Prince Christian of Denmark turns 18 among 200 young people of his generation and members of European royalty

The second in line of Danish succession comes of age with the challenge of becoming better known among his compatriots, with a greater presence at official events and more responsibilities within his functions

Christian de Dinamarca
Prince Christian of Denmark arrives at the Royal Yaught Dannebrog for a lunch during the 50th anniversary of the accession of Queen Margaret II of Denmark to the throne, September 10, 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark.Patrick van Katwijk (Getty Images)
Isabel Ferrer

Prince Christian of Denmark, son of Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary, and grandson of the current sovereign, Queen Margrethe II, turns 18 this Sunday. The young man is second in line to the Danish throne and shares a generation with most of the future queens of continental Europe. He is accompanied in the wait by Leonor of Spain, Elizabeth of Belgium, Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, Ingrid Alexandra of Norway and Estelle of Sweden. In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, little Prince Charles is now three years old. Christian, who is finishing secondary education, will celebrate his birthday with a gala dinner to which the Royal Family has made a great effort to invite around 200 young people his age. Coming from all the municipalities of the country, and from Greenland and the Faroe Islands — the autonomous Danish overseas territories — it is a more diverse and inclusive way of presenting the prince to society. In addition, among the rest of the guests there are also members of other royal families.

Choosing the 200 18-year-olds who will accompany the honoree was carried out by municipalities from all corners of Denmark. Each of these had to choose two people, either by lottery or through youth organizations, “who are a reflection of Prince Christian’s generation,” according to the Royal Household’s press office. Another hundred young people will be there for having stood out in sports, the arts, or culture. Princess Marie and Prince Joachim, the young man’s aunt and uncle, are also invited. Now residing in the United States, the couple was involved in a notorious disagreement with Queen Margrethe in September 2022 when she stripped their children, Henrik (14) and Athena (11), of their titles of prince and princess. Also affected were Nikolai (24) and Felix (21) — who have each received their invitations and are the children from Prince Joachim’s first marriage with Alexandra Christina, Countess of Frederiksborg.

As Prince Christian comes of age and, like the other European princes and princesses, he faces the challenge of becoming known among his fellow citizens. Of course, he has been seen growing up in official portraits, on vacation, or at the beginning of the school year, but now, his father, Crown Prince Frederik, first in the line of succession, has begun to guide him along the institutional route. In the documentary Prince Christian — A Royal Journey, which will be released this Saturday, both the young prince and his father visit the Danish Parliament and talk to members of the Supreme Court and representatives of the Danish Church. In the first fly-on-the-wall documentary about the prince, father and son are filmed speaking in a car and inside Congress in a kind of journey to the future. The young prince has certain reservations, but also a clear commitment. Queen Margrethe, 83, has been on the throne for 50 years and shows no desire to abdicate. However, starting next November, when Christian makes his respect for the Constitution explicit, there will be a substantial change. If something were to happen to Prince Frederick, his son would come to the fore. Another thing is the weight attached to his presence at official events and the responsibilities that the young man will acquire.

The heirs to the throne of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, pose with their four children: Princess Isabella, Prince Christian and the twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent at Princess Elizabeth's confirmation on April 30, 2022 in Fredensborg, Denmark.
The heirs to the throne of Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, pose with their four children: Princess Isabella, Prince Christian and the twins Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent at Princess Elizabeth's confirmation on April 30, 2022 in Fredensborg, Denmark.Patrick van Katwijk (Getty Images)

At the moment, Christian has had a series of official photos taken in which he appears relaxed and wearing casual clothing. The Greenland postal service, on the other hand, has issued a commemorative stamp where he is dressed in the white anorak that is part of the local traditional costume. This Sunday, the first of Christian’s birthday ceremonies will be the changing of the guard at Amalienborg, the royal family’s main official residence in Copenhagen. It consists of four palace buildings arranged around a courtyard, and the prince will come out at noon to greet the crowds from the balcony of Frederick VIII’s palace. He is expected to be accompanied by his parents, Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary, his siblings, Princess Isabel (16) and the twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (12), and Queen Margrethe II herself. This greeting is a real tradition at 18 years old. The gala dinner will take place from 5:00 p.m. in Christianborg, another palace that also houses the headquarters of Parliament, the prime minister’s office, and the Supreme Court. Several members of other European royal families have confirmed their attendance there, including Norwegian Princess Ingrid Alexandra and her father, Crown Prince Haakon. The Belgian princess Isabel and the Swedish heiress, Victoria, will also travel to Denmark with her 11-year-old daughter Estelle.

Oblivious as much as possible to family friction, Christian Valdemar Henri John is continuing his studies at the Ordrup school, a public school in Copenhagen. He was previously enrolled at the private boarding school Herlufsholm, but his parents took him out of there when several students reported alleged episodes of bullying and sexual abuse. While studying, Christian will not make use of the royal stipend that he is entitled to, following the example of Elizabeth of Belgium and Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands. “It has been agreed with the Prime Minister’s Office that the support of the Danish Parliament for a law on the annual allowance will not be sought until the Prince reaches the age of 21 or in relation to a possible change of throne, if this occurs earlier,” the Danish Royal Household has said. From then on, the prince’s participation in official contexts will depend on where he is in his educational program. A final detail for the gala dinner on Sunday: guests may dress in formal attire and wear a tiara, but gifts are discouraged.

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