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Hereditary Monarchy

The Danish monarchy can with certainty be traced back to Gorm the Old (d. 958).

The monarchy was originally elective, but in practice the election normally fell on the eldest son of the reigning monarch. In return, the king had to sign a coronation charter, which regulated the balance of power between himself and his people.

When hereditary monarchy was introduced in 1660-1661, the monarchy changed to Royal Absolutism. The succession, which was based on the principle of male primogeniture, was laid down in the Royal Law of 1665, which also regulated the internal affairs of the royal house in other ways.

The democratic Constitution of 5 June 1849 changed the monarchy’s status from absolute to constitutional.

The Act of Succession of 27 March 1953 introduced the possibility of female succession, which enabled the current Queen to succeed to the throne.

Knud J. V. Jespersen, Professor, dr. phil.