Last Christmas I was able to publish an article in Aften (external link) where I revealed that King Oscar I had in fact stayed at Oscarshall Palace in Oslo, contrary to the oft-repeated myth that no-one has ever stayed there, at least not for more than a single night.
In the latest issue of Oslo Museum – the City Museum’s periodical Byminner (no 3-2010), which is out this week, I have another article (external link) on the issue which provides more details based on further research, including Swedish sources and an old newspaper article which a reader of this blog kindly tipped me off about.
In this new article I can show that King Oscar I stayed at Oscarshall from 31 July to 30 August 1855 and give details about what he did almost from day to day. There were several dinners, a torch-light procession, political discussions as well as a gala performance at Christiania Theatre marking the inauguration of the new palace.
This shows that Oscarshall has generally been misinterpreted – it was not a pleasure palace simply meant for day-trips from the Royal Palace, but a summer residence which was meant to be and was lived in by the King.
However, soon after his stay at Oscarshall in 1855, Oscar I’s health deteriorated to the extent that he never again left the Stockholm area before his death in 1859 and he was thus not afforded any further chances to stay at the new palace of which he was so proud. I have not yet been able to find out if his son Carl XV every stayed there, but certain things indicate that he might have done so, and as late as in the 1870s Oscar II looked upon Oscarshall as a potential summer retreat.
Despite what I wrote last December the myth about the single night was repeated no less than four times in a generally badly research documentary broadcast on NRK1 on 2 May this year (and to be reprised tomorrow). Hopefully this new article can put a definitive end to that unfounded myth.