Changes in the royal patronages

The Royal Family attends to patronages of a large number of organisations and associations, which span a wide range of areas such as education, business, culture, sport, sustainability and social purposes. 

Photo: Kongehuset ©

In connection with the succession of the throne on 14 January, The Royal House of Denmark announced that all the patronages of HM The King, HM The Queen and HM Queen Margrethe were suspended. The Royal Family has now decided which of the patronages will be continued, the distribution of the patronages and the conferment of new patronages. 

At the same time, the succession of the throne has been used as an occasion to make decisions about the patronages that hitherto have been undertaken by HRH Prince Joachim, HRH Princess Marie and HRH Princess Benedikte. An assessment has thus been made of all royal patronages, which up to the succession of the throne had totalled 258.

Henceforward, the number of patronages totals 140 for the members of The Royal Family. The selection of royal patronages has been based on historical relationships as well as on the special focus areas and interests of the royal family. The total number of patronages has been adjusted based on consideration of The Royal Family's other duties so that the members of The Royal Family have the opportunity to involve themselves in the selected patronages.  

Throughout the centuries, The Royal House of Denmark’s patronages have supported the important work of non-profit organisations in Denmark, the Realm and beyond. It is a tradition we are very proud to continue, and one which we, as a family, hope to further strengthen and develop.
Through our royal patronages, we wish to support efforts which promote Danish culture, science and enterprise, protect our nature, and give a voice for the marginalized and vulnerable in our society. This longstanding tradition serves to bring us together in small and large communities”, state The King and The Queen.

From now on, royal patronages will be time-limited and exist for five years, after which the organisation or association concerned can apply for an extension. The time limitation means that there will be continuous opportunity for The Royal Family to take on new patronages as society develops. 

The list of patronages reflects a number of focus areas, but it is far from a complete overview of The Royal Family’s involvement and areas of interest.
The majority of The Royal Family’s 4-500 annual official programme items consists of visits to institutions, organisations, companies and authorities that are not a part of the patronage portfolio. This also means that the 116 patronages which are not being continued, in line with other organisations and associations, can continue to be considered for royal participation in relevant arrangements and activities.

Information about new and continuing patronages follows below. 

HM The King
The King becomes the patron of North Atlantic House in Odense and Projekt Koltur on the Faroe Islands, both of which have the objective of promoting knowledge of the Realm’s culture and nature, as well as of The Danish Architecture Center, The Brain Prize and The Léonie Sonning Music Prize, which each in their own way focus on Danish design, science and culture in an international context. The King is expanding his involvement in the green agenda as patron of The Copenhagen Climate Ministerial. 

In addition to this, The King assumes 14 patronages from Queen Margrethe, of which a number of the organisations have a historical connection with The Royal House of Denmark. This concerns, among others, The American-Scandinavian Foundation, The Danish Bible Society, The Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF), The Greenlandic House, The Royal Danish Geographical Society, The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, The NORDEN Association and Foreningen til lærlinges uddannelse, an organisation focused on education of apprentices. 

In addition, The King retains eight of his previous patronages, including The Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir, State of Green and The Danish Red Cross. 

HM The Queen
The Queen assumes new patronages for the organisations Danish Hospital Clowns and WeShelter, which focuses on particularly disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, and for Independent Research Fund Denmark, which has the objective of developing and strengthening the quality of Danish research. In addition, The Queen continues her involvement in nature conservation as UNEP Patron of Biodiversity and The Danish Nature Fund. 

From Queen Margrethe, The Queen assumes the patronages of The Royal Danish Academy of Music, The Danish Cancer Society and of Diakonissestiftelsen, a healthcare organisation established in 1863 by Queen Louise.

In addition, The Queen continues 16 of her previous patronages, including The Danish Mental Health Fund, The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and WWF Denmark.  

HM Queen Margrethe
Queen Margrethe retains 20 of the 81 patronages that Her Majesty attended to until the succession of the throne. The continuing patronages are primarily organisations and institutions within art, history and archaeology. 

HRH Prince Joachim
Prince Joachim carries on with 25 of his current patronages. For many years, The Prince has had a special focus on cultural heritage, South Jutland and the defence, the latter a natural extension of His Royal Highness’s military training and current position as defence industry attaché at the Embassy of Denmark in Washington, D.C. 

Among The Prince’s continuing patronages are CARE Danmark, The Danish Veteran Association and Veteran Support, Europa Nostra Danmark and The Diabetes Association. 

HRH Princess Marie
Princess Marie has agreed to become the patron of Prince Henrik School and of the organisation Stop Wasting Food. The two new patronages are an extension of The Princess’s many years of involvement in promoting Danish-French cultural relations and in the agenda against food waste. In connection with the latter, The Princess also assumes the patronage of The National Culinary Team of Denmark from Prince Joachim. 

In addition to this, The King’s patronage of The Danish Dyslexia Association as well as The Queen’s patronage of Hjernesagen, an organisation for people affected by brain injuries, are transferred to The Princess, who has already focused on persons living with a hidden disability through the patronages of Autism Denmark and The Danish Epilepsy Association.

The Princess also continues as the patron of 13 of her current patronages. 

HRH Princess Benedikte
Princess Benedikte continues her involvement in, especially, equestrian sport, the scouting movement and the world of parasports as patron of 25 of her current patronages. Among The Princess’s continuing patronages are The Danish Scout Corps, Parasport Danmark, and The Danish Equestrian Federation.

Facts about patronages

The history behind patronages
Historically, the royal patronages go back to the absolute monarchy, when each activity that could not be explained by vocation or position required authorisation. In other words, the patronages were a type of royal permission to act. The first patronages concerned science, education and knowledge, but, under Christian IX, the patronages began to target philanthropic organisations. In more recent times, royal patronages have been an expression of support for a specific cause, organisation or association within a wide range of areas.

What does it mean to be a royal patron?
A royal patron uses his or her position to raise awareness of the issue, organisation or association concerned and, at the same time, gain knowledge of the patronage and its field through the collaboration and the ongoing dialogue. The royal patrons can choose to offer support in various ways, for example by participating in arrangements, visiting activities or by meeting some of the people who benefit from the patronage concerned. 

How does one apply for a patronage?
All organisations and associations with non-profit objectives can apply for a royal patronage, with the exception of authorities and purely commercial enterprises. Normally, a prerequisite for obtaining a royal patronage will be that there has been previous collaboration with The Royal House of Denmark, for example in the form of royal presence at arrangements. Applications for patronage are sent to the respective courts.

His Majesty The King 
American-Scandinavian Foundation 
The Danish Bible Society 
Bloddonorerne Danmark
Copenhagen Climate Ministerial 
Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) 
Danish Architecture Center
Danish Design Center
Danish Church Abroad/Danish Seamen’s Church 
The Greenlandic House 
Det Kgl. Vajsenhus 
The Royal Danish Geographical Society
The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
The NORDEN Association 
Foreningen til lærlinges uddannelse 
Katuaq – Greenland Cultural Centre
Kolturplanen on the Faroe Islands
Royal Danish Yacht Club 
Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir 
Léonie Sonning Music Prize 
North Atlantic House 
Save the Children Denmark
The Danish Red Cross
State of Green
Naval Officers Association
The Anglo-Danish Society
The Brain Prize

Her Majesty The Queen 
The Children’s Aid Foundation
Independent Research Fund Denmark
Danish Refugee Council 
Danish Hospital Clowns
The Danish Nature Fund
The Royal Danish Academy of Music 
The Danish National Center for Grief 
Danish National Girls’ Choir 
Global Fashion Agenda 
The Danish Heart Foundation 
The Christmas Seal Foundation 
YMCA Soldier Mission
Danish Cancer Society 
Maternity Foundation 
Danish Kidney Association 
Danish Mental Health Fund 
SIND – The Danish Association for Mental Health 
Rare Diseases Denmark 
UNEP (UN Environment Programme) Patron of Biodiversity 
UNFPA (UN Population Fund) 
WWF Denmark

Her Majesty Queen Margrethe
Den Gamle By
Det Classenske Fideicommis
The Danish Institute in Rome
Diakonissehuset Sankt Lukas Stiftelsen
Ebbe Munck Memorial Foundation
GeoCenter Møns Klint
The Danish Rheumatism Association
Glas – The Museum of Glass Art
International Association for Classical Archaeology 
The Jelling Project
Moesgaard Museum 
Nyborg Castle – Medieval Christiansborg
The Rungstedlund Foundation 
Lejre Land of Legends 
Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society 
Selskabet for Kirkelig Kunst 
Vallø Stift 
Vemmetofte Kloster 

His Royal Highness Prince Joachim 
AQUA Aquarium and Wildlife Park 
CARE Danmark
Chakoten – Danish Military History Society 
Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassadors
Danish Museum of Science & Technology
Danish Veteran Association and Veteran Support
The Denmark Society 
Danish Heraldry Society
The Danish String Competition
The Danish Boys Choir 
The Danish Diabetes Association
Europa Nostra Danmark
Friends of The Museum of Danish Resistance Foundation 
Central Organisation for Reserve Personnel in Denmark (HPRD)
Museum Sønderjylland
Orders and Medals Society of Denmark 
Schackenborg Foundation 
Training Ship Danmark 
South Jutland Symphony Orchestra
Young Scientists
The Wadden Sea Centre
Aalborg Zoo

Her Royal Highness Princess Marie 
Alliance Française in Denmark
Autism Denmark
Copenhagen Cooking
The Danish National Commission for UNESCO 
The Danish Student House in Paris 
The Danish Epilepsy Association 
The Kattegatcentre  
The National Culinary Team of Denmark
Le Souvenir Français Den Danske Komité
The Danish Dyslexia Association 
Prins Henrik School 
Prix littéraire des ambassadeurs francophones
Schackenborg Foundation 
Stop Wasting Food movement 
Tønder Festival

Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte
The Alzheimer Association 
Ballettens Venner 
CP Danmark – The Danish Association of Cerebral Palsy
Danish YWCA in London
Danish Equestrian Federation 
Dansk Varmblod
The Green Girl Guides Denmark 
 The German-Scandinavian School
The Danish Scout Corps 
Elsass Foundation 
The Association for Eating Disorders and Self-Harm 
Frihedskampens Veteraners Mindefond
Hestens Værn
The I.P. Nielsen Foundation in memory of Queen Ingrid
Margrethe-Skolen - Scandinavian Academy of Fashion Design
OK Fonden
Olave Baden-Powell Society
The Danish Osteoporosis Association
Parasport Danmark
Princess Benedikte Institute 
Copenhagen Girls’ Choir 
The SOS Children’s Villages
World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses
World Guide Foundation