Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Copenhagen - Amalienborg Palace & Changing of Royal Guard

Date of visit: 15th October 2015

Witnessing changing of royal guard at Amalienborg Palace was the last itinerary that we had with Jacob. It was nearing 2pm. Jacob was showing us where to watch the short ceremony was taking place and later took us around the palace surrounding and towards the palace garden, located next to the harbour. From thereon, we saw how the naval city once developed from what they were before and what they are now. We parted at the garden where everyone came to shake hand with him one by one and parted while wishing each other the best in life.

Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen is a winter home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical classical palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard. In the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V. Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families, before the royal family who bought the palaces moved in shortly after the Christiansborg Palace was burned on 26 February 1794. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in that four different palaces.

The palace is located in Frederiksstaden district. The first palace was called Sophie Amalienborg, built by Queen Sophie Amalie, consort to Frederick III on part of the land which King Christian IV had acquired. Other parts of the land were used for Rosenborg Castle, Nyboder, and the new Eastern fortified wall around the old city. It has included a garden, as a replacement for an earlier garden which had been destroyed under siege from Sweden in 1659, namely “the Queen’s Garden”, which was located beyond the city's western Gate Vesterport, an area today known as Vesterbro. The royal family had a hall on an upper floor of the palace to dine while watching the gardens and the harbour.

Amalienborg Queen's Garden & the Harbour
Art piece at the Amalie Garden

Amalienborg is the centrepiece of Frederiksstaden, a district that was built by King Frederick V to commemorate in 1748 the tercentenary of the Oldenburg family's ascent to the throne of Denmark, and in 1749 the tercentenary of the coronation of Christian I of Denmark. When the Royal Family found itself homeless after the Christiansborg Palace fire of 1794, the palaces were empty for long periods throughout the year, with the exception of the Brockdorff Palace, which housed the Naval Academy. The noblemen who owned them were willing to part with their mansions for promotion and money, and the Moltke and Schack Palaces were acquired in the course of a few days. Since that date successive royal family members have lived at Amalienborg as a royal residence and kings have lent their names to the four palaces; Christian VII's Palace, Christian VIII's Palace, Frederick VIII's Palace and Christian IX's Palace.

Amalienborg is guarded day and night by Royal Life Guards. Their full dress uniform is fairly similar to that of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army; a scarlet tunic, blue trousers, and a navy bearskin cap. The guard march from Rosenborg Castle at 11.30 am daily through the streets of Copenhagen and execute the changing of the guard in front of Amalienborg at noon. In addition, post replacement is conducted every two hours.

When the monarch is in residence, the King's Guard also march alongside the changing of the guard at noon, accompanied by a band that plays traditional military marches. The Guard Lieutenant is always alerted when Prince Henrik or another member of the royal family are reigning in absence of the Queen. There are three types of watches; King's Watch, Lieutenant Watch and Palace Watch. A King's Watch is when Her Majesty the Queen takes up residence in Christian IX's Palace. A Lieutenant Watch is when Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Joachim, or Princess Benedikte, takes the place as regent, when the monarch is unable to. A Palace Watch is when no member of the royal family is in the palace, and it is the smallest one.

The Equestrian statue of Frederick V

The equestrian statue of Frederick V was a meticulous work of sculptor Jacques François Joseph Saly. It is located at the centre of the Amalienborg Palace Square. The equestrian statue of King Frederik V was commissioned by Moltke, as Director for the Danish Asiatic Company, and it was made by French sculptor Jacques-Francois-Joseph Saly. Work began in 1753, and the foundation stone was laid in place in 1760 at the 100 year celebration of political absolutism in Denmark. The statue was finally unveiled in 1771, five years after King Frederik V's death in 1766.

Source of info: Wikipedia
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