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Historic celebration for Denmark’s royals as a future king came of age in 2023

It was a year of looking forward in Denmark as a boy born to be king became an adult and his royal family celebrated.

Prince Christian turned 18 on October 15th 2023 and a string of events took place for this milestone and to mark the moment from which the teenager could reign in Denmark if needed.

On the morning of his 18th birthday, Christian walked out, by himself, on the balcony of Frederik VIII’s Palace in Copenhagen to greet huge crowds which had turned out to celebrate with him.

DR TV still/ fair use

The young royal made a series of appearance on the balcony. First alone, then accompanied by his immediate family—Queen Margrethe Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, and younger siblings Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.

He then appeared again with Queen Margrethe and Crown Prince Frederik, highlighting the three generations of monarch and future monarchs.

Dennis Stenild, Kongehuset ©

Proud mother Crown Princess Mary chose a touching piece of jewellery for the balcony appearance: her diamond, sapphire and pearl brooch was also worn on the day of Prince Christian’s christening, 21 January 2006.

The main celebration for his coming of age took place on the evening of October 15th 2023 when a glittering gala dinner took place at Amalienborg Palace, hosted by Queen Margrethe.

Photo: Keld Navntoft, Kongehuset ©

Young people from all over the Danish Commonwealth were the main guests invited to celebrate the young royal as he came of age. Also present were royal relations from Norway, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands as the party went on into the night.

This was more than a big birthday for a teenager, though. There were constitutional implications, too, for it marked the moment that Christian could take on a regency or reign on his own, if needed. That was cemented in November 2023 when the prince swore loyalty to the Danish Constitution at the first Council of State to take place after his coming of age.

But the importance of the moment had been highlighted before then. As he turned 18, the birthday of Prince Christian was declared a flag day in Denmark. As of 2023, flags will be flown from official buildings and ships on the prince’s birthday. Traditionally, flag days in Denmark hold special significance and are observed in commemoration of various important events, royal birthdays, or anniversaries.

Prince Christian acquitted himself with confidence throughout the events marking this important event. His speech at his birthday gala was well received and, as well as highlighting his dedication to Denmark, it also allowed a few moments of personal reflection as he paid emotional tributes to his parents, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, and his grandmother, Queen Margrethe II.

Dennis Stenild, Kongehuset ©

And his mum and dad made sure this special time for Denmark’s royals was a family affair, too. They shared a series of never before seen photos of their first born from his childhood and issued a new set of official portraits of them with their son and their younger children. But the photo released to start the birthday celebrations wound all of the significance together. it was a smiling portrait of a king in waiting, taken by his proud mum herself. Christian Valdemar Henri John of Denmark had come of age but he will always be Mary and Frederik’s young man.

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