The Danish Monarchs

The Kingdom of Denmark, which today encompasses the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Metropolitan Denmark, originated in Metropolitan Denmark some time in the first millennium AD. Exactly when is uncertain, the early history of the kingdom and monarchy is obscured by mythology, and a general lack of historical sources. There are a handful of historical monarchs known from this time, but we know little about them. The continuous, fully historically attested succession and chronology of monarchs, not considered legendary or semi-legendary, begins in the early 10th century with Gorm the Old. Since the titles of the monarchs were first reliably recorded, every Danish monarch has been titled King of Denmark when a man, and Queen of Denmark when a woman. However, the earliest semi-legendary monarchs are referred to as King of the Danes. The monarchy was originally elective, although the new monarch was usually a relative of the previous one, until the 17th century when the throne was formally made hereditary.

The Danish monarchy is one of the oldest existing monarchies in the world.

SEMI-LEGENDARY BUT POSSIBLY HISTORICAL KINGS

These all have limited evidence from outside Denmark for their existence.

Ongendus

c.710-738

Harald I

Mid 8th century (c.754)

Sigfred I

Before 777 – after 798 (possibly c.770-c.804)

Sigfredian Dynasty

Gudfred

c.804-810

Sigfredian Dynasty?

Hemming I

810-812

Sigfredian Dynasty?

Nephew of Gudfred

Sigfred II

812 (claimant)

Sigfredian Dynasty?

Nephew of Gudfred, brother or first cousin of Hemming I

Anulo

812 (claimant)

House of Harald

Nephew or grandson of Harald

Harald II (Klak)

812-813

819-827

Sigfredian Dynasty

Nephew or grandson of Harald I, brother of Anulo

Reginfrid

812-813

Nephew or grandson of Harald I, brother of Anulo and Harald II

Hemming II (Halfdansson)

812-813

Nephew or grandson of Harald I, brother of Anulo, Harald II and Reginfrid

Horik I

813-854

Sigfredian Dynasty

Son of Gudfred, first cousin of Hemming I and Sigfred II

Horik II

854 – c.870

Sigfredian Dynasty

Son of Horik I

Sigfred III and Halfdan

c.873

Helge

890s

Dagling Dynasty

Olof (the Brash)

c.900

House of Olaf

Gyrd and Gnupa

House of Olaf

Sons of Olof

Sigtrygg (Gnupasson)

House of Olaf

Son of Gnupa, nephew of Gyrd

Harthacnut I

House of Knýtlinga

FULLY HISTORICAL KINGS AND QUEENS

Gorm (the Old)

c.936-958

House of Knýtlinga

Son of Harthacnut I

Harald I (Bluetooth)

c.958-c.986

House of Knýtlinga

Son of Gorm

Sweyn I (Forkbeard)

986 – 3 February 1014

House of Knýtlinga

Son of Harald I

Harald II

1014 – c.1018

House of Knýtlinga

Son of Sweyn I

Cnut II (the Great)

1018 – 12 November 1035)

House of Knýtlinga

Son of Sweyn I, brother of Harald II

Harthacnut III

1035 – 8 June 1042

House of Knýtlinga

Son of Cnut II

Magnus (the Good)

8 June 1042 – 25 October 1047

House of Fairhair

Sweyn II

1047 – 28 April 1076

House of Estridsen

Grandson of Sweyn I, half first cousin of Harthacnut III

Harald III

1076 – 17 April 1080

House of Estridsen

Son of Sweyn II

(Saint) Canute IV (the Holy)

1080 – 10 July 1086

House of Estridsen

Son of Sweyn II, brother of Harald III

Olaf I (Hunger)

1086 – 18 August 1095

House of Estridsen

Son of Sweyn II, brother of Harald III and Canute IV

Eric I (the Good)

1095 – 10 July 1103

House of Estridsen

Son of Sweyn II, brother of Harald III, Canute IV and Olaf I

Niels

1104 – 25 June 1134

House of Estridsen

Son of Sweyn II, brother of Harald III, Canute IV, Olaf I and Eric I

Magnus (the Strong)

15 April – 4 June 1134

House of Estridsen

Son of Niels

Eric II (the Memorable)

1134 – 18 September 1137

House of Estridsen

Son of Eric I, nephew of Harald III, Canute IV, Olaf I and Niels, first cousin of Magnus

Eric III

1137 – 1146

House of Estridsen

Grandson of Eric I, nephew of Eric II

Sweyn III

1146 – 23 October 1157

House of Estridsen

Son of Eric II, first cousin of Eric III

Canute V

1146 – 9 August 1157

House of Estridsen

Son of Magnus the Strong, second cousin of Eric III and Sweyn III

Valdemar I (the Great)

1154 – 12 May 1182

House of Estridsen

Grandson of Eric I, second cousin of Canute V

Canute VI

1170 – 12 November 1202

House of Estridsen

Son of Valdemar I

Valdemar II (the Victorious)

1202 – 28 March 1241

House of Estridsen

Son of Valdemar I, brother of Canute VI

Valdemar (the Young)

1215 – 28 November 1231

House of Estridsen

Son of Valdemar II

Eric IV (Ploughpenny)

1232 – 10 August 1250

House of Estridsen

Son of Valdemar II, half-brother of Valdemar the Young

Abel

1 November 1250 – 29 June 1252

House of Estridsen

Son of Valdemar II, brother of Eric IV

Christopher I

1252 – 29 May 1259

House of Estridsen

Son of Valdemar II, brother of Eric IV and Abel

Eric V

1259 – 22 November 1286

House of Estridsen

Son of Christopher I

Eric VI

1286 – 13 November 1319

House of Estridsen

Son of Eric V

Christopher II

January 1320 – 1326

House of Estridsen

Son of Eric V, brother of Eric VI

Eric Christoffersen

1321 – 1326

House of Estridsen

Son of Christopher II

Valdemar III

1326 – 1329

House of Estridsen

Great-great-grandson of Abel, second cousin twice removed of Christopher II, third cousin once removed of Eric Christoffersen

Christopher II

1329 – 2 August 1332

House of Estridsen

Son of Eric V, father of Eric Christoffersen, second cousin twice removed of Valdemar III

Eric Christoffersen

1329 – 1331/2

House of Estridsen

Son of Christopher II, third cousin once removed of Valdemar III

Valdemar IV

24 June 1340 – 24 October 1375

House of Estridsen

Son of Christopher II, brother of Eric Christoffersen

Olaf II

3 May 1376 – 3 August 1387

House of Bjelbo

Grandson of Valdemar IV

Margaret I

10 August 1387 – 28 October 1412

House of Estridsen

Daughter of Valdemar IV, mother of Olaf II

Eric VII (of Pomerania)

28 October 1412 – 24 September 1439

House of Griffin

Great-grandson of Valdemar IV, great-nephew of Margaret I

Christopher III (of Bavaria)

9 April 1440 – 5 January 1448

House of Palatinate-Neumarkt

Great-great-grandson of Valdemar IV, nephew of Eric VII

Christian I

1 September 1448 – 21 May 1481

House of Oldenburg

Great-great-great-great-grandson of Eric V, fifth cousin of Christopher III

John

21 May 1481 – 20 February 1513

House of Oldenburg

Son of Christian I

Christian II

22 July 1513 – 20 January 1523

House of Oldenburg

Son of John

Frederick I

13 April 1523 – 10 April 1533

House of Oldenburg

Son of Christian I, uncle of Christian II

Christian III

4 July 1534 – 1 January 1559

House of Oldenburg

Son of Frederick I

Frederick II

1 January 1559 – 4 April 1588

House of Oldenburg

Son of Chrisian III

Christian IV

4 April 1588 – 28 February 1648

House of Oldenburg

Son of Frederick II

Frederick III

6 July 1648 – 9 February 1670

House of Oldenburg

Son of Christian IV

Christian V

9 February 1670 – 25 August 1699

House of Oldenburg

Son of Frederick III

Frederick IV

25 August 1699 – 12 October 1730

House of Oldenburg

Son of Christian V

Christian VI

12 October 1730 – 6 August 1746

House of Oldenburg

Son of Frederick IV

Frederick V

6 August 1746 – 14 January 1766

House of Oldenburg

Son of Christian VI

Christian VII

14 January 1766 – 13 March 1808

House of Oldenburg

Son of Frederick V

Frederick VI

13 March 1808 – 3 December 1839

House of Oldenburg

Son of Christian VII

Christian VIII

3 December 1839 – 20 January 1848

House of Oldenburg

Grandson of Frederick V, half first cousin of Frederick VI

Frederick VII

20 January 1848 – 15 November 1863

House of Oldenburg

Son of Christian VIII

Christian IX

15 November 1863 – 29 January 1906

House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Great-grandson of Frederick V, second cousin of Frederick VII

Frederick VIII

29 January 1906 – 14 May 1912

House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Son of Christian IX

Christian X

14 May 1912 – 20 April 1947

House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Son of Frederick VIII

Frederick IX

20 April 1947 – 14 January 1972

House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Son of Christian X

Margrethe II

14 January 1972 – present

House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Daughter of Frederick IX

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