Monday 31 July 2006

Gråsten Palace

Tomorrow there will be a Danish royal family gathering at Gråsten Palace so we thought we would give some background. As Danes well know Gråsten Palace was Queen Ingrid's favourite place. Queen Ingrid loved gardening and she left her mark on the gardens at Gråsten. The palace is also closely associated with Queen Ingrid because, although it belongs to the state, it was renovated as a summer residence for Crown Prince Frederik (Frederik's grandfather, later Frederik IX) and Crown Princess Ingrid when they were newlyweds. The state presented Gråsten as the gift from the people in 1935 and it has been used as a summer residence ever since. It remained Queen Ingrid's until her death in 2000 and since then it has been used by Queen Margrethe at this time of year for family gatherings. After the death of Queen Ingrid November 7, 2000, Queen Margrethe gathered most of Queen Ingrid's descendants in the place which was so strongly identified with her for a special family Christmas.

The interesting thing about this castle is the assumption (stated by the Queen in 2004) that Frederik and Mary will take it on as their summer residence. They have received wedding gifts specifically for the castle, such as the county Sønderborg gift of a tennis pavilion to Frederik and Mary last year.

The garden was designed by Queen Ingrid and now has tens of thousands of flowers and plants which are cared for today by a large staff and the Royal University of Agriculture. This is a link to Her Majesty Queen Ingrid's Herbarium (it is in Danish though).

So, from Tuesday to Friday of this week many members of the family will be at Gråsten. Queen Ingrid enjoyed the company of her daughters, their husbands and all her grandchildren at Gråsten every year, but since her death some of the family have dropped away (for example, some of the Greek side of the family). Some reports have it that 50 family members will be present, while other reports have said far fewer than that.

We will have to wait and see. We do know that Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik have been there since July 21, and so has Princess Benedikte. Frederik, Mary and Christian will join them tomorrow.

Billed Bladet no. 29 has a feature about the gathering, headlined 'Christian to meet the whole family'. Billed Bladet suggests there will be many cousins and their children, so many, many little ones once again running around at Gråsten. There are many paragraphs about all the Greek side of the family being present, some Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg's and Joachim with Felix and Nikolai. We will have to see if everyone is free to go to Gråsten, as while it would be a great family moment, it is not at all clear that everyone can be present. So, we wait and see.

Gråsten Palace and Palace Gardens (in English)
Gråsten Gardens (in English)

At Gråsten Palace in 2004:

At Gråsten Palace in 2005 (Frederik and Mary receive the gift of the tennis pavilion):

Photos of the palace, the chapel and the gardens. On the maps you can see Sønderborg/Gråston south near the German border:

Queen Ingrid at Gråsten:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

CPcess Mary is a class act! Lucky Denmark to have her.

9:35 pm  

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