Danes really love their Royal Family. It’s something you notice immediately after visiting Denmark, and if you don’t believe us, ask a Dane. He’ll probably be one of the 82 percent who, in a poll made by Gallup for the Danish newspaper Berlingske in 2014, voted against the idea of abolishing the monarchy and supported the opinion that it actually benefits Denmark to have one. So it comes as no surprise that the Crown Prince’s 50th birthday is considered a major event and the whole country is preparing for a nine-day celebration.
Frederik André Henrik Christian was born in Copenhagen in 1968 and is the eldest son of Queen Margrethe and the late Henrik Prince Consort. He has been married to Mary Elizabeth Donaldson for 14 years, an Australian marketing consultant whom he met during the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000. Together they have four children: Christian, Isabella, Vincent and Josephine.
Even in the early days, Crown Prince Frederik was a popular child winning over the hearts of many Danes and is still considered one of the most beloved royal family members to this day. Well, how couldn’t he be? He holds a Master’s degree from Denmark’s second-best university, he has a long career in the military, he takes actions for protecting the environment and promoting sustainability and he has proven his passion for sports as he always joins marathons in Denmark. Sounds like a role model for all, right?
When the Crown Prince was 21 years old, he began his studies at the University of Aarhus majoring in Political Science. He then went on to spend a year abroad where he took courses at Harvard University. In 1994 he returned back to Denmark after spending three months working with the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN in New York. Once upon his return, he obtained his Master of Science (MSc) degree, becoming the first member of the Danish royal family to complete a full academic course.
Alongside his studies in Political Science, Crown Prince Frederik also has extensive military training. Not only did he pass the physically demanding training of the Danish Defence, but he also served in the Royal Danish Army, the Royal Danish Navy and Royal Danish Air Force. His 30-year career in the military started in 1986 when he joined the Royal Life Guard. After serving in different positions in all three military services, in 2010 he was appointed as a commander in the navy and colonel in the army and the air force. Though he remains active in the Danish Defence, he continues to take part in environmental projects focusing on the effects of climate change, a field he’s highly passionate about. He has become known for supporting research through his own Crown Prince Frederik’s Foundation and represents Denmark as a promoter of sustainability.
Denmark’s future King’s 50th birthday has to be celebrated in a spectacular way. The Royal Family has, among others, organized several dinners, events, surprise happenings as well as the Royal Run, a running event that will take place in five Danish cities (Aalborg, Aarhus, Esbjerg, Odense and Copenhagen/Frederiksberg). The celebratory week will start on the evening of 18 May at the Crown Prince Frederik Foundation, followed by the anniversary dinner at Frederik VIII’s Palace.
On the 21 May, the Crown Prince will be in Aalborg where the Royal Run will start. A year ago, he released a video in which he invited Danes to celebrate with him and run together for one mile. “This event aims to bring joy, well-being and energy, and encourage people to take part in physical activities,” Crown Prince Frederik said.
He is set to travel to Aarhus two days later where he will attend the opening of the International Sailing Center on the new waterfront and inaugurate a new research centre at Aarhus University’s School of Business and Social Sciences (Aarhus BSS).
On his big day, Crown Prince Frederik, alongside Crown Princess Mary, their four children and Queen Margrethe, will appear on the balcony of Frederik VIII’s Palace at 12 pm. The palace is one of Amalienborg’s four different palaces and the couple’s home. In the evening, a gala dinner with guests from Denmark and abroad will be hosted by the Queen in Christiansborg Palace.
Finally, on the last day of the celebratory week, Danes are invited to join Crown Prince Frederik and the rest of the Royal Family on “All Denmark celebrating the Crown Prince,” a television show that will be filmed in the Royal Arena and air live on DR1 TV. Those who want to live the full experience can book a seat in the Royal Arena for 150DKK ($24 USD), while those who prefer to watch it in the comfort of their own home can turn on their televisions at 8 pm.