Royals that nobody knows: Ludwig von Rosenborg could have become Denmark’s king

Queen Margrethe
Royals that nobody knows: Your relative Ludwig von Rosenborg

© Dana Press

When Ludwig von Rosenborg recalls his tragic family history, only one sentence comes to mind: “It’s a shame.” Because due to a change in the law, he will never be King of Denmark.

If the law of inheritance in Denmark had not been changed in 1953, Queen Margrethe, 82, would not be the royal head today; instead, Ludwig von Rosenborg, 22, would probably have had the right to the throne in the future. The story of a divided family.

Queen Margrethe: The division of her family goes back a long time

Just a few days ago, the Danish royal family made the headlines. Margrethe’s decision to deprive Prince Joachims, 53, of the prince and princess titles from children from 2023 not only caused a sensation, but also showed again how divided the family is at the core. In interviews, Joachim had tears in his eyes.

Compared to the Danish newspaper “BT”, he was also upset that he had only recently been informed of his mother’s drastic decision. The “complicated relationship” with his brother and heir to the throne, Prince Frederik, 54, was also brought up. The prince who was deported to France will probably feel unfairly treated.

Royals that nobody knows: “Why isn’t Ludwig king?”

Feelings that Ludwig von Rosenborg also knows. He is the great-grandson of Crown Prince Knut of Denmark, †75, whose father Christian X., †76, was King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947.

But due to a change in the law, his family once lost the right to the throne. “Those who lost their kingdom were my family,” he said in the 2020 multi-part documentary “Hvorfor er Ludwig ikke konge?” (Eng.: “Why is Ludwig not a king”), which was broadcast on the Danish broadcaster DR. It is a decision that has also profoundly changed his life. But what happened?

If the little word if were not …

Until 1953, the succession to the throne in Denmark was regulated in such a way that, as is so often the case, only sons were eligible as royal heads. The problem: King Frederik IX, †72, and Queen Ingrid, †90, only had three daughters: Princess Margrethe – today’s Queen – Princess Benedikte, 78, and Princess Anne-Marie, 76. In 1946, when it became clear that the couple would not have any more children, there were considerations to change the Danish inheritance law, which was finally implemented and enshrined in law in 1953.

From then on, Margrethe was considered the crown princess and thus denied the descendants of King Frederik’s younger brother, Prince Knut, the right to succeed to the throne. If the law hadn’t changed, Knut’s eldest son would have been Ingulf of Rosenborg, 82, now King of Denmark. But since he has no children of his own, it is up for debate whether the eldest child of Christian von Rosenborg, †70, i.e. Ludwig’s mother Camilla von Rosenborg, 49, could have become queen and thus later also Ludwig as her eldest male descendant. A tricky, complicated calculation that didn’t work out.

How Ludwig lives instead

Ludwig von Rosenborg never knew a life with royal obligations, as the future heir to the throne Prince Christian, 17, knows no differently. According to TV broadcaster DR, he lives in a small apartment in Copenhagen’s hip district of Nørrebro and is studying. As a child he grew up in a suburb of Copenhagen.

Rosenborg regularly shares excerpts from his private life on Instagram. He goes partying with his friends and has a partner named Karl Emil Hald Ehlern.

“It’s a shame”

Like many others in Denmark’s royal family, Ludwig does not have a royal title. Nevertheless, he always liked to tell where he came from. “Especially when I was little, I made fun of it, I loved showing it off, but I’m just proud of where I come from, it’s a shame,” he says in the documentary “Why is Ludwig not king?”.

On the other hand, his eventful family history has also meant that people can sometimes be quite prejudiced when they meet von Rosenborg for the first time. “A lot of people think I’m arrogant, which isn’t true,” Ludwig clarifies. He has no contact with his royal relatives today.

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