Being an important work of Renaissance architecture, Schloss Glücksburg, which is located south of the Flensburg Fjord, belongs to the major cultural attractions in Schleswig-Holstein, and it is considered the cradle of European royal houses.
After the death of his father, Duke Wilhelm, in 1831, Prince Christian von Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg was called to Copenhagen, where the King of Denmark himself took care of his further upbringing and education. In 1838 he represented the Danish Court at the Coronation of Queen Victoria in Westminster Abbey. In 1842 he married Louise of Hesse-Kassel. In 1853 Prince Christian, who was a direct descendant of the Oldenburg Royal Family, was ordained as the successor of Friedrich VII, who had no children. After the death of Friedrich on 15 November 1863 in Schloss Glücksburg, the Prince was enthroned. The beginning of his reign marked the end of the personal union of the dukedoms Holstein and Schleswig and the Kingdom of Denmark which existed since 1460.
As King Christian IX, he became the progenitor of the current Glücksburg line on the Danish throne.
Christian became known as the “Father-in-Law of Europe.” His eldest daughter, Alexandra, married the future Edward VII of England, another daughter, Dagmar, under the name of Maria Fjodorovna, wed the future Tsar Alexander III, while his youngest daughter, Thyra, married Duke Ernst August of Cumberland, the pretender to the throne of Hanover, who lived in exile in Austria. In May 1863 his son, Wilhelm, under the name of Georg I, was proclaimed ‘King of the Hellenes’ by the Greek National Assembly. And, in 1905, his grandson, Carl, was elected King Haakon VII of Norway. Through Christian IX, Glücksburg became the ancestral home of the Danish, Norwegian and Greek Royal Houses.
Prince Christoph is a cousin four times removed of the Queen of Denmark. Only the descendants of Queen Victoria can compete with the House Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg on the European “marriage market” of the higher nobility.
The descendants of Christian IX can be found in the Royal families of the following countries: Belgium, England, France, Greece, Yugoslavia, Luxemburg, Monaco, Norway, Rumania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Germany and Austria.
The ancestral Glückburg castle provided the central point for documentary, “King Christian IX and his European descendants,” produced by Danish television in 2002/2003. The series, which was shown in several parts, was very successful in Denmark and has since been shown in over 100 countries. It was accompanied by a coffee-table book, now reproduced in several editions.