The second episode of Dronningens Skatkammer, a companion series to the two current royal jewel exhibitions in Denmark, aired on Danish television this week. There were plenty of jewels to delight in—especially pieces connected to the late Queen Ingrid.
The show follows Denmark’s Royal Collection throughout the process of planning, creating, and debuting a pair of royal exhibitions. Both are now open to visitors: one on the royal jewels of Queen Margrethe II (connected with her Golden Jubilee year) and another on Denmark’s crown princesses (connected with Crown Princess Mary’s recent 50th birthday). In this episode, the legacy of Queen Ingrid looms large in both exhibitions, as Margrethe discusses jewelry and objects linked to her mother, and Mary explores Ingrid’s legacy in her own life. This, of course, means lots of royal ruby content.
There’s an absolute treasure trove of archival footage of Queen Ingrid included in this episode, including some tiara moments from the later years of her life. Above, she and Crown Prince Frederik attend the wedding of Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg in 1998, two years before Ingrid’s death. She’s wearing the famous ruby set here.
We get to see conservators meticulously checking and preparing the ruby jewels for display in the crown princess exhibition at Koldinghus.
We also get a good look at the tiara, and a discussion of the changes made to the piece by both Queen Ingrid and Crown Princess Mary. Don’t miss the moment when one of the conservators uses a flashlight to show the real power of the diamonds in the diadem. It’s stunning!
And we get to see a whole lot of great shots of the entire parure. There’s a lovely discussion of the connection between Queen Ingrid and Crown Prince Frederik. After all, she’s the one who left the rubies to Frederik, hoping they’d one day be worn by his future wife.
Queen Ingrid shared a love for color and flowers with her eldest daughter, and Queen Margrethe talks a lot about an important part of the Royal Collection that includes both. She showcases a piece from the incredible Flora Danica porcelain set, highlighting the craftsmanship behind the item. She also tells a story about a time when she and her sisters surprised their mother by throwing a small birthday party where the Flora Danica table service was used. “It was fun to do that for my mother,” she tells us. And we get to see glimpses of a similar dinner, also featuring the Flora Danica, given for Margrethe earlier this year.
A discussion of flowers naturally continues to a discussion of the floral diamond suite from the Danish crown jewels. Queen Margrethe reflects on her choice to wear the suite, including the magnificent floral brooch, at the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary in 2004.
She also talks about the tiara she wore that day, the Floral Aigrette, which is shown as part of the Queen’s Jewelry Box exhibition. She tells us about her father’s acquisition of the tiara, about the way her mother wore it, and about the way she took the tiara off its frame to experiment with its three sections after she inherited it.
There are some really gorgeous moments where the conservators show the incredible flexibility of the central part of the floral tiara. Stills truly don’t capture the incredible shots of the jewels that we see in the episode.
In connection with the Crown Princess exhibition, we also get to see a couple of great shots of the sapphires once owned by Queen Alexandrine. Here’s the Russian Sapphire Tiara.
And here’s the set of sapphires from Queen Alexandrine that are now worn by Queen Margrethe II. You can watch episode two of the series here. Can’t wait to see the treasures showcased in next week’s episode of this delightful show! (I’ve been using the Google Translate extension on Chrome to translate the subtitles, for those interested in finding a way to translate the program into English.)