Monday, 8 June 2009

What to see: The Crowns of Denmark

With the amendments to Denmark’s Act of Succession passed in yesterday’s referendum, this may be a good day to take a closer look at the country’s royal crowns. The King’s Crown is to the right in the photo, the Queen’s to the left.
The King’s Crown was made for King Christian V by Paul Kurtz in Copenhagen in 1670-1671 and replaced an older crown made for Christian IV. As Christian V was the first absolute monarch the Crown is called “the absolute kings’ crown” to distinguish it from “Christian IV’s crown”. It weighs 2,080 grams and is made of gold with mostly semiprecious stones. In front is a large sapphire of 144 carats which is known to have belonged to Frederik I and was supposedly a gift from the Duke of Milan to King Christian I in 1474.
The King’s Crown was used by the monarchs for their anointments until 1840 – as they were absolute monarchs they were not crowned but had themselves put on the crown before arriving at the anointment ceremony, which was normally held in Frederiksborg Palace Church in Hillerød. The last absolute King of Denmark was Christian VIII, who was anointed in 1840. Absolutism died with him in 1848 and his son, Frederik VII, the first constitutional monarch, was neither anointed nor crowned. Since then the King’s Crown has only been used at the monarchs’ lyings-in-state, when it will be placed on the coffin. Thus it was last used for the lying-in-state of King Frederik IX in 1972.
The Queen’s Crown is more recent. It was made for Queen Sophie Magdalene, consort of Christian VI, by the jeweller Frederik Fabritius in 1731. The semiprecious stones are said to come from the crown made for Queen Sophie Amalie in 1648. It was last used by Queen Caroline Amalie, the consort of Christian VIII, at their anointment in 1840. It was not used for the lying-in-state of Queen Ingrid, who in 2000 became the first queen consort in more than 200 years to lie in state.
Both crowns are now on display in the treasury of Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, but should be signed - preferably by a name, but an initial or a nick will also be accepted. Advertisements are not allowed. COMMENTS WHICH DO NOT COMPLY WITH THESE RULES WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED.