Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein
Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein (born 22 August 1949-27 September 2023) has been the head of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg and the entire House of Oldenburg since 1980. He is the current titular Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Duke of Glucksburg, traditionally styled as His Highness.
The House of Oldenburg is the royal house of Denmark (since 1448) and Norway (1450-1818 and since 1905), and has been the royal house of several other countries including Greece, Sweden, and Russia; it also includes the heir to the throne of the United Kingdom. As such, he is the head of the family that today includes Margrethe II of Denmark, Harald V of Norway, Constantine II of Greece and patrilineal, even Charles, Prince of Wales.
Christoph is the senior male line descendant of Christian III of Denmark, and as such the heir to the headship of the entire Kalmar Union. His great-great-grandfather, Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, was the older brother of Christian IX of Denmark, and through him Christoph is heir by masculine primogeniture to the Danish title Duke of Glucksburg conferred by the Danish crown in 1825. Christoph is also, cognatically, a descendant of Queen Victoria and Alexander II of Russia, and is in the line of succession to the British throne.
Since 1980, he chairs the board of the foundation that owns the ancestral castle of the House of Glucksburg, Glucksburg Castle. He is the owner of the Grunholz estate and is one of the largest land owners of Schleswig-Holstein.
Christoph was born in Schloss Louisenlund, the eldest son of Peter, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein (1922-1980) and his wife Princess Marie Alix of Schaumburg-Lippe (b. 1923). He has a diploma in Agricultural Engineering.
Christoph served as a Reservist in the German Army for two years holding the rank of Lieutenant.
He succeeded to the headship of the ducal house on 30 September 1980 following the death of his father. While possession of the united duchies of Schleswig and Holstein had been allocated by a series of wars and treaties since the First Schleswig War of 1848 and the London Protocol of 1852, the ducal title was borne by Christophe's father and paternal grandfather (as inherited from his great-grandfather, Friedrich Ferdinand, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg in 1934). However Christophe has preferred to remain by the title which is shared by male cadets of the dynasty, "Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg." Since the Kalmar Union was never formally dissolved, it has been asserted that the headship of that union shall have passed from King Christian I through a given line despite changes in the royal house of each of the three constituent states themselves. If calculated that way, the head of the House of Schleswig-Holstein would still also be the head of that union.
Christoph is a founding member of the GLC Glucksburg Consulting Group and serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board. He resides in Schwansen where he has business interests in agriculture, forestry and real estate.
Christoph married Princess Elisabeth of Lippe-Weissenfeld (b. 1957), daughter of Prince Alfred of Lippe-Weissenfeld and Baroness Irmgard Julinka Wagner von Wehrborn, at Glucksburg civilly on 23 September 1981 and religiously on 3 October. Christoph and Elisabeth have four children:
-HH Princess Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein (born 9 October 1983 in Eckernforde)
-HH Friedrich Ferdinand, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein (born 19 July 1985 in Eckernforde)
-HH Prince Constantin of Schleswig-Holstein (born 14 July 1986 in Eckernforde)
-HH Prince Leopold of Schleswig-Holstein (born 5 September 1991 in Eckernforde)
Titles, Styles, Honors
Titles and Styles
22 August 1949-10 February 1965: His Highness Prince Christoph of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg
10 February 1965-30 September 1980: His Highness The Hereditary Prince of Schleswig-Holstein
30 September 1980-27 September 2023:His Highness The Prince of Schleswig-Holstein
Christoph died on 27 September 2023, at the age of 74, after a long term illness. He was succeeded as head of the family by his eldest son, Prince Friedrich Ferdinand.