Wednesday 14 January 2015

The Death of Frederick V of Denmark

Frederick V (Copenhagen, Denmark, 31st March 1723 – Copenhagen, Denmark, 14th January 1766)

Frederik V of Denmark by Carl Gustaf Pilo
Frederick V of Denmark by Carl Gustaf Pilo

Last Autumn we met a lady who presided over a somewhat joyless court, Sophie Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. As wife to Christian VI of Denmark of Denmark, she was mother to the man who would succeed his father and become Frederick V and today, I tell the tale of his last weeks. His mother is not the only lady in Frederick's life to visit the Guide and should you wish to meet his first wife, Louise of Great Britain, you can do so here!

After the austere, cold rule of Christian VI, Frederick was a breath of fresh air to the Danish people yet, after two decades, it came to a painful end. In 1760, an inebriated Frederick broke his leg badly and it marked the start of a slow decline into ill-health. A lifetime of high-living, drinking and debauchery now took its toll and the monarch finally began to see the long term impact of his partying lifestyle.

As the years passed following the accident, Frederick grew ever weaker and eventually his physical state was so debilitated that he could barely take care of himself. He was only forty two when he passed away of an undiagnosed ailment, though historian SM Toyne suggested that the cause of death might well be cirrhosis. Regardless of the condition that carried the king off, he was greatly missed by his subjects and, according to his own wishes, was laid to rest beside Louise in Roskilde Cathedral.

Life in the Georgian Court, true tales of 18th century royalty, is available at the links below.

Pen and Sword
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

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