Review: Kongens hus : Alle kongeparets hjem

Kongens hus : Alle kongeparets hjem by Queen Sonja

I picked this up at the library, after I saw it exhibited at the Open Palace tour in Oslo. It is a beautiful book filled with photographs and interesting text about all the residences that the King and Queen inhabit.

The book is worth looking through for the photographs alone. How the interior is decorated, and not just the public rooms. The pictures of the private apartments are filled with the Queen’s art and the King’s sailing trophies. The pictures of Queen Sonja’s art on the walls remind me of the pictures of the art in the renovated palace in Copenhagen.

Also, pictures of the holiday residences are shared. Some of the places are rarely seen inside by the public.

In addition, if you read Norwegian – the snippets the Queen shares for each residence makes the book worth reading. There is not much new information, but it is well written and makes the book.

Her perfectionism is shown through the story of her sleeping in every bedroom in the palace prior to the renovation so she would know exactly what needed to be done. The only negative is the lack of comments on the uproar on the cost of the renovation.

Her stories are supplemented by facts from the architect Thomas Thiis-Evensen and art historian Ole Rikard Høisæther.

Well worth the read.


Amalienborg – a book review

Amalienborg by Jørgen Larsen, Thomas Larsen, and Bjarke Ørsted

The book is heavy, and filled with pictures and history. There are interviews with Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik and Crown Prince Frederik and on their relationship with the palace.

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Royal Residences: Slottet – the Open Palace tour #22

Just before I left Oslo, I took the guided tour of the Palace. It was the first day it was open this season – which kind of showed in some aspects. (A television set in the Council of State room hadn’t been turned on, and our guide didn’t quite know how to do it, for example.)

I booked the ticket early, as soon as I noticed that it went on sale in March. (It seems to typically go on sale in the end of March/Beginning of April) The tour was in the end of June.

You enter the palace from the back, where they had put up a tent for checking tickets.



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Royal Residences: Oscarshall #21

A couple of weeks before I left Oslo, I took a trip to Bygdøy to visit Oscarhall. It is a pleasure palace built for King Oscar I of Sweden-Norway and his wife, Josephine of Leuchtenberg.

It is still in use today by the royal family for special occasions, and Queen Sonja has set up an art gallery in one of the side buildings.

The palace is beautiful on the outside, and the renovations inside have been done very nicely. The big surprise was the woodwork in the entrance hall that isn’t wood, but concrete painted to look like wood.

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Recap: Haga documentary

The documentary aired on SVT on April 21, 2014. The below is my live blogging of some of the comments made along the way. Unfortunately it is not yet available for streaming outside Sweden. Update: It is available here:

It is a nice documentary that brings together the history and the current life at Haga.

“It feels very special for me, to have the family back at Haga. It was built by family, so it feels like the circle is completed.” Crown Princess Victoria

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Stockholm – the Royal Palace

So I visited Stockholm two weeks ago. Naturally, I stopped by the Royal Palace.
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Unfortunately, they have restricted the use of cameras inside – but it is well worth the visit.

If you go, I would try to get a guided tour of the treasury. The other rooms can be nice enough to have a guided tour of, but the treasury is minimal in information, so the guided tour is almost essential in order for there to be a point of walking down all the stairs to get there. Well, beyond – glitter and gold, that is!

I actually think that the Three Crowns museum beneath the palace was my favorite bit. Maybe because my main interest in royalty is actually the history of it all.

Nitpick: I’m not sure if this is just because the ticket building (outside the main palace) was being renovated, but it seemed like there was a charge to use the bathrooms in that building. When I’m being charged £14 for visiting a tourist attraction, it does rather feel to me like that should include free access to the toilets in the ticket building.

I was surprised by how prominent the Palace really stands in the city. It seemed like whenever I turned a corner, there it was again. It is much bigger than what I’d thought in advance.

Ah, the memories

Last summer, when I was in Paris with my sister, we took the train to Versailles. Although the sheer magnitude of the palace, such as the mirrors and chandeliers in the picture below, is undeniable, there were something else that also caught my attention. Versailles

Like my 90 year old grandmother, I’m a chocoholic. There is an Angelina there, and we basically went fairly crazy with the sweets there. But we also had the hot chocolate.

And it felt like drinking liquid chocolate bars.

When I later discovered that there were bottles of Angelina chocolate for sale in a grocery store in Paris, I picked one up.

It’s taken me until today to actually crack it open at home, for various reasons.

It tasted good, but I suspect part of the allure of it before was drinking it in Versailles, and sharing with my sister.

Things to see: The Royal Palace (100 things #6)

The Royal Palace in Brussels is open to the public, free of charge, during the summer until September. This was one of the things that weren’t mentioned on the list of things to do in Brussels – but I’m really glad we did.

We were actually looking for how to get into the underground parts of the city when we realized that the Royal palace was open, and free of charge.

They had put together an exhibit of “Faces” when we were there the first weekend of September, and there was also a science exhibit for kids.

Not that these things were strictly necessary – the rooms themselves are more than impressive, and it was cool to go from ball room to more personal-feeling sitting rooms and look around. (Yet, since the royals aren’t living there full time, I did not get the same feeling that I got at Alnwick Castle – that I was walking into someone’s home without permission.)

If you go to Brussels during the summer – check out the Palace. Well worth it, in my opinion, especially since it is free. Afterwards, check out the underground parts of the city next to it.

The holiday home debate, round 2

It looked like the last piece in the saga around Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s summer house was over and done with, when they purchased the tiny island outside of Risør. Sure, the purchase might not make much sense to non-Norwegians, tiny cottage located on a rock in the middle of an ocean as it is, but it was settled.

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Trouble finding farmers

Early last week, Norwegian newspapers reported that Haakon and Mette-Marit were having trouble finding farmers for their farm at Skaugum. It has been a long-time plan for the couple that the production at the farm should go ecological.

The application process went through without much trouble. After the prospective farmers took a look at the files, however, they declined the royal job offer. The prospect of turning the farm around to ecological production apparently was a bit troublesome from an economic point of view.

Since the above news came out, however, there have been renewed attention from applicants with an interest in ecological farming, E24 reports.  Perhaps, the position will be filled just in time for the new agricultural season?

Skaugum going ecological?

The Norwegian Crown Prince and Crown Princess reside on the farm, Skaugum, in Asker, just outside Oslo.

The farm is amongst the 200 biggest in Norway, measured by production and agricultural support. They produce grain, feeds, milk and meat.

With the current manager up for retirement, the advertisement searching for the replacement is looking for someone who can focus on making the farm ecological, keeping in line with Haakon and Mette-Marit’s focus on the environment.

Summer cruises for the Dannebrog 2009

Every year the royal yacht Dannebrog has its summer cruises in Denmark, either with the Queen and Prince Henrik, or with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. This year’s programme has been published. 


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