Thursday, 9 October 2008

Danish referendum on succession in June 2009

A referendum will go ahead next year to ensure Denmark's heir to the throne will be the first born prince or princess in future. In practice this means the first born child of Prince Christian, whether male or female, will become the heir and future regent.

The Copenhagen Post Danes to vote on royal succession 06.10.2008
The prime minister announced a referendum will be held on changing Denmark's male preference requirements for succession to the throne.
For the first time in history, Denmark's rules of royal succession will be challenged when the issue is put to a referendum on 7 June 2009.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the prime minister, announced the vote on Monday, although the move has been in the works for over three years.
The law change would allow the first-born child of the king or queen to become heir to the throne - regardless of the child's sex. Currently, male children have the right to the throne over their sisters, regardless of age.
Such a monumental referendum had to be secured through two parliament approvals - both before and after a national election. That being done, at least 40 percent of the population must go to the polls next June for the referendum to be valid, and at least half must vote for the proposal to warrant the change.
Rasmussen said that Denmark's striving to create equality in society must be mirrored in its royalty.
'It isn't an issue right now that Prince Christian is the first-born child and heir. But we thought it was appropriate to change the law at a point where it wasn't about a particular person and instead about the principle,' said the prime minister.
Queen Margrethe took the throne in 1953 because King Frederik IX had no male offspring. 'Danes to vote on princesses' rights to the throne'
Mon Oct 6, 2008

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark will hold a referendum next June to decide whether the first-born child of its king or queen can inherit the throne regardless of gender, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.
Constitutionally, a daughter can become queen only if the royal couple do not have any male children.
"It's a question of equality," Rasmussen said. The referendum will take place on June 7, the same day as EU parliamentary elections.
Due to a 1953 amendment to include royal daughters in the right of succession, Margrethe II became in 1972 the first woman to sit on the more than 1,OOO-year-old Danish throne since the first Margrete became ruler in 1353.
The queen, now 68 and an avid smoker, is immensely popular with Danes.
The throne is not likely to go to a woman again for some time however, as the next in line are Crown Prince Frederik, 40, followed by his son Prince Christian. (Reporting by Gelu Sulugiuc; Editing by Louise Ireland) 'Denmark to stage referendum on royal order of succession'

TV2 news clip



Blogger Marilyn Braun said...

That's fantastic news! It's about time. Unlike in Japan, prior to Prince Hisahito's birth, where it was about Princess Aiko, it's good that this isn't about a particular child. Although I can't help but feel that Denmark got lucky in respect that the Crown Prince and Princess had a son first. I tend to wonder whether there would have been the same push on this issue had Princess Isabella been born before Prince Christian. Oh well, it's good that they're working on changing things nonetheless.

3:14 pm  
Blogger lotte said...

Hi Marilyn,
It is good news, but expected for more than 3 years now as I am sure you know.
There was some luck and less urgency since Frederik's and Mary's first child is male, but it would have still taken this time to complete the constitutional change. It had to be accepted by two parliaments ie: before and after an election, before the referendum could take place. It was actually proposed when Mary was still pregnant with Christian and the sex of the baby was unknown, including to Frederik and Mary, according to their own account at the the time of Christian's birth. So in reply to your wondering, yes, the mood in Denmark was that Frederik's and Mary's first should have been the heir. It would have been a little like the Swedish case where the law was applied retrospectively re Victoria, and not at all like Norway where the alteration was postponed for a generation and now applies to Ingrid Alexandra. There is still a danger it will not be passed since voting is not compulsory and EU elections don't stimulate a big turnout apparently. As the reports say it also requires the 40% vote to be passed. It will be a good day when Queen Margrethe gives it her signature and it is published in the government gazette as law - from that moment it will be a fully fledged consitutional change! It seems to me there are very different (conservative) forces at work in Japan which make it much more complicated. Apparently many among the younger generation would be ok with Aiko as heir, but the young tend not to 'run' institutional pοlitical agendas in Japan.
Best wishes,

4:23 pm  
Blogger Catherine said...

Good for the Danes! No reason a first born princess should be demoted in favour of a younger brother.

5:41 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Is there a sir name involved?

9:55 pm  
Blogger lotte said...

Hi John,
I am not sure what your question is. Do you mean the Danish royal name? Danish royals do not have a surname. Historically the two large houses of the Danish Monarchy are the House of Oldenborg and the House of Glücksborg. In 1863, the House of Oldenborg gave way to the House of Glücksborg and so the current Royal Family are the direct descendants of the House of Glücksborg. Glücksborg is not a surname though, it is the name of the royal house to which they belong.
Does this answer your query?
lotte :)

12:56 pm  

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