Frederick V of Denmark

Frederick V
King of Denmark and Norway
Reign 1746–1766
Predecessor Christian VI
Successor Christian VII
Consort Louise of Great Britain
Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Sophia Magdalena, Queen of Sweden
Caroline, Electress of Hesse
Christian VII of Denmark
Louise, Princess Charles of Hesse-Kasse
Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Denmark
House Oldenburg
Father Christian VI of Denmark
Mother Sophia Magdalen of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
Born March 31, 1723(1723-03-31)
Copenhagen Castle
Died January 14, 1766(1766-01-14) (aged 42)
Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen
Burial Roskilde Cathedral
Religion Lutheranism
Danish Royalty
House of Oldenburg
Main Line
Royal Arms of Norway & Denmark (1699-1819).svg
Frederick V
   Prince Christian
   Sophia Magdalena, Queen of Sweden
   Wilhelmina Caroline, Electress of Hesse
   Christian VII
   Princess Louise
   Hereditary Prince Frederick
   Princess Juliana Marie
   Christian VIII
   Princess Juliana Sophie
   Princess Louise Charlotte
   Hereditary Prince Ferdinand

Frederick V (31 March 1723 – 14 January 1766) was king of Denmark and Norway from 1746, son of Christian VI of Denmark and Sophia Magdalen of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.

First marriage

Frederick(first from left), and the future Queen Louise (last from right) then crown princes of Denmark, with King Christian and Queen Sophie Magdalen sitting , paint by Marcus Tuscher ca 1744
Portrayed as King of Denmark-Norway by Pilo

He was first married at Altona, Holstein on 11 December 1743 to Princess Louise of Great Britain, daughter of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach. They were the parents of six children, but one was stillborn. Louise died on 19 December 1751 at Christiansborg Palace, predeceasing her husband by fourteen years, and was buried at Roskilde Cathedral. She was pregnant with her sixth child, who also died.

Second marriage

Frederick married a second time at Frederiksborg Palace on 8 July 1752 to Duchess Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, daughter of Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Their notable child was Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway who was, in his turn, father of King Christian VIII of Denmark and grandfather of Louise of Hesse, the future queen of Denmark. She died in 1796 having been regent for her son Prince Frederick.

King Frederick was also the father of five illegitimate children by Else Hansen.


Frederik portrayed on a horse by Pilo

He founded the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) in Copenhagen, which officially opened on March 31, 1754, his 31st birthday. Frederick also purchased what would become known as the Danish West Indies from the Danish West India Company in 1754.

The personal influence of Frederick was a limited one. He was marked by his alcoholism and most of his rule was marked by very able ministers like A. G. Moltke, J. H. E. Bernstorff and H. C. Schimmelmann. They avoided involving Denmark in the European wars of his time. The country remained neutral even for the duration of the Seven Years' War (1756–63) despite its proximity to combatants Russia and Sweden.

Death and burial

The king died at the age of 42, and after twenty years of reign. His last words were reportedly: "It is a great consolation to me in my last hour that I have never wilfully offended anyone and that there is not a drop of blood on my hands."

Frederick V is interred in Roskilde Cathedral next to Queen Louise.

Statue of Frederick V by Jacques François Joseph Saly


Name Birth Death Notes
Prince Christian Copenhagen, 7 July 1745 Frederiksborg, 3 June 1747 died in infancy
Sophia Magdalena, Queen of Sweden 3 July 1746 21 August 1813 married, 1766, Gustav III, King of Sweden; had issue
Caroline, Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) 10 July 1747 19 January 1820 married, 1763, William I, Elector of Hesse; had issue
King Christian VII 29 January 1749 13 March 1808 married, 1766, Princess Caroline Matilda; had issue
Louise, Princess Charles of Hesse 30 January 1750 12 January 1831 married, 1766, Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel; had issue
Hereditary Prince Frederick 11 October 1753 7 December 1805 married, 1774, Duchess Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; had issue

Within one hundred years of his time, Denmark faced the situation of his male issue (the main branch of the Royal House) going extinct. This created a succession crisis beginning from his grandson's reign, affecting both Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein. Finally, his great-grandson by female line, Christian IX of Denmark, who was married with his great-granddaughter Louise of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), became the designated heir.


Frederick V
Born: March 31 1723 Died: January 13 1766
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Christian VI
King of Denmark
Succeeded by
Christian VII
King of Norway
Count of Oldenburg
as Frederick III

Duke of Schleswig
Preceded by
Christian VI and
Charles Peter Ulrich of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
(in condominial rule)
Duke of Holstein
condominial rule with Charles Peter Ulrich (till 1762) and thereafter with the latter's son Paul

Succeeded by
Christian VII and
Paul of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov
(in condominial rule)

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