Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Three Books on Danish monarchs

"She might not be as pretty as your Olga, but she is smart, and she can turn the whole house upside,"  Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark wrote to his younger, brother, King George of the Hellenes, after the announcement of Frederik's engagement to Princess Louise of Sweden and Norway.

This was a dynastic alliance, not a love match.  Louise quickly learned Danish but never got on well with her in-laws, King Christian IX and Queen Louise thought her "boring and introverted."

Birgitte Louise Peiter Rosenheigh is the author of Frederik  VIII and Queen Lovisa, a 60-page English language biography, one of three books published by Danish Royal Collection.

There have been very few English-language on Danish royals, so it is a joy to be able to acquire these books.  The other two books are  Christian X and Queen Alexandrine and Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid and both were written by Jens Gunni Busck.

The format is the same for all three books.  A brief, concise biography of the three kings and their consorts complemented by a good selection of historical selection of photographs from the Danish royal archives.

After the German invasion of Denmark,  Crown Prince Frederik, who had to stand in for his father, who had been severely injured in a riding accident, had to officially support the new regime, but privately he maintained contact with the Danish resistance.  With the assistance of the national hospital, he staged a fake bout of appendicitis to avoid a trip to Germany to avoid meeting Hitler.

All three kings predeceased their spouses.  Alexandrine and Ingrid eschewed the title Dowager Queen, preferring to remain styled as Queen with the permission of the sovereign.

The writers provide a lot of detail  -- the facts, just the facts, but well-sourced facts --in 60 pages.  I enjoyed all three books even though I knew I was not reading a complete biography.  Each book has a bibliography, although all the sources are in Danish, as expected.

The books are available for sale at the palaces in Copenhagen, but you won't have to travel to Denmark to purchase them.   Amazon offers all three books, usually with a timeframe for delivery.   Christian X and Queen Alexandrine was scheduled to arrive between late December and mid-January. It arrived in mid-December, much to my surprise.

These books are definite needs for serious royal libraries.  Not wants, but needs.

I consider these books to be handy for quick reference. 

Amazon is also now offering Christian IX and Queen Louise, which I hope to add to my library in a few weeks.


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