On the night of Tuesday 4 April, the citizens of Fredensborg welcomed Queen Margrethe II as she began her official spring season residence at Fredensborg Palace.
An annual tradition, The Queen’s return was marked with a ceremonial welcome which saw Her Majesty officially greeted with flowers and song by the Mayor of Fredensborg, Thomas Lykke Pedersen and a crowd numbering in the hundreds. Many took to social media to share images of the candlelit gathering.
Prince Henrik – who retired and relinquished his Prince Consort title last year – was absent from the proceedings but the mayor asked Queen Margrethe to pass on his condolences following the passing of the Prince’s brother-in-law last weekend.
Fredensborg is a small city of less than 10,000 residents located on the island of Zealand, 30kms north of Copenhagen. Built as a hunting lodge for King Frederick IV in the 1720s, the main structure of Fredensborg Palace has undergone expansion in the intervening centuries, but much has remained the same. The garden, in particular, remains one of Denmark’s greatest baroque garden examples.
Fredensborg Palace is the most used of the Danish royal family’s residences with Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik spending half the year there, taking up residence at the start of spring and again at the start of autumn. It has also been the setting for important royal events including weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.
During her time at the palace, Queen Margrethe receives heads of state, ambassadors and foreign visitors. A unique tradition of Fredensborg is that visiting heads of state are invited to scratch their name onto a windowpane with a diamond – a forever reminder of their time at the palace.
Visitors to the palace are invited to explore the garden for free year round or to tour the palace and orangery for an admission fee. The chapel is open to members of the Asminderød-Grønholt parishes, and there is a public church service almost every Sunday of the year.