Minister O’Brien to the Secretary of State.
Copenhagen , January 31, 1906 .
Sir: About 5 o’clock on the 29th instant I sent you the following message:
King Christian died this afternoon at 3.40. Had worked until 1 feeling well. At luncheon felt weak and shortly afterwards died without pain. Dowager Empress of Russia and crown prince of Denmark present when he died.
The following morning I received from you this reply:
Convey through appropriate channel the sincere condolences of the President and of your country upon the death of His Majesty King Christian.
I am now able to give a little more accurately the exact conditions preceding the King’s death.
He had been unusually well, and during the morning had transacted much business and gave audience to about 50 people.
He went to his luncheon soon after 1 in high spirits. Besides the officers of the court, his daughter, the Empress Dowager of Russia, and brother, Prince Hans, and perhaps some others were present. During luncheon he drank part of a glass of port wine. He got up from the table feeling a little distress in his throat and went to his room. The ill feeling continued, and he undressed, without aid, and went to bed.
The Dowager Empress was in the adjoining room with an open door between. Thinking she heard heavy breathing, she stepped into the King’s chamber and found him already dead. No one was present at the end except as above, but it was very apparent that his death was quite painless.
Doctors were summoned, but of course were of no assistance. The news spread rapidly in the city and provoked a good deal of interest and excitement. Great numbers of people thronged the streets and surrounded the palace, but everything was most orderly and quiet.
At 12 o’clock yesterday, the 30th instant, a great crowd assembled in the Amalienborg Square, the number being variously estimated at from 10,000 to 20,000, as it had been announced that at that time the succession would be proclaimed. The announcement was made [Page 525] from the balcony of Amalienborg Palace by the prime minister, and the late crown prince made a short speech which was received with a good deal of enthusiasm.
I will send under separate cover a translation of the speech of the new King, and also of the open letter, or proclamation.
I beg to inclose herewith a copy of a letter from the minister of foreign affairs to me announcing the King’s death, and also a copy of my reply of the 30th instant, making known your telegram and my own comments in connection therewith.
The arrangements for the funeral have not yet been made public and are probably not completed. It is given out, however, that the following will be present:
The King and Queen of England, Emperor of Germany, King George of Greece, the King and Queen of Norway, Grand Duke Michael of Russia, Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, and Duchess of Mechlenberg-Schwerin.
One or more of the ministers have already been designated by their Government as special representatives to attend the funeral.
I have, etc.,