The Danish “Royal House Flag” covered the coffin of Princess Elisabeth of Denmark at her funeral in Kongens Lyngby on Monday. This flag was introduced in 1905 for members of the Danish Royal Family who do not have their own personal flag. Princess Elisabeth was a first cousin of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Princess Elisabeth was No. 12 in the line of succession to the Danish throne at the time of her death. On Tuesday 19 June 2018 she died peacefully in her home town of Kongens Lyngby north of Copenhagen. The funeral service took place on Monday 25 June in the parish church of Kongens Lyngby.
The Princess was born on 8 May 1935 in Copenhagen as the eldest grandchild of Christian X, King of Denmark and Iceland, and Queen Alexandrine. Elisabeth was the daughter of the King Christian’s younger son Prince Knud and his wife Princess Caroline-Mathilde. Elisabeth’s parents were first cousins as her paternal grandfather King Christian X and her maternal grandfather Prince Harald were brothers.
In 1953 when the Danish Law of Succession was changed for women to be able to inherit the throne, on the condition that they had no brothers, Princess Elisabeth became the seventh in line to the throne. Her father went from being first in line to being No. 4. His brother King Frederik IX had only daughters, so during the first five years of his reign Prince Knud as his closest male relative was the heir to the Danish throne.
The funeral service of Princess Elisabeth was attended by her only surviving brother Ingolf, Count of Rosenborg, formerly Prince of Denmark, and her first cousins Queen Margrethe of Denmark, Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece. A wreath from Queen Margrethe prominently placed in the church had the name “Daisy” on a red-white ribbon; Queen Margrethe is known by that name among her closest friends and family.
Princess Elisabeth never married and had no children. From 1956 till 2001 she worked for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was awarded the Royal Medal of Merit in Silver after 40 years of service. The medal together with the collar and badge of the Order of the Elephant decorated a pillow which was placed on her coffin.
As a member of the Danish Royal Family, Princess Elisabeth was entitled to use a version of the Dannebrog with swallow-tails and a royal crown in the middle of the cross. Since 1905 this has been the distinguishing flag for “other members” of the Royal House i.e. those who do not have their own personal flag, like the King, the Queen, the Crown Prince and the Regent (who acts as head of state when the monarch is absent or incapacitated).