Born 1870, died 1947. King of Denmark 1912-1947. Son of King Frederik VIII of Denmark and Queen Lovisa of Denmark. Father of King Frederik IX of Denmark and Prince Knud. Husband of Queen Alexandrine of Denmark.
One of Denmark's longest-reigning monarchs. The reign of Christian X saw a period of momentuous upheavals in world history, as well as in Danish history. As king, Christian X presided over a Denmark that was experiencing rapid social change. Faced with a choice between being a conservative reactionary or a man of vision, he chose the former.
In 1920, he precipitated one of the worst crises in the history of the Danish monarchy, the so-called Easter Crisis (Danish: "Påskekrisen"), when he dismissed the government of prime minister O. Liebe and replaced him with M.P. Friis. This action, while within the royal prerogatives, was unheard of. Popular sentiment was strongly against this unwarranted interference in the democratic process, and the king had to back down. A compromise was reached with a new prime minister, Niels Neergaard.
The Easter Crisis might have done grave damage to Christian X, if not to the monarchy itself, had the year 1920 not also brought joyous news: following a plebiscite, the northern half of the Duchy of Schleswig, lost during the Second War for Schleswig-Holstein, elected to return to Danish sovereignty. The pictures in the newspapers, showing the 50-year-old king riding a white horse across the quondam border and being greeted by cheering crowds, did much to cancel out the effects of the Easter Crisis.
Another crisis during Christian's reign was the German occupation of Denmark during World War II. Throughout the occupation, Christian remained a very visible reminder that Denmark was occupied, not annexed. Daily horse rides by the king through the streets of Copenhagen provided a visible reminder to the people of their monarchy's continued dignity.
During one of these rides, in 1942, Christian X suffered a bad fall, which was to leave him infirm for the remainder of his life. His son the crown prince, the later Frederik IX, took over many of the duties of his father.
Perhaps no Danish monarch in recent history has attracted more myths to his person than King Christian X. Among the many tales is the story that the king wore a yellow Star of David on his daily rides around Copenhagen, to show his support for the persecuted Jews, and his contempt for the Nazis. Though this is a story that is widely disseminated and widely believed, it is regrettably untrue.