Did the King of Denmark wave a Palestinian flag during a demonstration in Copenhagen?

A video circulating on social media platforms such as X, TikTok, and Instagram claims to depict King Fredrik X of Denmark during a pro-Palestinian protest march in Copenhagen. In the video, a man standing on a balcony overlooking the crowd is waving a large Palestinian flag and waving at protestors below.On first watch, the video appears plausible. The individual (accompanied by several young children) appears to be around the same age Fredrik X, who has four children and a similar build. The façade of the building in the video is not dissimilar to royal residences in Europe, and the crowd appear to be waving at and photographing the people on the balcony.

However, upon further consideration and research, several inconsistencies and red flags become apparent. For one – Fredrik X does have children, but even the youngest are 12 years old and not as young as the children on the balcony. A comparison with recent photographs of the King further makes it clear the man on the balcony is not Fredrik X – they have different facial features, and the man in the video lacks facial hair (which the Fredrik X has consistently been pictured with since his coronation in January 2024).  Another search for information about Fredrik X’s residences also shows that the Danish royal family’s Amalienborg Palace looks completely different to the building in the video.When tracing for the provenance of the video (which began circulating widely on different social media platforms from May 11), the earliest appearance of this specific clip we can find is on TikTok – already accompanied by the claim that the man in the video is the Danish King. We were unable to find a version of this specific clip that has an accurate identification of the individual in the clip.

It also appears that aside from the man in the video not being Fredrik X, the building is not located in Copenhagen either. Instead, some social media users identified the building as an old schoolhouse in Malmö, Sweden. We managed to find the building on Google Maps Street View and confirm that the video was taken in Malmö.This is supported by the context of several different protests taking place during the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place between 8-11 May in Malmö with Sweden as host. On May 10, protesters gathered in the City’s main square, Stortorget, to protest the inclusion of Israel as a participating nation. This was covered by different news outlets, including footage of protesters marching in the surrounding area. According to Google maps, the building in the video is only 750m from Stortorget.Using clearer pictures of the building in the video, a separate reverse image search on Google led us to another video posted on X on 10 May which shows the same building and individual from a different angle – alongside confirmation that the video is from 10 May and was taking in Malmö, Sweden during a demonstration march.Therefore, we give this claim a rating of false. The video appears to be of an unidentified man on a balcony in Sweden – not of King Fredrik X of Denmark during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Copenhagen.

Despite being easily disproven through multiple different elements, the claim gained traction and spread widely in different languages and on different platforms. The use of notable individuals such as royalty or celebrities in claims (particularly those related to political or sensitive issues) can result both in heightened attention and increased virality. These claims should be approached with caution, and we can take advantage of publicly available information about these public figures to fact-check claims that are made without good evidence, or which appear questionable.

In this case, we were able to use several different methods to confirm that various elements of the video and claim were untrue – from reverse image searches, to google maps, to cross-checking information about Fredrik X.

Leave a Reply