King of Denmark (1912–47), best remembered for his courage in the face of the Nazi occupation of Denmark in World War II.
In 1898 Christian, eldest son of the future King Frederick VIII (1843–1912), was appointed chief of the royal guard and in the same year married Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He was created crown prince in 1906, and was a leading opponent of the sale of the Danish West Indies to the USA in 1911. During World War I he regularly met the two other Scandinavian neutrals, Norway and Sweden, and after the war Denmark obtained Schleswig from the defeated Germans. At home, he signed in 1915 a new constitution giving equal suffrage to men and women, and in 1918 Iceland (a Danish possession since 1381) became a separate kingdom – to achieve full independence as a republic in 1944. During World War II, when Germany occupied Denmark (1940–45), Christian was often seen riding on horseback through the capital Copenhagen to underline his continuing claims for Danish sovereignty. In 1942 he rejected Nazi demands for antisemitic legislation, but was forced a year later to condemn partisan sabotage of the railways. In August 1943 he made a speech against the occupying forces and was imprisoned for the rest of the war.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).