Prince Frederik’s childhood

Prince Frederik was the first child of Prince Christian Frederik (later King Christian 8th) and Princess Charlotte Frederikke of Mecklenburg, who were married in 1806. In 1807 they lost their first child, a son, shortly after his birth, but the following year Prince Frederik, called Fritz, was born. His parents divorced just a year later, and his mother was sent to live far away, in Jutland. Every year she was sent a portrait of her son, of which many still exist. Fritz got a new stepmother when his father married Princess Caroline Amalie of Augustenborg in 1815. She and his father travelled extensively during his childhood, visiting a series of health spas hoping to be able to start a family. Prince Frederik was left behind and brought up by French and Danish nannies, a valet, and a young theologian as tutor.

Young Fritz lived at the palace in Copenhagen most of the year, but his summers were spent in the country village of Sorgenfri, where he enjoyed playing outdoors. His father had written massive, very detailed  orders for his son’s daily schedule, including lessons and discipline, revealing a worrying picture of an extremely controlled childhood.

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