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Caroline Amalie of Augustenburg

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Title: Caroline Amalie of Augustenburg  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Duchess Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark, Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, Christina of Saxony, Emma of Normandy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Caroline Amalie of Augustenburg

Caroline Amalie of Augustenburg
Queen consort of Denmark
Tenure 13 December 1839 – 20 January 1848
Spouse Christian VIII of Denmark
House House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
Father Frederick Christian II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
Mother Princess Louise Auguste of Denmark
Born (1796-06-28)28 June 1796
Died 9 March 1881(1881-03-09) (aged 84)
Burial Roskilde Cathedral
Religion Lutheranism

Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (28 June 1796 – 9 March 1881) was queen consort of Denmark as the second spouse of King Christian VIII between 1839 and 1848.


Portrait of Caroline Amalie

Caroline Amalie was the daughter of Augustenborg.

In 1814 she was promised in marriage to the heir apparent to the Danish throne, the future Christian VIII, and were married in 1815. Christian had divorced his first spouse Charlotte Fredericka of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1810 on grounds of adultery, and had just returned to Denmark after his abdication of the Norwegian throne. This meant that Christian could devote himself to the sciences, mineralogy and geology in particular. While Christian became celebrated as a man with scientific tendencies, Caroline Amalie was a composer who wrote numerous piano pieces. Her acceptance of her spouse's infidelity was regarded as something suitable and appropriate for a woman of the time.

Between 1816 and 1817, the couple lived in Odense, where Christian served as Governor of Fionia. Between 1818 and 1822, she undertook numerous trips through Europe with her husband.

In 1839, when King Frederick VI died, Caroline Amalie, as the wife of Christian VIII, became Queen of Denmark. She was considered instrumental in the pro-German party on the matter of the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein. The extent of her political influence is unclear, but she was exposed to some hostility during the conflict between Denmark and Holstein and accused of conspiring with her brothers against Denmark.

Caroline Amalie was active in many social and humanitarian projects, especially the founding and support of orphanages. Caroline Amalie also acted as the protector of N. F. S. Grundtvig, the leader of an ecclesiastic Danish party. Except for the suspicions directed toward her during the conflict between Holstein and Denmark, she was quite popular, and continued to be so as queen dowager.

Caroline Amalie became a widow in 1848 and survived her spouse for more than thirty years. She took up residence at Sorgenfri Castle north of Copenhagen, but due to ill health she preferred to spend winters in southern Europe. She also outlived her stepson by seventeen years. Hence she lived to see Christian IX become king with her niece Louise of Hesse-Kassel as queen.

She died in 1881 without issue and was buried at Roskilde Cathedral next to her husband.


Bibliography and references

  • Cohen, Aaron I. International Encyclopedia of Women Composers.
Caroline Amalie of Augustenburg
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 28 July 1796 Died: 9 March 1881
Royal titles
Preceded by
Marie Sophie of Hesse-Kassel
Queen consort of Denmark
Title next held by
Louise of Hesse-Kassel
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