Copenhagen: Amalienborg & Christiansborg Palaces

Today’s post is in honour of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, who is celebrating her 75th birthday!

As you may or may not know, the Danish Royal Family is one of my two favourite royal families in Europe (the other being the British Royal Family). My interest in the DRF began when I found out that the current Countess of Frederiksborg (former wife of Prince Joachim), Alexandra, was also mixed and had married into the royal family. Since then, I became interested in the rest of the family so naturally, I wanted to visit the palaces during my short excursion to Copenhagen, Denmark on 20 May 2009.

Amalienborg

Christian IX Palace

The Amalienborg Palace (Amalienborg Slotsplads 5) is the winter residence of the DRF. It comprises four rococo palaces that had formerly been town mansions for different noble families:

Tickets: Adult (DKK 70) | Student (DKK 50)

Was the DRF in residence?

There are usually two indicators to signify if the Queen or members of the royal family are in residence.

  1. The drum and flag by a Royal Life Guard indicates that the Queen is in residence.
  2. If there is a flag flying over the palace, the family members are in residence.

From the palaces I saw, I know that none of the DRF were in residence. By then, the DRF must have already moved to one of their summer residences, Marselisborg or Gråsten. (Prince Henrik would have been 2 weeks old.) What confuses me, however, is that there was a flag flying over the Frederick VIII Palace but we know that CP Frederik & Mary did not live in that palace until 2010. Perhaps someone can explain to me why there was a flag over that palace in May 2009.

Top: Frederik VIII Palace

Although the Christian VII Palace would have been opened to the public, I can’t remember why I did not have a tour inside. All I have are photos of the Christian VII Palace (not included in this post), Frederik VIII Palace, and Christian IX Palace.

The general uniform of the Royal Life Guards is dark blue (since 1848). Red is worn for special occasions (since 1660).

Christiansborg

The current Christiansborg Palace (Prins Jørgens Gård 5) is a Neo-Baroque style building and the third Christiansborg Palace. (After a fire in the first palace had rendered the DRF homeless in 1794, the DRF acquired Amalienborg and moved in. A second palace was completed in 1828 but burnt down in 1884.) It currently houses the the Danish Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Supreme Court, and of course, the the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel, and the Royal Stables. The Royal Reception Rooms are still used for official royal functions.

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10-17:00 from October to April (see specific opening hours here)

Tickets: Adult DKK 80 | Student DKK 70

As I mentioned earlier, it was May when I visited but somehow the Palace was open to the public then. Given the limited time I had, I opted to visit the Royal Reception Rooms only. I had a self-guided tour (but guided tours are included in the ticket price) and couldn’t have spent more than half an hour in the palace due to limited time. I don’t recall having the time to wander through very many rooms. Nevertheless, the short visit allowed me to experience what many guests and royals may (or may not) have felt when walking up the Kongetrappen (King’s Stairway – photo 1 & 2) and walking into the Great Hall (photo 1 & 2). (Who knows, maybe I twirled myself in the ballroom. I don’t think anyone saw me.) Although photographing for private use is allowed, I did not take any photos of the interiors. I assume it was either not allowed back then or I did not think of taking any.

One of these days, maybe I’ll have a chance to visit Copenhagen again so that I can tour more royal rooms. 🙂

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