Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Danish King Frederik X On Balcony Waving Palestinian Flag -- It's Someone Else

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Danish King Frederik X On Balcony Waving Palestinian Flag -- It's Someone Else Not The King

Did King Frederik X of Denmark wave a Palestinian flag from a balcony in Copenhagen as a crowd of protesters were passing below? No, that's not true: This video was filmed in Malmo, Sweden, about 17 miles away and across the Øresund strait from the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark. The man on the balcony waving the flag is not the king of Denmark. The protest was against Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Malmo, beginning on May 9, 2024.

The 30-second video was posted on X (archived here) by @NewhamIndParty on May 12, 2024. The post's caption reads:

The King of Denmark, King Frederik X, waves the Palestinian flag from a balcony as he greets hundreds of protesters demonstrating in Copenhagen in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

This is what the post looked like on X, formerly Twitter, at the time of writing:
(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon May 13 14:09:51 2024 UTC)

The video appears to be authentic, although a music track of the song "Ana Dammi Falastini" (Arabic for "My Blood Is Palestinian") has been dubbed over with the sounds of protesting crowds. Lead Stories was not able to verify what date the protest video was filmed. There were more protests as the Eurovision song contest continued through the finals in Malmo. The song contest finished on May 11, 2024, won by Nemo, representing Switzerland. The earliest copy of this video we identified has the same audio track and was posted on TikTok by @sharifabilal1 on May 11, 2024. The captions on the video are written both in English and partially in Arabic, which has been translated by Google Lens. It reads:

Free Palestine
From danmark
The King of Denmark raises the flag of Palestine

A major protest took place in Malmo on May 9, 2024. The building in the video where the man is waving the flag is in the neighborhood that's between two of the plazas where protesters gathered. In a May 9, 2024, article in apnews.com titled, "Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters march in Malmo against Israel's Eurovision participation," a photo of Greta Thunberg is captioned with specifics of the protest locations:

Climate activist Greta Thunberg takes part in a Stop Israel demonstration, between Stortorget and Mölleplatsen in Malmö, Sweden, Thursday, May 9, 2024. There have been calls for Israel to be excluded from the Eurovision Song contest because of its conduct in its war against Hamas.

The Lead Stories composite image below (will open larger in a new window) shows a screenshot from 17 seconds into the video, a streetview image of the buildings that appear in the video and an instantstreetview.com screenshot of the Malmo city center with three green pins. This map shows the demonstration points mentioned in the caption: The pin on the left, alongside the red pin, is Mölleplatsen, the rightmost green pin shows Stortorget, and the middle pin with the yellow street-view character figure indicates where the video of the man on the balcony was filmed.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with X and instantstreetview.com screenshots taken on Mon May 13 18:10:05 2024 UTC)

Frederik and his wife, Queen Consort Mary of Denmark, did visit Sweden on May 6-7, 2024, in their first official trip abroad. This was reported by CTVnews.ca and took place before the protests. An extensive collection of the state visit photos from Day 1 and Day 2 in the capital city Stockholm are compiled at royalwatcherblog.com. A side trip to Malmo, over 300 miles away, was not included in the itinerary.

Malmo is close to Copenhagen, but it is across a body of water, and connected by the Øresund bridge, a 5-mile-long span that becomes a tunnel. The man in the video is not the king of Denmark, and the balcony where he stands is not a palace, but was a school. The lettering on the 1878 building's facade translates to "Anna and Eva Bunth's school for girls." In the composite image below, the unidentified man from the video (from 21 seconds in) is pictured on the left, and on the right is a 2020 photo of then-Prince Frederik. The two men do not resemble each other, with very different hairlines, brows and smiles. Fredrick X assumed the throne on January 14, 2024, after his mother, Queen Margrethe II, abdicated voluntarily.


(Source: Lead Stories composite image with X and Wikimedia Commons screenshots taken on Mon May 13 18:50:00 2024 UTC)

Other Lead Stories fact checks on Sweden are here. More Lead Stories fact checks on the Hamas-Israel war are here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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