Drottningholm Palace

by Scott Mehl

photo: © Susan Flantzer

photo: © Susan Flantzer

Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace, on the island Lovön in the lake Mälaren, is the residence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.  The island originally contained a royal estate called Torvesund, in the time of King Gustav Vasa. His son, later King Johan III, built a stone palace for his wife, Catherine Jaggelon, in 1579 and named it Drottningholm. After her death, the King only used Drottningholm occasionally, and it was later owned by several other Swedish Queens. In 1650, it was purchased by Magnus De la Gardie, a prominent Swedish statesman and brother-in-law of King Carl X Gustav. He, in turn, sold it Queen Hedvig Eleonora in 1661 but the castle was destroyed by fire later the same year. Queen Hedvig Eleonora engaged famed Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder (and later his son) to rebuild the palace in the design that we know today. For the next hundred years, it served as a regular royal residence for successive sovereigns. In 1744, it was given to the future Queen Louisa Ulrika when she married the future King Adolf Fredrik. The couple resided through through their reign, and a few years after her husband’s death, Louisa Ulrika sold the palace to the Swedish state.

The palace was used less often over the next years, and was empty for much of the 19th century. In 1846, King Oscar I began making repairs to the palace which was in danger of being torn down. His son, Oscar II continued with repairs. It was Oscar II’s son, King Gustav V, who in 1907 began a massive renovation project of the palace, which would take four years. Gustav V is credited with restoring the palace to its former glory, having removed much of the more ‘modern’ style put in place by his father and grandfather. By 1911, the palace had returned to royal use and has remained a royal residence ever since. In 1981, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia moved from their apartments in the Royal Palace of Stockholm and made Drottningholm their primary residence, living in the southern wing of the palace.

In 1991, The Royal Domain of Drottningholm – including the palace, outbuildings and grounds – was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the first such site in Sweden.

The main block of the palace is flanked by two large wings, which surround inner courtyards. The southern wing contains the private residence of The King and Queen, and is not open to the public.

Some of the notable rooms in the palace are:

Hedwig Eleonora’s State Bedchamber, 1966.  source: Wikipedia

Hedvig Eleonora’s State Bedchamber is located on the first floor of the palace, and formed the main room of the State Rooms at the time. Despite it’s name, Hedvig Eleonora never actually used the room, instead living in more private rooms in the southern wing of the palace.

The Ehrenstrhal Salon, 1966. source: Wikipedia

The Ehrenstrahl Salon was previously known as the Large Audience Room, and is situated right next to Hedvig Eleonora’s State Bedchamber. It takes its name from the artist David Ehrenstrahl, who painted six large murals for the room which depict important events in the history of the royal family. More of his work also adorns the ceiling in the room.

The Palace Library. source: Wikipedia, Holger.Ellgaard

The Palace Library is found in the northern wing of the palace, overlooking the gardens. Originally a picture gallery, it was converted to a library by Queen Hedvig Eleonora in 1760, to house her extensive collection of books.

Carl X Gustav Gallery. source: Wikipedia

Carl X Gustav Gallery, on the first floor of the palace, was designed by Queen Hedvig Eleonora as a tribute to her late husband, King Carl X Gustav. The gallery contains paintings depicting the King’s military career.

Carl XI Gallery. source: Wikipedia, Holger.Ellgaard

On the second floor, directly above the Carl X Gustav Gallery is the Carl XI Gallery. This gallery contains paintings illustrating the military career of King Carl XI which were completed in 1695.

The Stone Hall, c1899. source: Wikipedia

The Stone Hall was originally Hedvig Eleonora’s dining room, and takes its name from the stone floor. Today, it is part of the Royal Family’s private apartments, and has occasionally been seen in personal photos released by the royal family for Christmas and birthday celebrations.

The State Hall. source: Wikipedia, Holger.Ellgaard

Directly above the Stone Hall is the Hall of State. It has often been called the Contemporary Hall, after the large portraits of other European sovereigns from the time of King Oscar I. Queen Josefina had arranged for many of these portraits to be painted and upon receiving them, gave them all to the Swedish state. Today the room is used primarily for official functions.

The Porcelain Room. source: Wikipedia, Holger.Ellgaard

The Porcelain Room was designed by King Oscar II to display his large collection of faience from the 1700s. The room was completed in 1897, as a gift to the King from the palace staff.

The Palace Church (Slottskyrkan), 2011. source: Wikipedia, ArildV

The Palace Chapel is on the northern end of the palace, and serves as the Lovö parish church. Construction began in 1696 and was completed in 1728. After several renovations, the church reopened in 1746 and has been in continuous use ever since. It has also been the site of many christenings, most recently that of Princess Leonore, the daughter of Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill, in 2014.

The Palace Grounds

Just next to the southern wing of the palace is the Lake Wing (Sjoflygeln), which was the residence of Crown Princess Victoria prior to her marriage. Prince Daniel also lived at Drottningholm prior to marrying Victoria. He rented an apartment in the Page Building (Pagebyggnaden), just meters from Victoria’s home.

The Baroque Gardens. source: Wikipedia, Hedwig Storch

The palace grounds include a stunning baroque garden on the western side of the palace, developed under Queen Hedvig Eleonora in the late 1600s. These gardens feature numerous sculptures and statues, along with several fountains and water features.

The English Gardens. source: Wikipedia, Holger.Ellgaard

Just north of the Baroque Gardens, King Gustav III designed a large area of the park as an English garden, with two ponds, bridges and walking paths. The English Gardens feature many statues collected by King Gustav III from Italy.

Other buildings on the grounds of Drottningholm Palace include:

The Palace Theatre. photo: © Susan Flantzer

The Palace Theatre. photo: © Susan Flantzer

Located just north of the palace is the Drottningholm Palace Theatre. The current theatre was built at the direction of Queen Hedvig Eleonora, to replace the previous building which had been destroyed by fire in 1762. It formally opened in 1766. It was used extensively by King Gustav III, but was then closed after his assassination. For many years it was used only occasionally, and began to fall into disrepair. The theatre underwent a complete restoration and formally re-opened in 1922, and is now managed by a private foundation.

In front of the theatre is the Theatre Square, which is flanked by four pavilions. These contain private apartments as well as the Theatre gift shop.

The Chinese Pavilion. photo: © Susan Flantzer

The Chinese Pavilion. photo: © Susan Flantzer

The Chinese Pavilion was originally built as a surprise birthday gift for Queen Louisa Ulrika in 1753. Unfortunately, the hastily constructed building could not stand up to the harsh Swedish weather. By 1763, it was deemed necessary to take the building down and rebuild it. The current structure was completed in 1769, and is surrounded by several pavilions which served as additional rooms.

The Guards Tent. photo: © Susan Flantzer

The Guards Tent. photo: © Susan Flantzer

Near the Chinese Pavilion is the Guards Tent, which was built in 1781-1782 to accommodate the Chinese Pavilion Guards. It was later used for storage for many years, and after a major renovation in the 1990s, serves as an exhibition space and part of the palace tours.

Interior of the Museum de Vries. source: WIkipedia, Bengt Oberger

The Museum de Vries is a collection of statues by the artist Adriaen de Vries. In addition to those in the museum, several of his works are featured in the Baroque Gardens. The museum is housed in the Dragon Stables, formerly the stables for the Life Regiment Dragoons. It was later used to house around 250 sheep, which were used to maintain the grounds of the palace until the 1950s. For the next 40 years it was used by the Royal Collection, and since 2001 has held the Museum de Vries.

Evert Lundquist’s Studio. source: Wikipedia, Holger.Ellgaard

Located at the southern end of the palace grounds is Evert Lundquist’s Studio Museum. Mr. Lundquist was a painter and graphic artist who used this building as his studio from 1953 until 1990. Per the artist’s wishes, the studio was opened as a museum in 1993 and remains a popular site in the palace grounds. Artwork by Mr. Lundquist and his wife (artist Ebba Reutercrona) and their two sons are showcased.

Learn more about the other Swedish Royal Residences here!

July 6: Today in Royal History

Sophie of Sweden, Grand Duchess of Baden. Photo credit: Wikipedia

July 6, 1189 – Death of King Henry II of England at Chateau Chinon, in Chinon, France, buried at Fontevrault Abbey near Chinon, France
Wikipedia: Henry II of England

July 6, 1249 – Death of King Alexander II of Scotland at the Isle of Kerrera in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland, buried at Melrose Abbey in Melrose, Scotland
Wikipedia: Alexander II of Scotland

July 6, 1483 – Coronation of King Richard III of England
Richard’s wife Lady Anne Neville was crowned with him.
Unofficial Royalty: Richard III of England

July 6, 1553 – Death of King Edward VI of England at Greenwich Palace in London, England, buried at Westminster Abbey
Wikipedia: Edward VI of England

July 6, 1598 – Birth of Kirsten Munk, morganatic second wife of King Christian IV of Denmark
Wikipedia: Kirsten Munk

July 6, 1724 – Birth of Johann Nepomuk Karl, Prince of Liechtenstein
Wikipedia: Johann Nepomuk Karl, Prince of Liechtenstein

July 6, 1796 – Birth of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia at Gatchina Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia
Wikipedia: Nicholas I of Russia

July 6, 1865 – Death of Sophie of Sweden, Grand Duchess of Baden
Unofficial Royalty: Sophie of Sweden, Grand Duchess of Baden

July 6, 1868 – Birth of Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom, daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, at Marlborough House in London, England
Full name: Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom

July 6, 1893 – Wedding of George, Duke of York (later King George V of the United Kingdom) and Mary of Teck, at the Chapel Royal, St. James Palace in London, England
Unofficial Royalty: Wedding of King George V and Princess May of Teck
Unofficial Royalty: George V of the United Kingdom
Unofficial Royalty: Mary of Teck

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge’s godparents

george and charlotte

Photo www.dukeandduchessofcambridge.org

  • The Hon. Laura Fellowes, daughter of Lady Jane Spencer and Robert, Baron Fellowes and therefore Prince William’s first cousin
  • Adam Middleton, Kate’s first cousin
  • James Meade, friend of Prince William, delivered a joint best man’s speech at William and Kate’s wedding
  • Thomas van Straubenzee, friend of Prince William, delivered a joint best man’s speech at William and Kate’s wedding
  • Sophie Carter, an ex-girlfriend of Thomas van Straubenzee, friend of William and Kate

Prince of Wales: The Christening of Princess Charlotte – Guests and Godparents
Prince of Wales: Media information pack for the christening of Princess Charlotte

Royal News: Sunday 5 July 2015

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Denmark

Multiple Monarchies

Thailand

Tonga

United Kingdom

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.

Royal Birthdays & Anniversaries: July 5 -11

See list below for those in the photo, Photo Credit – orderofsplendor.blogspot.com

Seated: Princess Alice of Albany, Countess of Athlone (daughter of Prince Leopold, Queen Victoria’s youngest son); Duchess of Gloucester; Queen Mother; member of Birgitte’s family
Standing: Prince Michael of Kent; Princess Margaret; Prince of Wales; Prince Richard of Gloucester; Birgitte van Deurs; Prince William of Gloucester; members of Birgitte’s family
The groom’s father was still alive, but was too ill to attend the wedding.

43rd wedding anniversary of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Birgitte van Deurs; married at St. Andrew Church in Barnwell, Northampton, England on July 8, 1972
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Unofficial Royalty: Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester

**********************************************************************

 

16th wedding anniversary of Princess Alexia of Greece and Carlos Morales Quintana; married at St. Sophia Cathedral in London, England on July 9, 1999
Wikipedia: Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark
Wikipedia: Carlos Morales Quintana

**********************************************************************

Princess Takamodo of Japan, Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

62nd birthday of Hisako Tottori, widow of Prince Takamado of Japan; born in Tokyo, Japan on July 10, 1953
Wikipedia: Princess Takamodo

**********************************************************************

Princess Alexia of Greece; Photo Credit – www.zimbio.com

50th birthday of Princess Alexia of Greece, daughter of King Constantine II of Greece; born at Mon Repos, Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece on July 10, 1965
Wikipedia: Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark

July 5: Today in Royal History

Maria Pia of Savoy, wife of King Luís I of Portugal; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

July 5, 1321 – Birth of Joan of the Tower, daughter of King Edward II of England, at the Tower of London
Wikipedia: Joan of the Tower

July 5, 1717 – Birth of King Pedro III of Portugal
The younger son of King João V of Portugal, Pedro co-reigned with his wife and niece Queen Maria I.
Wikipedia: Pedro III of Portugal

July 5, 1866 – Wedding of Princess Helena of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein at the Private Chapel, Windsor Castle
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Helena of the United Kingdom
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein

July 5, 1911 – Death of Maria Pia of Savoy, wife of King Luís I of Portugal, in Turin, Italy; buried at the Basilica of Superga near Turin, Italy
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Pia of Savoy

Happy Fourth of July!

july-4th-13-happy-fourth-of-july-facebook-timeline-cover

Credit – http://happy4thofjulyz.com/

Happy Fourth of July to those in the USA! Three current royals were born on the Fourth of July: Queen Sonja of Norway, Prince Michael of Kent, and Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand.  Prince Michael of Kent has a very special godfather because of his birth on Independence Day. Read about it at Unofficial Royalty: Born on the Fourth of July.

Royal News: Saturday 4 July 2015

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Denmark

Greece

Japan

Saudi Arabia

Spain

United Kingdom

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.

July 4: Today in Royal History

King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

June/July 4, 1394 – Death of Mary de Bohun, first wife of King Henry IV of England, at Peterborough Castle; buried at St Mary of the Annunciation in The Newarke which was destroyed under the Dissolution of the Chantries Act of Edward VI
Mary died while delivering her daughter Philippa, the second daughter and seventh and youngest child of Henry IV and his first wife Mary de Bohun.
Wikipedia: Mary de Bohn

Note from Susan: There is much confusion about the date of Mary’s death and the place of her burial. Many sources say she was buried at St Mary de Castro in Leicester. I emailed Virginia Wright, the Historical and Heritage Adviser at St Mary de Castro and here is what she said:

“Mary de Bohun was buried at St Mary of the Annunciation in The Newarke, not at St Mary de Castro.  St Mary of the Annunciation was a Collegiate church, built as part of the religious enclave of The Newarke by the Earls and Dukes of Lancaster and was destroyed in the mid 16th century under the Dissolution of the Chantries Act of Edward VI. Parish registers were not compulsory until the late 16th century and no ‘day books’ or similar survive.  St Mary de Castro was built as the chapel for Leicester Castle and later a parish church was added as a south aisle; today it is one combined church. There is a lot of confusion about the two churches. There is also a lot of confusion about what happened to the tomb of Mary de Bohun.”

I asked historical fiction writer Susan Higginbotham to check a source and here is what she said: “According to Ian Mortimer in “The Fears of Henry IV,” the death date is disputed. He thinks that June 4 is more probable than July 4, given the evidence that Mary was buried on July 6. He concludes that all that is certain is that she died in June or very early July 1394.”

July 4, 1394 – Birth of Philippa of England, daughter of King Henry IV of England, at Peterborough Castle in England
Philippa was the second daughter and seventh and youngest child of Henry IV and his first wife Mary de Bohun who died giving birth to Philippa.  She married King Eric VII of Denmark at age 12.  Twenty-three years later, Philippa delivered a stillborn child and never fully recovered her health.  She retired to a convent and died shortly thereafter.
Wikipedia: Philippa of England

July 4, 1666 – Birth of Charles, Duke of Kendal, son of King James II of England, at St. James Palace in London, England
Charles was the third son and fifth child of James, Duke of York (later James II) and his first wife Anne Hyde.  He died at St. James’ Palace at age ten months and was buried at Westminster Abbey.
Wikipedia: Charles, Duke of Kendal

July 4, 1799 – Birth of King Oscar I of Sweden and Norway in Paris, France
Born Joseph Francois Oscar Bernadotte
Unofficial Royalty: Oscar I of Sweden

July 4, 1918 – Birth of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga at the Royal Palace in Nukuʻalofa, Tonga
The king died in 2006 and was succeeded by his son George Tupou V who died in 2012.
Wikipedia: Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga

July 4, 1937 – Birth of Sonja Haraldsen, wife of King Harald V of Norway in Oslo, Norway
Unofficial Royalty: Sonja Haraldsen

July 4, 1942 – Birth of Prince Michael of Kent at Coppins in Iver, Buckinghamsire, England
Full name: Michael George Charles Franklin
Michael was born 6 weeks before the death of his father on active duty during World War II. Since he was born on American Independence Day, President Franklin Roosevelt was one of his godparents.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Michael of Kent

July 4, 1957 – Birth of Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand, daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Chulabhorn of Thailand

Royal News: Friday 3 July 2015

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Greece

Multiple Monarchies

Saudi Arabia

Tonga

United Kingdom

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.