Frederick V of Denmark

Frederick V, painting by Carl Gustaf Pilo
Frederick V, painting by Carl Gustaf Pilo
Statue of Frederick V in the center of Amalienborg by Jacques François Joseph Saly
Statue of Frederick V in the center of Amalienborg by Jacques François Joseph Saly

Frederick V (March 31, 1723January 13, 1766) was king of Denmark and Norway from 1746, son of Christian VI of Denmark and Sophia Magdalen of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.

He was first married to Princess Louise, daughter of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach. They were parents of seven children but only five survived birth:

Louise died on 19 December 1751. Frederick married a second time to Juliana Maria, daughter of Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. They were parents of seven additional children. They notably included

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

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, became the designated heir.)

He founded the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) in Copenhagen, which officially opened on March 31, 1754, his 31st birthday.

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 - 1763) despite its proximity to combatants Russia and Sweden.

The king died after 43 years of life and 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.

Baptised/Confirmed: November 11, 2005

Preceded by:
Christian VI
King of Denmark
Succeeded by:
Christian VII
King of Norway

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