Prince Aage
Count of Rosenborg
Prince Aage of Denmark.jpg
Prince Aage photographed in 1912
Born(1887-06-10)10 June 1887
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died19 February 1940(1940-02-19) (aged 52)
Taza, Morocco
SpouseMathilde Calvi dei conti di Bergolo
IssueCount Valdemar
Aage Christian Alexander Robert
FatherPrince Valdemar of Denmark
MotherPrincess Marie d'Orléans
Military career
Service/branch Royal Danish Army
French Foreign Legion
Years of service1909–1940
RankCaptain (DNK)
Lieutenant colonel (FRA)
AwardsLégion d'honneur

Prince Aage, Count of Rosenborg, (Aage Christian Alexander Robert; 10 June 1887 – 19 February 1940) was a Danish prince and officer of the French Foreign Legion. He was born in Copenhagen the eldest child and son of Prince Valdemar of Denmark and Princess Marie d'Orléans.

Early life

The Yellow Palace, Copenhagen: Prince Aage's childhood home
The Yellow Palace, Copenhagen: Prince Aage's childhood home

Prince Aage was born on 10 June 1887, in the Yellow Palace, an 18th-century town house at 18 Amaliegade, immediately adjacent to the Amalienborg Palace complex in Copenhagen.[1] He was the first child of Prince Valdemar of Denmark, and his wife Princess Marie of Orléans.[2] His father was a younger son of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel, and his mother was the eldest daughter of Prince Robert, Duke of Chartres and Princess Françoise of Orléans. He was baptised with the names Aage Christian Alexander Robert, and was known as Prince Aage.

Prince Aage and his siblings grew up at the Yellow Palace in Copenhagen and at their parent's summer residence Bernstorff Palace in Gentofte north of Copenhagen.

Romance and marriage

Prince Aage carried on a passionate flirtation with Princess Marie Bonaparte, the wife of his cousin Prince George of Greece and Denmark, who had also enjoyed intimacies with his father. In neither case does it appear that Prince George objected, or felt obliged to give the matter any attention.[3] In 1909 Prince Aage joined the Danish Army, and by 1913 had risen to the rank of lieutenant. During World War I he served as an observer in Italy for a year. Returning home to Denmark he was promoted to captain.

Without the legally required permission of the Danish king,[4] Aage married Matilda Calvi dei conti di Bergolo (Buenos Aires, 17 September 1885 – Copenhagen, 16 October 1949), daughter of Carlo Giorgio Lorenzo Calvi, 5th Count di Bergolo by his wife Baroness Anna Guidobono Calvalchini Roero San Severino, in Turin on 1 February 1914. A few days later, he renounced his place in the line of succession to the Danish throne, forfeiting the title "Prince of Denmark" and the style of Royal Highness (the latter having only been granted to him and his brothers by the king on 5 February 1904).[5] With the king's authorisation, he assumed the title "Prince Aage, Greve af (Count of) Rosenborg" and the style of Highness on 5 February 1914.[5] Although the comital title in the Danish nobility was made hereditary for all of his legitimate descendants in the male line with the rank and precedence (above other counts) of a Lensgreve,[6] use of the princely prefix was restricted to himself and his wife alone.[5] Aage and Mathilde had one son:

Prince Aage was among the people considered for the position of King of Finland in 1918. In the early 1920s he mentioned to Gustaf Idman, the Finnish ambassador to Denmark, that upon visiting Copenhagen in September 1918, Finnish General Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim had inquired about his willingness to accept the Finnish crown, should it be offered to him. According to Idman, he was willing to accept the offer.[7]

Foreign Legion

Prince Aage, Count of Rosenborg in the unifom of the Foreign Legion.
Prince Aage, Count of Rosenborg in the unifom of the Foreign Legion.

In 1922, Aage received permission from the King, as required by Danish law,[4] to leave the Danish army in order to join the French Foreign Legion. After negotiations between the Danish and the French governments Prince Aage entered the Foreign Legion with the rank of captain.

He was sent to Morocco as part of the French involvement in the Rif War within a year of service. He received the Croix de Guerre after being shot in the left leg. During his seventeen years in the Foreign Legion Prince Aage attained the rank of lieutenant colonel, and also received France's highest order, the Légion d'honneur.

In 1927 he published the book A Royal Adventurer in the Foreign Legion in English about his time in the Foreign Legion.


Prince Aage died of pleurisy in Taza, Morocco, in 1940, and was buried at the French Foreign Legion's headquarters at Sidi Bel Abbès, Algeria.[5]

Before the Foreign Legion left Algeria in 1962, it was decided that the remains of three selected soldiers should be buried near the new headquarters of the Foreign Legion at Aubagne in southern France. The remains of Prince Aage were selected as the representation of the foreign officers in the Foreign Legion. His remains now lie next to those of Général Paul-Frédéric Rollet (known as the Father of the Legion) and Légionnaire Zimmermann in the town of Puyloubier, France.


He received the following orders and decorations:[8]




  1. ^ McNaughton, C. Arnold (1973). The Book of Kings: A Royal Genealogy. Vol. 1. London, U.K.: Garnstone Press. p. 187.
  2. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1977). Burke's Royal Families of the World. Vol. 1. London, U.K.: Burke's Peerage Ltd. p. 70.
  3. ^ Bertin, Celia (1982). "A False Happiness". Marie Bonaparte: A Life. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. pp. 96–97, 101. ISBN 0-15-157252-6.
  4. ^ a b "Lex Regia (Konge-Lov of 1665)". Hoelseth's Royal Corner. Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. 2006-03-20. Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  5. ^ a b c d Almanach de Gotha (Gotha: Justus Perthes, 1944), pages 43, 529
  6. ^ Huberty, Michel; Giraud, Alain; Magdelaine, F. and B. (1994). ’’L'Allemagne Dynastique, Tome VII – Oldenbourg’’. France: Laballery. pp. 288, 306, 329, 344. ISBN 2-901138-07-1.
  7. ^ Huldén, Anders (1988). Kuningasseikkailu Suomessa 1918 [The King adventure in Finland 1918] (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kirjayhtymä. p. 57.
  8. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1933) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1933 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1933] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in Danish). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. pp. 15, 17. Retrieved 2 January 2020 – via da:DIS Danmark.
  9. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), vol. 2, 1940, p. 7, retrieved 2018-01-06 – via


  • Bramsen, Bo (1992). Huset Glücksborg. Europas svigerfader og hans efterslægt [The House of Glücksburg. The Father-in-law of Europe and his descendants] (in Danish) (2nd ed.). Copenhagen: Forlaget Forum. ISBN 87-553-1843-6.
  • Lerche, Anna; Mandal, Marcus (2003). A royal family : the story of Christian IX and his European descendants. Copenhagen: Aschehoug. ISBN 9788715109577.