we provide an overview of the roles of the two sons of Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II and some of their closest family members.

Crown Prince Frederik


Crown Prince Frederik. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

51-year-old Crown Prince Frederik, son of Queen Margrethe and the late Prince Henrik, is first in line to the throne and regent when the Queen is out of the country.

In his youth, the Crown Prince studied at Aarhus University and spent a year at Harvard, before later serving as a Danish representative at the UN headquarters in New York City (1994) and at the Danish Embassy in Paris (1998-99). He also has a number of years of military education and now has several military titles.

In 2007, Crown Prince Frederik announced he wanted to become a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Given the political aspects of the IOC, this resulted in some debate in Denmark as to whether the Crown Prince would be overstepping the line which bars the country’s royals from being politically active.

In the event, the Crown Prince was elected to the committee in 2009 and served on it for eight years.

Crown Princess Mary


Crown Princess Mary. Photo: Jens Nørgaard Larsen/Ritzau Scanpix

The Australian-born Crown Princess Mary met Crown Prince Frederik during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and they married in Copenhagen in 2004. The couple have four children.

Prior to becoming a Danish royal, Mary, a graduate of the University of Tasmania, worked as an advertising executive in Sydney, and also had a role with Microsoft in Copenhagen from 2002-2003.

Since she became the Crown Princess, Mary has taken on patronages of a large number of organizations in various fields, including fashion, humanitarian aid and science.

Prince Christian


Prince Christian. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Prince Christian, the oldest of Frederik and Mary’s four children, was born in October 2005. He is second in line to the Danish throne, after Crown Prince Frederik.

He currently goes to international school in Switzerland along with his siblings.

READ ALSO: Danish royal children to spend three months in Switzerland

Prince Joachim


Prince Joachim and Princess Marie in Paris. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

The younger of Queen Margrethe’s two sons by 13 months, Prince Joachim is sixth in line to the Danish throne, behind his older brother and four nieces and nephews.

The young Prince Joachim studied agriculture in Denmark and spent two years in the mid-1980s working on a farm in Australia. He began his military education in 1987. He was given the rank of Colonel of the Reserve in 2015. He has been married twice: to the former Princess Alexandra – now Alexandra Christina, Countess of Frederiksborg – from 1995 to 2004; and to Princess Marie, whom he married in 2008.

In September last year, Joachim and Marie (who is French) moved to Paris after the Prince was officially invited to attend France’s École Militaire, the highest-ranking military education for officers. He will attend the officer school until the summer of this year.

Although there was some tabloid criticism of Prince Joachim taking his royal apanage with him to Paris – the Queen appeared to rebuke it with some supportive words for Joachim in her New Year’s Eve speech – it can hardly be compared with the vitriol aimed at the Duchess of Sussex from some quarters of the British media.

Prince Nikolai


Prince Nikolai in 2018. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Prince Joachim’s oldest son from his first marriage is now 20 years old and seventh in line to the throne.

Nikolai has worked as a model and is currently a university student at Copenhagen Business School. He previously began a two-year officer training programme with the Danish military but chose not to continue those studies.


Member comments

  1. ALSO I have not heard ZILCH about what impact they have made…yeah I know it’s tough to explain the very star power these two have, HOW DARE THEY inspire millions.How many millions outside of Denmark have the Danish royals inspired……

  2. Have any of these royals had their child depicted as a monkey like Meghan and Harry or been on the receiving end of the British tabloids verocity??? Spare us this unneccesary display of supremacy..am sure there is ALOT Meghan and Harry can learn indeed…..you Europeans are really special.

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