Trashy Royals podcast

51. Two King Frederiks of Denmark (Frederik VII and Frederik X)

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This week, we take a look at a different European monarchy, that of Denmark, through two King Frederiks of Denmark. Frederik VII held the throne from 1848 to 1863, and was the last absolute monarch of the country, bowing to calls for reforms and signing Denmark's constitution, which implemented the constitutional monarchy that persists to this day. He was also a terrible husband, was divorced by two wives, and appears to have been part of a throuple with his third wife and their male lover for the last decade or so of his life. He died without legitimate heir, leading to a succession crisis and the reign of Christian IX, who became known as "the father-in-law of Europe." Then we fast forward to this very year, when Christian IX's fifth-generation descendant - and Queen Victoria's, too - became King Frederik X of Denmark, succeeding his mother Queen Margrethe II after her surprise abdication. A one-time Playboy Prince, Frederik has matured into a down-to-earth leader with strong military credentials and a passion for the outdoors, but his recent history is not without a hint of scandal. Cheating rumors swirled last fall, a situation that seemed to deeply pain his wife, the Australian-born Mary Donaldson, who has since become the first Australian to become a European queen. Was the abdication an attempt to save Frederik and Mary's marriage? Listen ad-free at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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