Danish order of precedence

The Danish order of precedence is a symbolic hierarchy of Danish officials used to direct protocol. It has no official status and entails no special privileges, but has been established in practical use, e.g. determining seating arrangements at formal occasions in the royal house. The order of precedence is very elaborate, and especially the lower classes include many relatively obscure civil servant positions; the following is only an excerpt.

The royal familyEdit

Members of the royal family are not part of the official order of precedence, but are traditionally placed on top of the hierarchy. Their order is as follows:

When the Queen is out of the country or otherwise not able of perform her duties, the heir apparent becomes regent.

If the Heir Apparent is also out of the country or otherwise not able of becoming regent, one of 3 people, whom the Queen has chosen,[note 1] can become 'Rigsforstander'.[note 2][1] These people are:

The order of precedenceEdit

The 1st Class is the highest, and 5th Class is the lowest. Classes 1 and 2 are exhaustively listed here by the most recent officially published ranking,[2] while 3–5. are summarized and only an excerpt. Within the individual classes themselves there are also secondary orders of precedence, shown here with the numbers.

Statutory basisEdit

The Danish order of precedence is decided by royal regulation, which was first published in 1671. The current ranking is from 1746 - The Royal Regulation of 14 October 1746. Throughout time, there have been multiple revisions and changes to the order of precedence, the most recent being on 16 December 1971.[2]

1st ClassEdit

  1. Counts of Rosenborg and the Countess of Frederiksborg
  2. --
  3. The Queen's Chief Court Mistress (Danish: Overhofmesterinde) (none since 1952)
  4. The Prime Minister and the other Government ministers. The Queen's Maid of the Bedchamber. The Princesses' ladies-in-waiting.
  5. The President of the Supreme Court
  6. Knights of the Elephant
  7. Grand Commanders of the Dannebrog.
  8. The Lord Chamberlain of Denmark (Danish: Overkammerherre) (not in current use).[3]
  9. Generals and admirals (the Chief of Defence is the only military officer of this rank in Denmark at any given time)
  10. The Chancellor of the Order. Lord Marshal of the Court (Danish: Overhofmarskal). Lieutenant generals and vice admirals
  11. Lord Groom of the Chamber (Danish: Overkammerjunker).[4]
  12. Lord Master of the Horse (Danish: Overstaldmester). Lord Master of the Royal Hunt (Danish: Overjægermester). Lord Master of Ceremonies (Danish: Overceremonimester). Lord Pourer (Danish: Overskænk).[5]
  13. Counts Danneskiold-Samsøe, and their male descendants. The Mother Superior for the noble Diocese of Vallø.

2nd ClassEdit

  1. Grand Crosses of the Dannebrog
  2. Counts. Ambassadors. The Court Marshal of Denmark (Danish: Hofmarskal). The male descendants of the Counts of Rosenborg. The private secretary to the Queen (Danish: Kabinetssekretær). The female descendants of the Counts (and Lensgrever) Danneskiold-Samsøe, both the unmarried and married, rank in the 2nd class No. 2. The Comtesses of Rosenborg. Extraordinary and authorized ambassadors in salary bracket 40.
  3. The Queen's Chief of Staff (Danish: Hofchef)
  4. The Royal Family's court marshals and chief of staffs, according to seniority. The eldest son of a Lensgreve, when they are the chamberlains. The Queen's ladies-in-waiting. The Princesses' maids of honour. The 3 female court members (Danish: Hofstiftsdame) of the noble Diocese of Vallø.
  5. Chamberlains (Danish: Kammerherre). The Captain of the Royal Yacht (Danish: Jagtkaptajn). The Chief of the Queen's aides-de-camp (Danish: Chefen for Dronningens adjudantstab). Supreme Court judges. Presidents of the High courts. The Permanent Secretaries. The Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Director-general of the Danish Railways. The Postmaster General. Major generals and rear admirals. The Attorney General. The National Police Commissioner. The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen. The Managing Director of the National Bank of Denmark. Bishops in the Church of Denmark. The Rector of the University of Copenhagen. The Royal Danish high commissioner in Greenland. The Customs Director. The High Commissioner of the Faeroe Islands. The Surgeon general. The Judge Advocate General. The Chief Public Prosecutor. The Director General of the National Board of Health. The Prioress of Vemmetofte Convent. The 35 ladies-beneficiary of the noble Diocese of Vallø.
  6. The Master of the Horse (Danish: Staldmester)
  7. The Master of the Royal Hunt (Danish: Hofjægermester). The Master of Ceremonies (Danish: Ceremonimester).
  8. --
  9. --
  10. --
  11. The Royal Konfessionarius (Danish: Kongelig Konfessionarius) (equivalent to Chaplain-in-Ordinary).
  12. Junior ministry secretaries. Consuls general. University rectors. The Bishop of the Faroe Islands

3rd ClassEdit

  1. Barons
  2. High Court judges. Colonels and naval captains. Directors at Rigshospitalet. Regents Professor at the University of Copenhagen. Rectors of Business schools and Dental schools. Managing Directors of the National Museum of Denmark, the Danish National Archive and the Royal Danish Theatre. The Master of the Royal Mint
  3. The High Court judge of Greenland
  4. County Court judges. Lieutenant colonels and commanders. Chief Constables. Senior hospital physicians. Provosts in the Church of Denmark. University Professors. Gymnasium rectors

4th ClassEdit

  1. Chief inspectors. Majors and Lieutenant Commanders. Senior vicars
  2. Managing directors at the regional archives. University associate professors.

5th ClassEdit

  1. Gymnasium associate professors. University assistant professors.
  2. Police inspectors. Junior vicars
  3. Captains and naval lieutenants.
  4. Lieutenants and naval lieutenants, junior grade


  1. ^ And also follows the "Law on government conduct in the event of the king's immaturity, illness or absence" of 1871
  2. ^ While the titles 'Regent' and 'Rigsforstander' are different, the responsibilities of the person are the same, thus the only difference is who functions as the acting regent.


  1. ^ "H.K.H. Kronprinsessen bliver rigsforstander". Kongehuset (in Danish). 2019-09-30. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  2. ^ a b "The Regulation of the Order of Precedence of 16. December 1971", Kongehuset (The Royal House), Pursuant to Article 24 of the Royal Law of 1665, Retrieved 5/6 2020.
  3. ^ "453 (Salmonsens konversationsleksikon / Anden Udgave / Bind XIII: Jernbaneret—Kirkeskat)". runeberg.org (in Danish). Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  4. ^ "overkammerjunker — ODS". ordnet.dk. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  5. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C, "Hof- og Statskalender 1943", retrieved 5/6 2020