An ancient sea battle off Heligoland, an island off the coast of present day Germany, brought the Crown Princesses of Norway and Denmark together in Kristiansand, Norway to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Mette-Marit’s presence was evidence of the close bonds between Norway and Denmark and of both royal houses, the Danish royal web site said.
In 1864 Prusian, Saxon, Austrian and other troops of the German Confederation invaded Denmark and the Duchies ruled by its Kings, Schleswig and Holstein. It was a juggle for power, over access to the Baltic sea, for dominance and over a liberal constitution versus an autrocratic regime.
Prussia was in the ascend, getting ready to invade France only 6 years later and founding the German Empire; Denmark had seen better days. There had been uncertainty over the successor to Frederik VII, and an earlier war over the two Duchies.
The Danes stood little change against its powerful neighbour and its allies; at sea on May 9, 1864 a battle was won, but on land the Duchies were lost and on May 12 Denmark asked for a cease fire.
The wounded and dead of the sea battle were brought to Kristiansand, itself under Danish rule only 50 years earlier. The dead were buried in Norwegian soil and are remembered annually. This time, by royal representatives as well.
© RoyalblogNL, photos by © Royal Press Europe, Albert Nieboer