Danish Royal Family Christmas: 2003, 2004, 2006-2014, 2016-2023


If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
The pointy white hats are a little cuter when you're Oscar's size.

Also, the real candles are awesome, but make me think lawsuits must not exist in DK.

But for whatever reason it managed to survive in the Nordic and very Protestant countries.

Probably because it's so dark there right now that somebody said 'not light more candles? Are you crazy?' ;)
 
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The Lucia processions stems from a Catholic custom, I'm led to believe. But for whatever reason it managed to survive in the Nordic and very Protestant countries.

Yes its the Saint Lucy's Day of Feast of St Lucia and I didn't know it was celebrated in Denmark.

Did Queen Ingrid introduce the Swedish customs in Denmark?
 
She was a Christian martyr who was persecuted and killed in the early fourth century. She is celebrated in many Christian sects, Lutheran, Anglican and catholic. The Swedes have mixed in a little of pagan of winter solstice into their tradition which many of our traditions have. Christmas trees are one example.
Celebrations for saint Lucy are also very big in Italy
 
Since you asked, one of the forum resident Swedes obliges with a short story about our celebration of St Lucia.
The Swedish celebrations of St Lucia is a modern reinvention and blend of pagan customs and pre-reformation customs. The night between the 12th and 13th of December was believed to be one when the border between the realms of the living and of the dead was particularly weak. Therefore people stayed awake all night to be on guard against the spirits that was believed to roam outside. To be able to stay awake the night developed into a feast. The modern tradition to celebrate St Lucia has it's origins in the upper-classes of Western from where it spread around the country from the 18th century onwards. There was a widespread tradition at the male-only universities for an all male Lucia procession. The candles are said to symbolize the fire that took St Lucia's life, the red belt the blood she lost during torture and the white dress the traditional dress of Christian martyrs. The candles also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness as the night ends on the morning of the 13th and the borders against the realm of the dead have closed.
The modern processions include stjärngossar (star boys) which originates in another pre-reformation custom of priestly novices parading around town dressed as the wise men on Epiphany. It wasn't until the late 19th century that the two traditions merged. There are still Epiphany professions in Stockholms archipelago and the Swedish speaking areas of Finland.
The celebrations were widespread from the late 19th century, but didn't became a public celebration until the conformed "traditionally Swedish" customs were promoted in the early 20th century. After that it has become one of Sweden's most popular traditions.

Today many still celebrate by partying on the night between the 12th and 13th of December. On the 13th most towns, schools, big workplaces, hospitals etc have a Lucia procession and the televised celebrations are very popular. The beauty contest aspect of it is becoming increasingly rare. Not as a result of wokeness, as certain right leaning sympathisers both in Sweden and abroad try to spin, but because people in general aren't interested in entering the contests and watching them.
 
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The pointy white hats are a little cuter when you're Oscar's size.

Also, the real candles are awesome, but make me think lawsuits must not exist in DK.



Probably because it's so dark there right now that somebody said 'not light more candles? Are you crazy?' ;)

Thanks, JR76. :flowers:

There are always someone in the know here on TRF.

Even though LED candles are now very common, real candles are still much loved here. In fact DK remains the country in the world where most candles are consumed per capita.

As for lawsuits. You pretty much nailed it.

Should a girl's hair catch fire, it's pretty unlikely her parents would sue the school (typically the school).
It would be a matter for the workplace health and safety board and the girl is likely to be awarded a reimbursement.
The school is likely to get a fine. At worst the teacher/headmaster responsible would be sacked . But that's about it.
Alternatively the insurance company of the school would simply compensate the girl.

And should the parents file a civil lawsuits the compensation awarded would be nowhere near those we see in say USA. I'd say 60.000 DKK would be very generous. (About 10.000$)

Having said that I can't recall a story for many years where a girls hair or dress caught fire.
I've been told some stories of girl's hair catching fire back in the 60's, perhaps also the 70's.
One reason, I think, is that the use of hairspray for young girls was much more widespread - and concentrated! Hair that was pretty much embalmed by hairspray would of course be more likely to catch fire.

---------

Nyborg Castle in the town of Nyborg is currently being restored to some semblance of former glory.It went from being a castle guarding a vital ferry-crossing to indeed being very much an administrative and political focal point from the Renaissance and up to the introduction of Absolutism in 1660.
The reason being that the castle was fairly large and had a very central location, pretty much in the center of the realm. While also guarding the then secondary route through Danish waters.
The reason was that prior to the introduction of Absolutism, Denmark really didn't have a capital. The monarch was the government and civil administration and supreme court, encompassed in one big retinue.
And the monarch was constantly on the move throughout the kingdom, and being located where it is, Nyborg was visited very often.
It was also a natural place for political meetings to be held because everybody in the Danish realm sailed in order to go anywhere.

There were roads, but they weren't particularly good and as Denmark is full of islands and fjords and straits, you had to sail anyway.
 
Thanks Muhler. It's interesting to note that like ski jumping at Holmenkollen in Norway, Lucia candles are safer than they look. Not just the girls themselves, but it would seem to run the risk of somehow burning someone else or setting something on fire.

(And for cultural comparison, it would never, ever be allowed in modern North America. The risk would be viewed as too high and an unnecessary danger around kids. And a big risk of lawsuits.)

But since there aren't regular stories every December in Denmark of kids with terrible burns or things catching fire, it must really be fine. ?
:advent:
 
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:previous: Indeed. Some level of risk is beneficial. Without being foolhardy of course. It teaches caution
Like children in forest kindergartens routinely handling knives and tools. And of course accidents happen, but rarely more than a broken arm or a cut needing a few stitches.

BTW what do you all think of the DRF calendar this year?

I don't find it particular audience-friendly. It works on the premise that the viewer has a good knowledge about Danish history. And I'd say few have.
Last year the journey of the Nisser was more of a fairy tale. This year it's more a trip to some, not always obvious, historical locations with a vague reference to a monarch or two.
 
BTW what do you all think of the DRF calendar this year?

I don't find it particular audience-friendly. It works on the premise that the viewer has a good knowledge about Danish history. And I'd say few have.
Last year the journey of the Nisser was more of a fairy tale. This year it's more a trip to some, not always obvious, historical locations with a vague reference to a monarch or two.

I like it because it goes back to the theme of "stuff the DRF has that people may not get to see" from the original two years ago. Last year's was more of a travelogue, which can be equally unfamiliar to people not from the region. So I prefer this year.

Should we place wagers on HM showing up at the end?
 
:previous: Indeed. Some level of risk is beneficial. Without being foolhardy of course. It teaches caution
Like children in forest kindergartens routinely handling knives and tools. And of course accidents happen, but rarely more than a broken arm or a cut needing a few stitches.

BTW what do you all think of the DRF calendar this year?

I don't find it particular audience-friendly. It works on the premise that the viewer has a good knowledge about Danish history. And I'd say few have.
Last year the journey of the Nisser was more of a fairy tale. This year it's more a trip to some, not always obvious, historical locations with a vague reference to a monarch or two.

As a non-Dane I was hoping that I get a better insight into the monarch line, but even with the English translation, it is confusing to follow. Plus, it is difficult to understand what location these photos are from. I personally do not get what they are actually trying to achieve tbh. Maybe it should have been done as video shorts, with the content being spoken instead of having to be read, which the captions are super long. As a non-Dane who was hoping to get a better understanding of the progression of the monarchy, I'm disappointed. Of course, this is just my opinion and impression based on what my expectations were. Don't anticipate anyone agreeing with me. :whistling:
 
:previous: I think I'll skip that one. ;)

As I see it by tomorrow or at the latest Thursday we will reach the Reformation.
And that means we will soon visit Sønderborg Castle, where Christian II was held captive in connection with the Feud of the Count. Probably the most viscous civil wars in DK - even counting the two Schleswigan Wars.
And Reformation was introduced pretty much as a sideshow.

We may also see this painting: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...ian_II_i_fængslet_på_Sønderborg_Slot_1871.jpg

It depicts Christian II as prisoner at Sønderborg Castle. According to legend, he walked around this table during the years of his captivity and eventually carved a groove in the table with his thumb.
A fine story but unlikely. - His thumb would wear out before the table anyway. And his captivity was suitable for a man of his rank, even if he was a disposed king.

You can read about the Feud of the Count in English here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count's_Feud
 
I was reading further on Nyborg Castle and its royal associations with King Eric V and Christian III.
 
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So we went straight to Christian IV.

The undoubtedly most well known monarch among the Danes.
He reigned for 60 years, but ruled for 52, because he was a minor when he became king.
During his upbringing he was occasionally spanked as was custom back then - there was no such thing as a whipping boy in the DRF.

He was an enterprising and energetic king, actually a micromanager who worked very hard and long hours all his reign.
He was behind many if not most of the most well known and monumental buildings seen today in Copenhagen.
He certainly made his share of mistakes, dragging DK into the Thirty Year War being unquestionably the worst.

Well educated, intelligent and a devout Christian he took a very keen interest in witchcraft an interest he shared with his brother-in-law the later King James I, with whom he is known to have discussed the matter. King James I also being well educated and intelligent. - And with a fascinating personality.
As such Christian IV was the Danish king who oversaw most witch-trials in Danish history. That investigation, including torture, prosecution and eventual burning of people found guilty of witchcraft. - It wasn't only women even though they constituted the majority. (*)
He feared and was convinced that witchcraft was behind some of his accidents and failures during his reign.

He was also very much a Protestant king in the sense that from a religious perspective it was back to basics. As such he saw it as his duty to educate his people to become devout Christians and adhere to the rules and Commandments - they weren't after all expected to actually understand the theological, but no matter as long as they had faith and went to church to be told what to do...
There is no doubt that he genuinely saw it as one of his first duties to protect his people and realm from Devil and his cohorts.

- His son, Frederik III, quietly did away with witch trials and de facto ended execution of witches during his reign.

Of course being king, normal rules don't apply to you, or rather they can better be bend to suit your needs - Anyone objecting?!? Thought so!
Result having at least 25 children! And getting married to his left hand. (Which was a serious thing, involving a genuine commitment as well as legal rights for the mistress. I'll return to that if there is an interest in that concept.)

No matter what. Christian IV was a fascinating king with many facets of his personality.

(*) In Sweden they have an interesting concept of the period that can best be described as: Suicide by execution.
 
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Thank you Muhler. You're explanations are greatly appreciated! Helps to understand the chronology! I am quite curious about the "left hand" concept. Would you mind elaborating? :flowers:
 
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Thank you Muhler. You're explanations are greatly appreciated! Helps to understand the chronology! I am quite curious about the "left hand" concept. Would you mind elaborating? :flowers:

I will, tomorrow. ?

I think I'll be asked about the Swedish concept as well.
 
Today 15 December!!


"In just four weeks, Her Majesty The Queen will have occupied the Danish throne for 50 years. And during Elf Father’s Christmas journey through the Royal Lineage, the cardboard elf has often speculated about which one of the many sovereigns has occupied the throne for the longest time."

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXflTX8Aamp/

https://www.kongehuset.dk/julekalender-2021/15-december

I like the reminder of how Christmas was definitely not always a family-friendly holiday, which is why the Puritans banned it in the UK and the US! But I didn't know Christian was first.
 
Today 16 December!!


"An elf made of cardboard weighs precisely three grams. So, when Elf Father meets up with three large silver lions weighing 130 kilos, it may well be that he feels like David standing in front of Goliath. Luckily, the little elf isn’t in a duel; to the contrary, he’s on a peaceful – but really important – Christmas mission, which today puts him in pursuit of King Frederik III.
“The three lions that stand and keep watch over the throne in the Knights’ Hall here at Rosenborg Castle – Frederik III had them made after he, with his adroitness, got the elective monarchy abolished in favor of hereditary, absolute rule,” says the Christmas Angel."

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXiKDKRAWal/


https://www.kongehuset.dk/julekalender-2021/16-december
 
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Does the Royal Family of Denmark often release Christmas cards?
 
So it's the Crown Jewels tomorrow.
They are stored in the cellar of Rosenborg, well protected by the Guards Battalion, that have their barracks at Rosenborg as well.

Does the Royal Family of Denmark often release Christmas cards?

I don't think the DRF release their Christmas Cards, instead someone else is showing them to the press. After all the DRF send out a multitude of Christmas Cards each year - to both friends, heads of organizations, all sorts of associates and so on.

Married to the left hand.

This not only applied to royals, monarchs in particular, but also senior nobles at times. But let's focus on monarchs and how it worked in DK.

A monarch married for political reasons and to secure the dynasty, not for love. Nothing new in that.
So it was common, but also looked at with approval that the king took a mistress. Good for his health and mental well being and the queen might not always be around physically, or she was pregnant, whatever.
In fact not having mistresses was looked with some concern - might something be wrong? Was the royal toolkit broken? Royals were the center of gossip then as now.

It happened from time to time that the king fell in love, these things happen and that might last a while.
But sometimes the love-affair was genuine and mutual and long-lasting. As happened with Christian IV.
And very natural with someone he genuinely loved, Christian IV didn't want to hide his mistress away. He loved her and wanted to show that openly and have children with her and ensure she was treated with proper respect.
And of course the mistress was interested in being recognized, having a status, that her children had a status and were protected - and not least that she had a future...
So in comes the concept of being married to the left hand.

Divorcing the queen was completely out of the question. That went against the marriage wows and were politically most unsound.
But marrying the mistress, now there's a solution!

Of course it couldn't be a fully fledged church wedding as with the Queen, because that would be bigamy.
But instead it was an official union with the blessing of the church.

In practice that meant that the mistress was from now on the king's wife in anything but name - unless the queen was present.
It means that the king had the obligations towards his mistress as if he was married to her. She was to be treated as his wife and accorded the same respect by the king as if she was his true wife.
It also meant that the mistress became the official consort of the king, which means that everybody was obliged to show her the respect as befits a wife of a king.
She walked beside the king, as a wife would do. She openly shared a bedroom with him and any children they had, were legitimate and offered a station and income in life befitting their status.
In DK that traditionally meant that the children were given the surname of Gyldenløve (Golden Lion) and while not being royal, they were off royal blood and usually given a manor somewhere or a solid job for life in the civil service or offered a good marriage.
The mistress had official rights. The king could not just kick her out - he had after all married her! They could live separately, but they were still husband and wife.
And upon the death of the king, she was allowed to keep whatever gifts she had been given and whatever she owned. (The State Council and the rest of the DRF would object against her owning too much though.) And that meant that she was typically given a mansion somewhere in the other part of the realm and a handsome pension, so that she would live the rest of her life in comfort.

That didn't mean that the queen and the mistress were bosom friends! But the queen had to tolerate the situation, because the well-being of the king had priority. It happened though that they did become if not friends, then at least worked together on keeping the king happy and looking after him.

Of course such a mistress had considerable political influence. She had more than anyone else the kings ear - but the wise mistresses pretended not to know about politics and stayed clear of that. There was such an example in the early 1700s and even though the queen couldn't stand the sight of her, she was properly rewarded after the death of the king, for having been so politically tactful.

As for the children. They were legitimate. They were given a name and secured an income for life. But they were to stay clear of politics and court intrigues! No pretensions here. No big ambitions.

So being married to the left hand was a serious matter.

Basically you could divide the king's mistresses into five categories:

One night stands: Typically a maid or someone whom the king fancied and were attracted to sexually. - A relief of sexual tension so to speak. And no one cared one bit about that.
Any children were rarely recognized, if even known about.

A short term fling: That could last a couple of weeks to a couple of months. That was seen as a healthy and beneficial distraction for the king.
After the affair was over, the woman was often given a handsome sum and that's it. Children were typically not recognized.
People at court would know about her, but she would have no position at court, other than whatever title she might have herself.
If the king died suddenly, she could find herself on the streets hours later, with very limited means. (That happened to a mistress of a French king.)

A mistress: Typically a longer affair lasting months to years.
Children were sometime recognized and at least they were known about.
When the affair fizzled out the women was given a good sum or a farm somewhere or a suitable and solid marriage was arranged for her.
Often the relationship would remain on good terms afterwards.
The mistress had no official position at court even though she may have had some temporary influence with the king.
Typically such a women had at least some breeding and education. She was after all to entertain a well educated man privately over an extended period. So an illiterate maid, who knew nothing about the world, would hardly keep the interest of the king for long.

An official mistress: Typically a long lasting love-affair, sometimes lasting years. Children were usually recognized and often given a name (these names varied from king to king BTW. Christian IV gave his children the name Gyldenløve.) and also looked after.
Now the mistress had a position at court. She was official and being a dear favorite of the king not someone to be snubbed!
That meant she openly showed her affection for the king and made appearances with the king, but stayed in the background when the royal show was on.
She would typically be noble, often from a good family of influence. She would be well educated and she would be used to moving about in noble and royal circles.
She - and her family - would certainly expect some compensation when the affair was over.
Being of noble family, educated and having lots of personal contacts, she was a woman with a lot of influence if she chose to exercise it.
If the king died, she was expected to get lost, but whatever she owned was not taken from her. And provided she remained discreet the rest of her life, she and her family would come to no harm, on the contrary. The family was likely to retain whatever position they had at court.

- Most kings never took the step of actually marrying to their left hand, but having an official mistress was common.

So there was an elaborate system in place with rights and obligations and protection.

Things back then were very practical.
A favorite example of mine is this:
It happened that people fell out in a marriage and left each other. To live either completely separate lives or perhaps never even seeing each other again.
A man who owned an estate or farm was not supposed to remain without a wife for the rest of his life. That would be weird!
A divorce was not possible. But sometimes it was impossible to figure out whether his wife was alive or dead, or she had moved in with someone else or she simply refused to respond let alone return.
So it often happened that the man fell in love or someone moved in with him - or perhaps his affair had been the reason for his wife leaving. (In some sinister cases the wife was perhaps "disappeared".)
Well, Old Danish Law had the solution:
If a woman held the keys to a house for three years, she would be given the same rights as if she was married to the man who owned the house.
The keys being the old symbol of her being in charge of the household. A married woman always wore the keys to her house openly as a symbol of her status.
That was the case at least well into the 1800's here in DK. In some rural places probably well into the 1900's.

If the real wife turned up later, tough luck. She could not move in again or claim her rights as wife.

- If a husband left his wife or vanished a whole system was in place to deal with that, but that's for another post.
 
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Today 17 December!

"Deep down in Rosenborg Castle’s cellar behind numerous iron doors and security systems, Elf Father and the Christmas Angel have creeped in to see the regalia and the crown jewels – and, if you didn’t know better, you might think that the two cardboard creatures were inspired by the Olsen Gang. But the elf and the angel are not out to steal anything – on the contrary, they just want to get wiser about the kings during the time of absolute monarchy. And Rosenborg Castle’s Treasury is the best place to get cracking on the task."

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXku3GRDNiT/

https://www.kongehuset.dk/julekalender-2021/17-december
 
I have always loved those three silver lions. And those gold Soldiers look fantastic. Haven't seen them before. Great photos.
 
Wonderful and what a treat to see the Danish regalia from Rosenborg Castle treasury.
 
To me that suggests that we will be looking at The Great Nordic War and the building of Fredensborg.

So the Military Museum and/or Fredensborg coming up in the post tomorrow.
 
Today 18 December!

"The little Elf Family has held a crisis meeting since yesterday, when the Christmas Angel was mistaken for a piece of Christmas decoration and put in a box and carried away. Where to, Elf Father doesn’t know, but he fears that the angel has been thrown out or maybe used as fire fuel. “Because it’s so cold in December, you know,” Elf Father says, and sighs deeply."

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXndU2DAeFB/

https://www.kongehuset.dk/julekalender-2021/18-december

Today 19 December!!

"Now that the Christmas Angel has vanished, Elf Father has been compelled to change his methods and cope with the rest of the journey through the Royal Lineage himself. Mind you, before Christmas Eve, because there are only five days left until 24 December. So, there’s no time to waste, since Elf Father still needs to get a number of monarchs in order in his mind before he can find the red thread stretching from King Gorm the Old to Her Majesty The Queen."

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXqAAi_jiAy/

https://www.kongehuset.dk/julekalender-2021/19-december

Today 20 December!


"Strictly speaking, an out-and-out Royal House elf ought to know everything to the hat-tips about the Danish Royal Lineage. But when you’re named Elf Father and have Christmas as a hobby, it easily goes beyond your line of work, which primarily consists of keeping track of the many sovereigns in Denmark’s history. But, yesterday, the lack of fingertip knowledge resulted in a touch of panic when the elves found out that the Oldenburg royal line died out with Frederik VII. Because how, then, can you make headway on a journey through the Royal Lineage?"

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXsb75RD4C3/


https://www.kongehuset.dk/julekalender-2021/20-december

Today 21 December!


"It’s well-known that a Royal House elf sleeps 11 months of the year, and, because of that, 100 years doesn’t feel like all that much time in the grand scheme of things. Therefore, Elf Father feels like he’s on safer ground when he starts the final sprint of the Christmas journey. That’s because he and the elves have celebrated Christmas many times with the next sovereigns in line – though in secret, of course. But, with Christmas lights in his eyes, he remembers back on the many Christmas Eves he has spent in the candle glow from both Frederik VIII and Queen Lovisa’s Christmas trees and, later, Christian X and Queen Alexandrine’s Christmas trees."

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXvBZsNjw_5/

https://www.kongehuset.dk/julekalender-2021/21-december
 
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Or perhaps it's QMII they meet inside the office, who invites them with her to Marselisborg?
She should depart by train today or tomorrow.

But somehow I can't see them skip Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid.
 
Or perhaps it's QMII they meet inside the office, who invites them with her to Marselisborg?
She should depart by train today or tomorrow.

But somehow I can't see them skip Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid.

Maybe she wants to talk to them about her parents? It's hard to imagine who else they'd be curtseying to as part of the red thread unless it's 'surprise' Benedikte, or something.
 
I'd never seen that last photo of Christian X and Queen Alexandrine from1903.
 
Today 22 December!!


"It’s not every day that two small elves made of cardboard, paste and a little finger dexterity stand face to face with an out-and-out legendary prince. But that’s the case at this moment, when Elf Father and Elf Mother have bumped into Holger Danske – also known as Ogier the Dane – who sits enthroned behind Christian X’s desk. The bronze statue from 1896 was a wedding gift to the future king and his wife, Princess Alexandrine, and, at the same time, it’s one of the original statues later made in a larger version for Kronborg Castle’s casemates."

https://www.instagram.com/p/CXxmGQPqSYN/

https://www.kongehuset.dk/julekalender-2021/22-december
 
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