Copenhagen: For Royal Watchers

Danish Crown
Danish Crown by Rosenborg Castle

Frequently, or so it seems, people ask on message boards what they can see when they go to a country with royals. Here are some of the highlights I frequently repeat about Copenhagen and the surrounding area.

Note that unless you plan to be in Copenhagen on the Queen’s birthday, (which is April 16) actually seeing the royals in the flesh is not guaranteed. Following the calendar to check out if there are any royal events where you’ll be, is one way to try to see them.

But here are some royal-related activities.

Changing of the guards at Amalienborg: It is undoubtedly much more of a circus, so to speak, when the Queen is in residence, due to the number of soldiers being involved then, also the marching band plays then. It happens at noon at the square in-between the four Palaces of Amalienborg.

While you’re in the area, you might as well check out the royal museum at Amalienborg, detailing the life of the Glücksburg dynasty since coming to power.

A small walk away, situated in Kongens Have, lies the old pleasure palace, Rosenborg Slot. You can buy tickets for both Amalienborg Museum and Rosenborg Slot at the same time, which will save you some money. Rosenborg Slot is the museum for the monarchy in Denmark, prior to the current dynasty. It houses a wealth of treasures, big and small, such as the silver lions that were on loan to Versailles for a period, and the Danish Crown Jewels.

A walk in the park around the palace is always interesting if you need some exercise away from city streets– not to forget: it is free.

If you’re interested in traveling a bit, taking the train to Helsingør, to see Kronborg Castle – the famed setting of Hamlet, and also where several royal events and celebrations have taken place, could be an idea. Go beneath the castle to see Holger the Dane, who is rumoured to awaken if Denmark should ever be in trouble.

Another train ride away from Copenhagen lies Roskilde. Even though the town is a very cozy Danish town to visit on its own merit, the highlight is the Cathedral. It is the burial place for Danish royals: 20 kings and 17 queens are buried there. (Even though Margrethe I was never officially was titled the Queen of Denmark) The parents of Queen Margrethe II, King Frederik and Queen Ingrid, however, rest outside the church.

The Cathedral is also the resting place for some Danish princes and princesses, the most notable of those was Tsarina Marie of Russia (née Princess Dagmar of Denmark) who was buried in the Cathedral before she was reburied in Russia in 2006.  For pictures from Roskilde Cathedral, see here.

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