The Royal House has a large collection of autobiographies from people who have been decorated.

The oldest are about knighted persons from after 1884.  

To ensure that the biographies can be written as freely and openly as possible, it is the established rule that they shall not be accessible to the public until 50 years after death of the writer, unless this person has provided otherwise. In some cases, however, it is possible to get access to autobiographies covered by the 50 year rule if the application to do so is accompanied by written consent from the author’s immediate survivors.

With respect to these formal conditions, The Chapter of the Royal Orders of Chivalry is pleased to grant access. If one wants to view a certain autobiography, a written application should be submitted to the Historiographer of the Royal Orders.

The application should be submitted to:

Historiographer of the Royal Orders
The Chapter of the Royal Orders of Chivalry
Det Gule Palæ, Amaliegade 18
DK-1256 Copenhagen C


The application must include a description of the purpose for seeking access (genealogical research, research on the history of the subject, etc.) along with all relevant data about the author of the autobiography. That includes the person’s full name, the date the decoration was given and the type of decoration awarded. If one does not have the necessary information about the decoration, it can normally be obtained by going to the library and searching a volume of the Court and State’s Calendar around the year of the author’s death. This information considerably facilitates search work since autobiographies are archived according to the type and date of the decoration. If this information cannot be obtained, one should at least indicate the years of the author’s birth and death. In the latter case, however, one must expect that it can take some time to provide the autobiography because finding it requires extra work in the Chapter of the Royal Orders of Chivalry.

If access is granted, a photocopy is normally sent, provided that the document is not extraordinarily large. In the latter case, the applicant will be invited to visit the Chapter of the Royal Orders of Chivalry to read the autobiography there instead.

Before applying, it is worth noting that, as a rule, the Chapter’s collection only includes biographies of knighted persons from after 1884, biographies of Order of Dannebrog recipients from 1904 to 1952, and biographies of medal recipients from 1981. It is also worth noting that there may not necessarily be biographies from all those decorated because, in the course of time, some have not acted on the Chapter’s invitation to submit one.

Photo: Kongehuset ©
Photo: Kongehuset ©