Fabergé Exhibition at the Koldinghus

Finally online! My article about the opening of the Fabergé exhibition at the Koldinghus in Kolding, Denmark, on 12 May 2016. Just have a look and enjoy. Don’t miss out the photo reports linked in the right upper corner.


See also Ribe Cathedral, My Favourite Danish Magazine, Other Danish Purchases and Royal Legoland.

Royal Wedding Songs

Several royal couples received their own official wedding song when they got married. I might well have missed a few, but here are some official ones.

Starting with Willem-Alexander, The Prince of Orange, and Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002. No, the song wasn’t “Adiós Nonino” performed by Carel Kraayenhof. The national -yes national – wedding song was sung by singers Marco Borsato and Sita and called “Lopen op het Water” (Walking on Water). A duet, of course, what else for a wedding. The evening before the wedding, 1 February 2002, there was a huge concert in the Amsterdam ArenA. Of course the couple and several guests were present. Marco Borsato and Sita did sing their song during that evening.

While everybody in June 2010 was talking about the great performance of Roxette with “The Look” the evening before the wedding, the actual official wedding song was another one: Björn Skifs & Agnes were actuall able to sing “When You Tell The World You’re Mine” during the wedding ceremony.

And even Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy in 2012 had their own wedding song. It is called “I’m in Love” (what else) written by Joel Heyard, and sung by Deborah Lehnen and Christophe Strotz.

Of course several wedding ceremonies were afterwards recorded on CDs or DVDs, as were the songs. I don’t have Sweden, but do have the Dutch and Luxembourg ones.

Music and Royals

Can you name an artist (singer, musician, group) you discovered via your love for royals?

If there is one I should name it is the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø. The first time I heard her music it was during the wedding ceremony of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Ari Behn. A sad song actually, but so beautiful. I must have heard her music before tough as she sang the Olympic hymn at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, and in 1997, Sissel contributed to the soundtrack of the film “Titanic”. Born in 1969 her career already started early. By now I own several of her CDs, mainly bought in Denmark and even one in London. She actually has fans in the Netherlands, but I don’t think she ever performed in my country, nor can you buy her CDs in a shop as far as I know. Princess Märtha Louise herself in 2003 recorded a Christmas album together with the Oslo Gospel Choir, and I must admit I love to play it with Christmas.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in the years 1996-1998 even had a singer as his girlfriend, Maria Montell. We will probably never know if she wrote any songs for him, but sometimes you really wonder … In 1996 she released the album “Svært At Være Gudinde”, the English version being called “And so the story goes …” I must admit this one and some of her other albums also ended up in my home. I was simply too curious.

But some royals do actually sing and released singles or even albums. Remember Princess Stéphanie of Monaco in the 1980s tried to become a popstar? I am not sure if she ever released more than one single, but if I am correct, Ouragan even reached the charts in the Netherlands. It is on one of the collections with French chansons I have. And what about Princess Christina of the Netherlands, who studied classical music in Montreal, Canada, and afterwards accepted a teaching position at a Montessori School in New York City. For a long time I don’t think the Dutch knew how well she could sing. She did sing during a few family occasions like the christenings of her niece Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme and her own son Nicolás Guillermo, the weddings of her son Bernardo Guillermo and her nephew Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, and during the funeral services of both her parents Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard. In 2000 she recorded a Christmas Album, and in 2002 an album called “The me nobody knows”, and if I remember well her daughter Juliana Guillermo actually sang along on it. Both albums were pretty well received and again ended up in my home. I shouldn’t forget Princess Christina’s brother-in-law Pieter van Vollenhoven, who with his musical “Gevleugelde Vrienden” (Feathered Friends) Louis van Dijk and Pim Jacobs recorded several CDs with all kinds of songs played on the piano. He is an enthusiastic amateur piano player. Both royals by the way donated the money they earned to good causes. Another royal who loves playing the piano and released at least one CD is Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe.

But of course there were also many royal and noble composers in the old days (for example Frederick II the Great of Prussia, but there must be many more), music was composed for them also, and there is of course even the musical “Elisabeth”, about the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

Can you think of more?

Royal Legoland

Legoland only for children? Forget it. On 9 and 10 May 2016 I spent almost two days at Legoland Billund, Denmark, with two other grown-up friends, and we enjoyed ourselves enormously. Amazing what can be build out of lego. legoland10Apart from several Danish and foreign palaces and castles, I noticed the Danish crown princely family standing in front of the Kancellihuset at Fredensborg, one of their residences. Even dog Ziggy is included.

But there is much more to see: buildings, landscapes, Star Wars, Ninjago (new in 2016), Atlantis with great fish, penguins, the Wild West, Egypt, and of course lots of attractions. We were very lucky with the sunny weather. When we got wet in an attraction, we were dry very quickly. Luckily we had tried a few of them on day one, as on day two several weren’t working because of technical problems. Really a pity, so we missed the biggest rollercoaster.

See here for a lot of my pictures of Royal Legoland I left out anything non-royal, otherwise I could even have posted more.

Other Danish Purchases


How could I forget I bought one more magazine and a royal book in Denmark.

I don’t have all the Danish royal yearbooks, but I come close. Luckily a friend of mine bought “Kongehuset 2015” for me, and all I had to do was pick it up when I was in Denmark earlier this month. They’re usually published early, so the year seems to run from October to September. The book contains a good list of engagements of the royals as well as many pictures taken during the year.

Furthermore I bought myself the Eurowoman of May 2016 I had read about online. It has an interesting interview with Crown Princess Mary and a selection of lovely pictures of her at home in Amalienborg, including a wonderful one taken on the roof with the Marble Church in the background. Even when it was somewhat expensive, and it will take me lots of difficulties understanding the text, I couldn’t leave it in the shop.

My Favourite Danish Magazine


I can’t help it, but when I am in Denmark, about the first thing I do is buying myself the Billed Bladet. THE magazine to read when you’re interested in the (Danish) royals, even when sometimes it is a bit gossipy. It is a weekly magazine with lots of reports and a TV-magazine, that I usually throw away immediately. Any royal engagement that is worth to be mentioned, gets mentioned in the magazine, with photos and sometimes even interviews. Anyway I discovered a special edition for this Summer about royals and their gardens too this time. It seems to be a bimonthly magazine with a different theme each time, and looks really nice.


Ribe Cathedral

Last week I was in Denmark, not a very royal vacation for a change, but I did see a few things connected to Danish royalty.

On Wednesday I was in Ribe, the oldest existing town in Scandinavia, that celebrated its 1300th anniversary in 2010. Lovely old streets and houses, several museums worth a visit. I was there with friends and we only had a good look at the cathedral and climbed the 52 metres high red brick Commoner’s tower from around 1300. Outside the cathedral is a pretty modern statue of Saint Ansgar (801-865), a monk, later Archbishop of Hamburg, whose mission it was to christen the people in northern Europe. He managed to build up relations with two Danish kings, Horik the Elder († 854) and his successor Horik II, although they never became Christians. Ansgar in 860 founded the first church in Ribe. The building of the present church on the same location – partly rebuilt several times – began between 1150 and 1175 and was completed between 1225 and 1250. After having climbed all the way up to the tower of the cathedral I found a little “shield” with the initials G S, a crown and the year “1928”. Not quite sure who the initials belong to, so if anybody knows …

What I could have known, if I had looked for it before travelling, was that there were a few kings buried in this cathedral. There is however not that much royal to see anymore. The first king to be buried in the cathedral was King Erik II Emune (ca. 1090-murdered 1137), who only reigned for three years. All that reminds of him here is a painting and an epitaph in Latin. Also buried at Ribe Cathedral is King Christoffer I (1219-1259), who is also honoured with a painting and an epitaph. Both memorial tablets were put up in 1576 by the historian Hans Svanning. Christoffer was buried in front of the high altar. The big black tombstone was taken out from the grave in 1987. It is the oldest royal tombstone in Scandinavia and made of black Belgian marble. Next to it stands his sarcophagus.