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Thyra of Denmark
Crown Princess of Hanover
Duchess of Cumberland and Teviotdale
Born(1853-09-29)29 September 1853
Yellow Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Died26 February 1933(1933-02-26) (aged 79)
Gmunden, Austria
Burial7 March 1933
(m. 1878; died 1923)
Thyra Amalie Caroline Charlotte Anna
FatherChristian IX of Denmark
MotherLouise of Hesse-Kassel

Princess Thyra of Denmark (Thyra Amalie Caroline Charlotte Anna; 29 September 1853 – 26 February 1933) was the youngest daughter and fifth child of Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel. In 1878, she married Ernest Augustus, the exiled heir to the Kingdom of Hanover. As the Kingdom of Hanover had been annexed by Prussia in 1866, she spent most of her life in exile with her husband in Austria.

Thyra was the sister of King Frederik VIII of Denmark, Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, King George I of Greece, Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia and Prince Valdemar of Denmark.

Birth and family

Left to right: Dagmar, Frederik, Valdemar, Queen Louise, King Christian IX, Thyra, George and Alexandra, in 1862.

Thyra was born on 29 September 1853 at the Yellow Palace, an 18th-century town house at 18 Amaliegade, immediately adjacent to the Amalienborg Palace complex in Copenhagen.[1] She was the third daughter and fifth child of Prince Christian and Princess Louise of Denmark. As a child, she shared a bedroom with her elder sisters, Alexandra and Dagmar, and was taught how to sew and knit her own clothes and socks. Her family had been relatively obscure but happy until her father, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, was chosen with the consent of the great powers to succeed his childless distant cousin, Frederick VII, to the Danish throne. Just two months before Thyra's birth, the new Act of Succession had been passed and Prince Christian given the title of Prince of Denmark.

Early life

Thyra (right) with her sister-in-law, Louise of Sweden (left).

In 1863, when Thyra was 10 years old, King Frederick VII died, and her father succeeded to the throne of Denmark as King Christian IX. Earlier the same year, her brother Vilhelm had been elected King of Greece, and her sister Alexandra had married Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. In 1866, her other sister Dagmar married the Tsarevich of Russia, Alexander. Princess Thyra was confirmed on 27 May 1870 by the Bishop of Zealand, Hans Lassen Martensen in the chapel of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.[2]

In 1871, at 18 years of age, Thyra fell in love with Vilhelm Frimann Marcher, a lieutenant in the cavalry, which resulted in a pregnancy.[3] To avoid scandal, Thyra fled to Greece to be with her brother, George I of Greece. When her father Christian IX learned that Thyra was "unwell", from the Greek media, he rushed to Greece to be with her. When Thyra gave birth in Athens, the baby was immediately given up for adoption to avoid scandal. The Danish press was told Thyra had been taken ill with jaundice.[3]

Thyra was an attractive and gentle young woman, with dark hair and dark blue eyes, and Queen Louise wanted her youngest daughter to make a good marriage as her elder daughters had. Thyra's first suitor was King William III of the Netherlands, but as he was thirty-six years older than she was, she rejected him.


During a family visit to Germany in 1878, Louise and Alexandra left, saying that they were going to attend an optician consultation. However, they were actually arranging a meeting between Thyra and Ernest Augustus of Hanover, Crown Prince of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale. Ernest Augustus was the eldest child and only son of the exiled King George V of Hanover and his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. Thyra wrote in her journal that she was "very excited" to meet the Crown Prince.[4] Ernest Augustus had been born as a Crown Prince of Hanover, but in 1866 his father had been deprived of his throne, when the Kingdom of Hanover was annexed by Prussia after siding with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War. Ernest Augustus had Schloss Cumberland in Gmunden, Austria, built in 1882 as exile seat. Despite this, Thyra wrote that she believed Ernest Augustus would one day ascend the Hanoverian throne.[4]

The newlyweds depart Copenhagen Central Station after the wedding in 1878.

Upon meeting, Thyra's hand was immediately kissed by Ernest Augustus, while Alexandra peeked from around the corner.[4] After some time, Thyra proposed to Ernest Augustus. While Thyra's family was excited, Queen Victoria stated that her engagement was "completely without foundation" after failing to marry off one of her own sons to Thyra. In December 1878, Thyra married Ernest Augustus at the Chapel Royal of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.[4]

Thyra with her daughter, Olga.

Later life

Her husband died on 14 November 1923. Thyra survived him by nine years and died in Gmunden, Upper Austria, on 26 February 1933.[citation needed]


The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland with their children

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland and Teviotdale had six children:

Name Birth Death Notes
Princess Marie Louise of Hanover and Cumberland 11 October 1879 31 January 1948 married Prince Maximilian of Baden (10 July 1867 – 6 November 1929); had issue
Prince George William of Hanover and Cumberland 28 October 1880 20 May 1912 Prince George William died in an automobile accident while driving to attend the funeral of his uncle, king Frederik VIII of Denmark.
Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland 29 September 1882 30 August 1963 married Friedrich Franz IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (9 April 1882 – 17 November 1945); had issue
Princess Olga of Hanover and Cumberland 11 July 1884 21 September 1958 Died unmarried.
Prince Christian of Hanover and Cumberland 4 July 1885 3 September 1901 Died young.
Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick 17 November 1887 30 January 1953 married Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia (13 September 1892 – 11 December 1980); had issue




  1. ^ Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1977). Burke's Royal Families of the World. Vol. 1. London: Burke's Peerage. ISBN 0-220-66222-3.. pp. 69–70.
  2. ^ Hiort-Lorentzen 1903, p. 383.
  3. ^ a b Bramsen, Bo. Huset Glücksborg i 150 år, 1825 6. juli-1975. Copenhagen: Forum, 1975
  4. ^ a b c d A Royal Family - Uncrowned Marriages. Lerche, Anna; Mandal, Marcus; via YouTube. 2003. Retrieved 18 December 2023.


Princess Thyra of Denmark House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-GlücksburgCadet branch of the House of OldenburgBorn: 29 September 1853 Died: 26 February 1933 Titles in pretence Preceded byMarie of Saxe-Altenburg — TITULAR — Queen consort of Hanover 22 December 1878 – 14 November 1923Reason for succession failure:Hanover annexed by Prussia in 1866 Succeeded byVictoria Louise of Prussia