Danish Monarchy: Royal Residences
The Danish Monarchy is one of the oldest in the world and is relatively modest when compared with others monarchies. Members of the Danish Royal Family occupy a range of residences around Denmark, with senior royal family members changing residences with the seasons. When the Constitution was introduced in 1849, several royal residences were designated as property of the “Kingdom of Denmark,” which means most royal palaces are in the possession of the Danish state. Denmark’s Palaces and Properties Agency, which is responsible for the management and upkeep of royal palaces and gardens, is the equivalent of the British Historic Royal Palaces Agency.
The official winter residence of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik is Amalienborg Palace, located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Amalienborg Palace complex consists of four identical (on the exterior) palaces surrounding an octagon square.
The land that Amalienborg sits on was acquired by the Danish monarchy in the 17th century. The palace takes its name from Queen Sophie Amalie (lived 1628-1685), as she built the first palace on the site. The current complex was constructed by Frederik V (1723-1766) on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the coronation of Christian I, the first King of the House of Oldenborg. An equestrian statue of Frederik V sits in the center of the courtyard.
The public can visit two of Amalienborg's four palaces: Christian VII's Palace, which is used by the Queen as a guest residence and for official ceremonies, may be visited on guided tours; and part of Christian VIII's Palace has been turned into a museum of the present royal family (the Glücksburg dynasty).
Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary reside with their four children at King Frederik VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg. An extensive renovation of the palace was completed between 2004 and 2010, costing approximately £26 million.
The main objective of the assignment was to restore and renovate Frederik VIII’s Palace to provide a modern and well functioning setting for administrative and representative functions as well as a private residence for the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess. The renovation includes the restoration and preservation of paintings, tapestries, and chandeliers.
As part of the refurbishment of the future residence of the Crown Prince couple at Amalienborg, the Realdania foundation commissioned an art project where 10 Danish artists were selected to create new art for the palace. This artwork has lent a modern touch to the otherwise classic interiors. The palace was open to the public for three months following the completion of the refurbishment efforts in the spring of 2010.
The ten Danish artists are: Olafur Eliasson, Signe Guttormsen, Morten Schelde, John Kørner, Eske Kath, Katrine Ærtebjerg, Kasper Bonnén, Tal R, Erik A. Frandsen and Jesper Christiansen.
The palace is also known as the Brockdorff Palace, the former home of Frederik's grandparents, King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid, it remained empty after Queen Ingrid died in 2000. By moving into the palace, a former military academy, Frederik and Mary will be continuing the tradition of Denmark's heirs and regents living around Amalienborg's four royal residences.
Marselisborg Palace & Graasten Palace
Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik divide summer between two official residences: Marselisborg Palace located in Aarhus and Graasten Palace, is located in Gråsten in the Jutland region of southern Denmark.
Marselisborg Palace was a wedding gift from the people of Denmark to Crown Prince Christian (1870-1947) and his consort, Princess Alexandrine, who were the first to use it as a summer residence. The palace passed from Crown Prince Christian (later Christian X) to his son, Frederick IX, and lastly to Crown Princess Margrethe (later Margrethe II) and her consort Prince Henrik in 1967. The palace is surrounded by a 32 acre park, laid out in the traditional English style consisting of vast lawns, ponds, and a rose garden. Only the park and garden are open to the public when the Royal Family is not in residence.
The original Gråsten Palace was a small hunting lodge built in the middle of the 16th century. The Lodge burnt down in 1603 and a very grand palace was built in its place in the beginning of the 1700's. Unfortunately, this too burnt down! Only the palace chapel and a few pavilions remain from the original structures.
Work on the current palace began in 1759, and the central building was added in 1842. It wasn't until the early 1900's that Gråsten Palace passed to the Danish state. Prior to becoming a royal residence, it was used as a court house, library and living quarters for the local Judge and Chief of Police.
The palace was renovated once more in 1935, and King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid spent most summers there.
The palace and its gardens are surrounded by the Southern Jutland countryside's forests and lakes. Its gardens are also kept in the English style, with winding paths and multitudes of rose beds. Large sections of the gardens are open to the public when the Royal Family is not in residence.
Gråsten Palace is owned by the Danish state, run by the Palaces and Properties Agency and placed at the disposal of the Royal Family.
Spring and fall are spent by the Queen and Prince at Fredensborg Palace- is a palace located on the eastern shore of Lake Esrum in Fredensborg on the island of Zealand in Denmark. The palace was commissioned as a hunting lodge by King Frederik IV and was built by the architect J.C. Krieger in 1719. This palace is the most-used palace in Denmark, as it is where the Queen receives heads of state, and is where the family celebrates birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
The palace was named Fredensborg in 1720 to commemorate the signing of the peace accord ending the Great Northern War. Fredensborg roughly translates to "the palace of peace" in English. Construction on the palace extended throughout the early 18th century, however the main structure has remained unchanged since its inauguration on October 11, 1722, the King’s 51st birthday.
Until her death in 2000, the late Queen Mother, Queen Ingrid used Krieger's last edition, The Chancellery House (added in 1731), as her private residence. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary now use this portion of the palace as their spring and autumn home.
The grounds surrounding the palace include one of the largest historical gardens in Denmark. While the area closest to the building is reserved for the Royal Family (aptly called the Reserved Garden), it is freely open to the public during the month of July. This area also includes the Kitchen Gardens, in which fresh vegetables are grown for the household.
Prince Joachim is the younger son of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Prince Henry - he and his family live at Schackenborg Castle at Møgeltønder in South Jutland.
Countess Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg resides at Østerbro in Copenhagen with her two children, Prince Nikolai William Alexander Frederik and Prince Felix Henrik Valdemar Christian.
Count Christian of Rosenborg (a younger son of Prince Knud) and Countess Anne-Dorte presently reside at Sorgenfri Palace, a royal residence of the Danish monarch located in the Lyngby-Taarbæk municipality in Greater Copenhagen. The palace is closed to the public, but the gardens are accessible whenever the monarch is not in residence.
Part of the summer is spent by the Queen and Prince Henrik outside of Denmark at a private royal residence located in the wine district of Cahors in southern France, the Château de Cayx. The royal couple purchased the château and the estate in 1974, and they have renovated it extensively. According to the official website of the Danish monarchy, the residence has become a "relaxed setting for reunions of the entire Danish Royal Family and their French relatives".
Eremitagen, also known as the Hermitage Hunting Lodge was never intended as a residential palace, it was built to host royal banquets during hunts in Dyrehaven. Eremitagen is located in Dyrehaven north of Copenhagen, Denmark.