Thursday, 3 May 2007

Mary & Frederik: Amalienborg restoration

Billed Bladet (no. 14, 4 April 2007) has reported on the progress with the renovation and re-fit of Frederik VIIIs Palace at Amalienborg (Brockdorff’s Palace), which Frederik and Mary will move into in the summer of 2009 when - Frederik and Mary move

It is an old mansion, but when completely restored with new kitchen, new bathrooms, a roof terrace and modern art on the walls, it will be ready for Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. In the summer of 2009 Frederik and Mary will move in at Frederik VIII’s Palæ (mansion) at Amalienborg. The craftsmen are in full swing but it will take a couple of years more before the beautiful mansion is fully restored.

Then Frederik will move into the mansion which his beloved grandmother Queen Ingrid had previously lived in. Queen Ingrid move to Fredensborg and lived in the Chancellery House only at the end [of her life] when she had difficulties handling the stairs.

“The intention is that the Crown Prince Couple will live at Amalienborg a part of the year,” explained the court information chief Lis M. Frederiksen, and added, “but some of the time they will still live in Fredensborg, where there are better opportunities for outdoor activities for their children."

When the mansion in Copenhagen is finished Prince Christian will have reached kindergarten age and much points to him continuing in the integrated institution in Fredensborg, where he has started [recently]. Whether he is to be driven back and forth between Fredensborg and Amalienborg has not been determined yet. But that Christian will attend
Krebs Skole in Copenhagen, just as Frederik did, is pretty certain and then it is of course more practical to live in Copenhagen than in Northern Zealand.

Frederik VIII’s Palæ is one of the four beautiful mansions which together make up Amalienborg. It’s easy to recognise because it’s the only one with a clock on the façade. The mansion last went through a major restoration when the then Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Ingrid moved in after their wedding in 1935. Since it is more than 70 years ago since work was done on the mansion it now needs a thorough restoration. The electric installations are almost life threatening and they and the plumbing need to be repaired and updated. New floors are to be laid and additional bathrooms are to be established. On top of that, there is serious decay (rot) in the side buildings where ceilings and floors must be removed and repaired.

It will cost 105 million DKK to restore the mansion. The state pays 102 million DKK, the last three Frederik and Mary will have to pay themselves. But then they will have a home that will be very modern inside.

As something completely new, Frederik and Mary will have a large roof terrace established on top of one of the side buildings. It will be 70 square metres and is big enough for the Crown Prince Couple to have an outdoor party and barbecue evenings with friends. There will also be a brand new 900.000 DKK Italian Olis brand kitchen in the mansion. It will be a large industrial kitchen, because it must be able to cater for many. A part of the mansion will be used for representative purposes, not least for the time when Frederik becomes king some day, so there must be plenty of room for the many distinguished guests who will come.

That’s why new bathrooms will be built. There were sixteen, which will now be renovated, but there will also be four more. Twenty bathrooms may sound like a lot, but there is one for each of the many guestrooms and bath and toilet facilities is also required for the staff. Some of the most exiting things will be the decoration of the halls and rooms. Frederik and Mary have selected ten of the best young artists in Denmark to decorate their new home and the garden in the back. This is bold and shows that the Crown Prince Couple is in line with the times.

They are in regard to the furniture also. In the Chancellery House there are beautiful antique pieces of furniture in the salons which are used for official occasions, but privately Mary and Frederik live with more modern furniture, of good design and with the latest Italian lamps.

It is certain it will be a mansion that will show the official side of the DRF but which will also be a home for a modern young family. (by Annelise Weimann/Billed Bladet and kindly translated by Muhler)

Some comments:
* The state pays for maintenance of the buildings, including plumbing, electricity and major renovation work on the exterior and interior. Mary and Frederik will pay for interior furnishing and decoration. (from Muhler)
* Regulations state that each member of the staff must have two separate lockers as well as access to electricity and a stove. Staff should also have the means to shower or take a bath if the work is considered to be of a kind where people may expect to become dirty or clammy, such as cooks. This applies to all permanent workplaces or workplaces where work goes on for an extended period. (from Muhler)
Also, the current Annual Report published recently states that updating the conditions and equipment for those working at palaces and for the court has been a priority for the Lord Chamberlain's office in recent times. The aim has been to bring work practices into alignment with normal standards rather than depend on traditional notions of loyalty for the unusual working hours and conditions for workers at the court.

Frederik VIII's Palace - formerly residence of Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid and future residence of Frederik and Mary
The Chancellery House - current main residence of Frederik, Mary and children
Christian VII's Palace - Frederik and Mary currently have an apartment here for when they need to be in Copenhagen (the palace which has the balcony for royal family appearances)
Christian VIII's Palace - Frederik had an apartment here before his marriage, as did Prince Joachim and then wife Princess Alexandra and Princess Benedikte. Since Frederik moved to Christian VII's Palace, Prince Joachim has moved to a different apartment in this palace and so has Princess Benedikte.
Christian IX's Palace - named for "the father-in-law of Europe" Christian IX, this is where the Queen and Prince Henrik live for the winter. It was Christian X's palace until his death in 1906. In 1967 it was extensively restored for the successor to Frederik IX, Princess Margrethe and her new husband Prince Henrik. - architecture - features Amalienborg and many other wonderful buildings in Copenhagen and Denmark

See our previous post here when Frederik and Mary recently met with some of the artists and landscapers who will work on Frederik VIII's Palace.

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