Portrait of Frederick III (1609-1670), King of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Holstein and Duke of Schleswig (1648-1670), Count of Oldenburg (1667-1670)
Frederick III (Danish: Frederik; 18 March 1609 – 9 February 1670) was king of Denmark and Norway from 1648 until his death in 1670. He instituted absolute monarchy in Denmark-Norway in 1660, confirmed by law in 1665 as the first in Western historiography. He also ordered the creation of the Throne Chair of Denmark. He was born the second-eldest son of Christian IV and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg. Frederick was only considered an heir to the throne after the death of his older brother Prince Christian in 1647. In order to be elected king after the death of his father, Frederick conceded significant influence to the nobility. As king, he fought two wars against Sweden. He was defeated in the Dano-Swedish War of 1657–1658, but attained great popularity when he weathered the 1659 Assault on Copenhagen and won the Dano-Swedish War of 1658–1660. Later that year, Frederick used his popularity to disband the elective monarchy in favour of absolute monarchy, which lasted until 1848 in Denmark. He married Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg, with whom he fathered Christian V of Denmark. Frederick was born at Haderslev in Schleswig, the son of Christian IV and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg. In his youth and early manhood, there was no prospect of his ascending the Danish throne, as his older brother Christian was elected heir apparent in 1608. He was a reserved and enigmatic prince who seldom laughed, spoke little, and wrote less, a striking contrast to Christian IV. Even though he lacked the impulsive and jovial qualities of his father, Frederick possessed the compensating virtues of moderation and self-control. On 1 October 1643 Frederick wed Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the daughter of George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who had an energetic, passionate, and ambitious character. The death of his elder brother Christian in June 1647 opened the possibility for Frederick to be elected heir apparent to the Danish throne. However, this issue was still unsettled when Christian IV died on 28 February 1648. After long deliberation among the Danish Estates and in the Rigsraadet (royal council), he was finally accepted as his father's successor. On 6 July, Frederick received the homage of his subjects, and he was crowned on 23 November.
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