Portrait of Frederick V (1723-1766), King of Denmark–Norway and Duke of Schleswig-Holstein from 1746 to 1766
Frederick V (Danish and Norwegian: Frederik; 31 March 1723 – 14 January 1766) was king of Denmark–Norway and Duke of Schleswig-Holstein from 1746 until his death. He was the son of Christian VI of Denmark and Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. Frederick was born on 31 March 1723 at Copenhagen Castle. He was the grandson of King Frederick IV of Denmark and the son of Crown Prince Christian and Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. On 12 October 1730, King Frederick IV died and Frederick's father ascended the throne as King Christian VI. Frederick himself became Crown Prince. Christian VI and Sophia Magdalene were deeply devoted to Pietism, and Frederick was given a strictly religious upbringing. Although not unfamiliar with religious sentiments, Frederick grew into a hedonist who enjoyed the pleasures of life such as wine and women. His mother ironically referred to him as "Der Dänische Prinz" (literally The Danish Prince in German) because he occasionally spoke Danish. On 6 August 1746 – the day before his parents's silver marriage festivities– his father died at Hirschholm Palace, the royal family's summer retreat. Christian VI was interred in Roskilde Cathedral. Frederick and Louise immediately ascended Denmark-Norway's throne, being anointed in Frederiksborg Palace's Chapel the following year. The personal influence of Frederick was limited, making him one of absolute rulers who least made for the state's strength. Although the king, as regent, took part in the conduct of government by attending council meetings, he was afflicted by alcoholism and most of his rule was dominated by very able ministers such as A. G. Moltke, whom he had as a favorite, J. H. E. Bernstorff and H. C. Schimmelmann. These men marked his reign by the progress of commerce and the emerging industry of gunpowder plant and cannon foundry in Frederiksværk, built by Johan Frederik Classen. They also avoided involving Denmark in the European wars of his time. The country remained neutral even for the duration of the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), despite its proximity to combatants Russia and Sweden, an act which undoubtedly shaped the perception of the period as a happy time.
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