The Military Army Blog

Fantastic celebration of the 325 year anniversary of the Royal …

A big birthday party is planned for Saturday the 26 September 2015 with free access for all to follow 17 horse carriages as they ride through the streets of Copenhagen followed by a huge jubilee show on Christiansborg Ridebane all to celebrate the 325 year anniversary of one of the oldest royal stables in the world.

By Bente D. Knudsen Pictures: PR and Christian Lindgren

Despite the modern use of cars for their transportation, the Royal family is a huge supporter. In the book about the royal horses, De Kongelige Heste (Hauschildt & Nitschke, 2008), Queen Margrethe expresses her belief that the Royal Stables will exist also in the future and she says that:

Fantastic Celebration Of The 325 Year Anniversary Of The Royal ...

HM Queen Margrethe and HRH Prince Henrik from the book Den Kongelige Staldetat Picture: Christina Hauschildt

We have always been very conscious of keeping and maintaining them, ensuring that they not only live on, but really exist with horses and carriages, and that the horses are really used for riding with it all taking place in the beautiful old stables . The Queen is also pleased that her daughter in law, Crown Princess Mary, is so fond of horses, as she is certain that her interest and enthusiasm will help preserve the tradition. Since the book was written, all of the Crown Prince Couple s children have taken up horse riding.

The 325 year anniversary celebration
Horses were an essential part of life and breeding the right horses for the Royal Family was important. In 1690, Danish King Christian V formulated a new set of guidelines together with Royal Esquire Anton Wolf von Haxthausen, setting standards and enabling control of the breeding of the race Frederiksborghesten used by the royal family in their stables. So 1690 became the birth year of the Royal Stables.

Free event in the streets of Copenhagen and at Christiansborg ridebane

The Royal family will be represented by the Queen s sister, Princess Benedikte who is a passionate horse rider.
The celebration takes place on Saturday 26 September and starts at 14:00 with an escort by the mounted trompeter squadron of the Gard Hussar Regiment of 17 specially selected horse drawn carriages. They will ride through the streets of Copenhagen, from Christiansborg Ridebane to Kastellet and back again.

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The Guldkaret will also be part of the carriages passing through the streets of Copenhagen Picture: Thomas Rahbek/The Royal Stables

Among them will be the finest carriage, the Guldkaret, built by Henry Fife in 1840 for King Christian VIII. It is decorated with 24 carat gold (gilded with gold leaf) with four golden crowns, one at each roof corner. Hence the name, Guldkaret, the golden carriage. It is normally only used once a year for the New Year levee in January for transporting the Royal Couple from Amalienborg Castle to Christiansborg Castle. Later in the afternoon, from 15:45 to 17:30, there will be an entertaining show of horses and carriages on Christiansborg ridebane.

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Horse nails also have to shine. Pictures from the stables: Christian Lindgren

Even the nails are polished when the Gard hussar regiment s horses are dressed up to go

Unknown to the waiting audience, horses (and riders) are polished from head to toe- virtually- before going on a parade. Whenever they are in town (Copenhagen), they always stay at hotel Royal Stables, which suddenly fills up with an additional 50 horses, compared to the normal 20 or so living there on a regular basis.

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Last minute polish, helpers are there to help make sure the riders boots shine

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The Queens monogram is of course even on the boxes with polishing equipment

Fantastic Celebration Of The 325 Year Anniversary Of The Royal ...

Coat buttons have to be made up in recent years a large number of the Gard Hussars are women, something unheard of earlier. The atmosphere is hectic and intense as horses, hussars and helpers squeeze around each other in order to fit all ink.

Only the Royal stables never burnt down

The Danish Royal Stables location at Christiansborg slot dates back 275 years to 1740, when the former Christiansborg Castle (burned down in 1794 and 1884) stood finished, and the royal horses (more than 250 at the time) moved into their new quarters. Only the circular buildings, stables, and riding hall remain of the original castle as they have escaped both fires. Even today, despite the use of cars for the daily transport of the Royal Family, the royal support for the up keep and maintenance of these treasures remains strong. The royal carriages are used for the annual New Year s levee, special events (weddings and royal visits around the country), anniversaries, as well as the official reception of new ambassadors. The white horses drawing the Royal Coach are Kladrubers from the Czech Republic.

The first horses of that race came to the Royal Stables in 1994 on the suggestion by His Royal Highness Prince Henrik. The beautiful white horses are not born white they change from their dark colour to white when they are six-seven years old. They have drawn coaches for princely families of Europe for centuries, and since 1994 do so again for the Danish Royal Family.

The Royal Stables and its museum are open for visits daily from 13:30-16:00, except Mondays from October to April. They are great to visit and enable people to see the beautiful old buildings while getting a close look at the carriages and horses. Here you can get a unique insight into the centuries old tradition and life form of using horses for transportation, and once outside again, the contrast to modern life really stands out.

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The horses are incredibly well trained and stand still next to each other in the crowded hallway while their riders mount.

BUY our Autumn issue and get more inspiration on living in Denmark[1]

Fantastic Celebration Of The 325 Year Anniversary Of The Royal ...

Finally horses and riders are ready to go

References

  1. ^ BUY our Autumn issue and get more inspiration on living in Denmark (www.yourdanishlife.dk)

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