Frederik X publishes surprise book ‘Kongeord’ 3 days after becoming Denmark’s King


Denmark’s royal family has been in the vortex of dramatic events in the last few weeks, propelling them to the center of public attention. Queen Margrethe II, who held a 52-year reign, announced she would abdicate her throne in a New Year’s speech and pass the crown to her eldest son.

The 55-year-old King Frederik X officially ascended the throne on Sunday amid great fanfare, as people gathered to watch the historic event in Copenhagen and elsewhere. If those events weren’t monumental enough, just three days after becoming king, Frederik published a surprise book on Wednesday.

In the 110-page manifesto, titled Kongeord which means “The King’s Word,” the monarch shares his thoughts on his new role, on Denmark’s place in the world as well as his marriage to Australian-born wife Queen Mary.

The book, co-authored by Jens Andersen, who wrote Frederik’s 2017 biography, also shares the king’s vision for his new role

Given that news about the monarchy is at the top of mind for Danes, the book has been selling at blistering speed in the country.

In just a day, Kongeord has outsold 2023’s bestselling book, a leading Danish bookstore Saxo told Fortune. The store said there were points in the day when it sold 25 copies of the book a minute.

“[Wednesday] was certainly one for the books and a record-breaking day at Our sales numbers turned four digits during its first hours on sale,” a spokesperson for the bookstore told Fortune.

“We have never sold as many copies of a book on the day of its publication as we did yesterday. I am almost certain that this will be the bestselling book in 2024.”

Excerpts from the book

Even if it’s just been a day, media outlets have also divulged several book excerpts in which Frederik talks about wanting to be a regular person. 

“I remember my 18th birthday as something similar to the end of the world. It was the feeling that now everything that was fun and exciting was coming to an end. Fortunately, it didn’t,” the king shared in his new book. 

He also praised his wife for grounding him: “I have learned a lot from having a wife who, from time to time, reminds me that of course I am not always right, and that my words are not automatically believed, just because I am a man in the house.”

Some of the other topics Frederik touches on include how his father, the late Prince Henrik of Denmark, was “very patriarchal” and attempted to “pass that pattern on to his two sons.” 

The Danish royal family’s press office didn’t immediately return Fortune’s request for comment.

A new age for the Danish monarchy

Denmark has one of the world’s oldest monarchies, which Queen Margrethe II has led since 1972. Akin to the British monarchy, the royal family’s duties are mostly ceremonial when it comes to international affairs or involvement in local policies. 

Queen Margrethe II was the first queen in almost 900 years to relinquish the throne, as she cited health reasons and ailments for making the sudden move.

As queen, she was seen as progressive and credited for making the royal family popular among the masses. In 2022, the Queen said she’d strip four of her grandchildren of their royal titles so they can “shape their own lives.” 

As Frederik takes on the mantle now, he says he wants to be a force of unity as a king. 

“My hope is to become a unifying king of tomorrow. It is a task I have approached all my life,” Frederik said as he was proclaimed the king. His motto as a monarch is “united, committed, for the kingdom of Denmark.”

In a survey commissioned by Denmark’s public broadcaster DR last week, 79% of the 1,037 people polled said that they believed Frederik was prepared to take the reins, according to the Associated Press.

The same poll also showed that roughly 83% said they thought his wife Mary was ready to become queen.

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