Who Is the New King of Denmark? Why He Was Nicknamed "Pingo" and How He Met His Wife with Whom He Has Four Children

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.01 - 2024 10:43 AM CET

Photo: Dennis Stenild, Kongehuset
Photo: Dennis Stenild, Kongehuset
Who Is the New King of Denmark?

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Crown Prince Frederik, the future monarch of Denmark, was known in the early 1990s as a party-goer, but perceptions began to change after he graduated from Aarhus University in 1995 with a master's degree in political science, becoming the first member of the Danish royal family to complete university studies.

During his studies, he spent time at Harvard University in the United States, enrolling under the pseudonym Frederik Henriksen. He later served in the Danish navy, where he was nicknamed "Pingo" after his neoprene suit filled with water during a diving course, forcing him to move like a penguin.

At the age of 55, he earned a reputation as a daredevil, participating in a four-month ski expedition through Greenland in 2000. He was hospitalized following accidents with a sled and a scooter. Like King Charles III of the United Kingdom, Crown Prince Frederik is known for his passion for the environment and has promised to "steer the ship" of Denmark into the future.

His wife, Princess Mary, grew up on the Australian island of Tasmania and was working as a lawyer when they met in 2000 at a bar in Sydney during the Olympic Games. She said in an interview that she did not know he was the Prince of Denmark when they met. The couple is seen by some as representing modern values and have tried to give their four children - Christian, Isabella, Vincent, and Josephine - as normal an upbringing as possible, mainly sending them to public schools.

Unlike British royal tradition, there will not be an official coronation ceremony for Crown Prince Frederik. Instead, his accession to the throne will be announced on the day from Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen. He will become King of Denmark and head of state in this constitutional monarchy, as well as in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. He will be known as King Frederik X.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark unexpectedly announced her abdication in her traditional New Year's speech. Margrethe II, aged 83, will officially retire from the throne on January 14, after 52 years on the throne​.

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