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Christian IX of Denmark

Christian IX of Denmark (April 8, 1818 - January 29, 1906) was King of Denmark from 1863 to 1906.

He was born in Gottorp[?] in 1818, the fourth son of Duke William of Slesvig-Holsten-Sĝnderborg-Glücksborg (d. 1831) and Luise, a daughter of Charles, prince of Hesse-Kassel (d. 1836). Though descended from several monarchs through his mother, including George II of Great Britain and Frederik V of Denmark, he had no strong claim to any European throne. He grew up in Denmark and was educated in the Military Academy of Copenhagen.

As a young man, he unsuccessfully sought the hand of Queen Victoria in marriage. In 1842 he married Luise of Hesse-Kassel, a niece of Christian VIII and had a family of six children by her.

In 1847, he was willed the Danish throne by Christian VIII, as Christian VIII did not expect his only surviving son, the future Frederik VII to have any sons.

He succeeded Frederik VII to the throne in November 15, 1863. He was immediately plunged into a crisis over the possession and status of Schleswig and Holstein, two territories to Denmark's south when , under pressure, he signed the November Constitution, a treaty that made Schleswig part of Denmark. This resulted in a brief war between Denmark and a Prussian/Austrian alliance in 1864. The war ended with the incorporation of Schleswig into Prussia in 1865. Holstein was likewise incorporated into Prussia in 1865, following further battle between Austria and Prussia.

Christian's 43-year reign was otherwise peaceful.

He did seek, unsuccessfully, to prevent the spread of democracy throughout Denmark. However, he signed a treaty in 1874 which allowed Iceland, then a Danish possession, to have its own constitution, albeit one that still had Denmark ruling Iceland. In 1900, he approved the establishment of a Danish parliament which would have power over absolutism.

Another reform occurred in 1866, when the Danish constitution was revised so that Denmark's upper chamber would have more power than the lower.

Social security also took a few steps forward during his reign. Old age pensions were introduced in 1891 and unemployment and family benefits were introduced in 1892.

Christian died from old age at 88 at Copenhagen and was buried at Roskilde, Denmark.

He remains noteworthy for the number of immediate descendants that have become monarchs in their own right. His sons included Frederik VIII of Denmark and George I of Greece. His grandsons include Nicholas II of Russia, Constantine I of Greece, George V of the United Kingdom, Christian X of Denmark and Haakon VII of Norway.

Preceded by:
Frederik VII
List of Danish monarchs Succeeded by:
Frederik VIII

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