It’s time for our recap of episode three of Dronningens skatkammer, the fantastic new television documentary about Denmark’s new royal jewelry exhibitions. The third episode in the series, called “Love Gifts,” focuses on jewels given as tokens of affection by spouses, parents, and parents-in-law.
The entire series so far has tracked the development of two current royal exhibitions in Denmark: one celebrating the Queen’s 50th anniversary on the throne, and another celebrating the Crown Princess’s 50th birthday. The third episode begins with the official opening of “Mary and the Crown Princesses” at Koldinghus, with Crown Prince Frederik, Crown Princess Mary, Princess Benedikte, Count Ingolf, and Countess Sussie in attendance.
The show offers us a fascinating visual sweep through the exhibition, and it really feels like you’re getting to experience the displays in person. We glimpse some of the jewels on display, including Queen Alexandrine’s Russian Sapphire Tiara and her Diamond Meander Bracelet.
Four bracelets linked to Queen Lovisa and the Bernadottes are shown as well.
And finally, we get to see the Danish Rubies, which arrived in Denmark with Queen Lovisa and have been subsequently worn by Queen Alexandrine, Queen Ingrid, and Crown Princess Mary. We recently featured all of the jewels from the Crown Princesses exhibition in a special article here at The Court Jeweller, thanks to a kind reader who visited and shared her photographs with us. That article and this episode are excellent companion pieces for those of us who can’t travel to Denmark to see the exhibition in person.
The episode also tracks the continued planning for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee jewel exhibition, “A Queen’s Jewelry Box,” at Amalienborg. Queen Margrethe helps to choose the poster for the exhibition here.
And we get a few more glimpses at the sparkle of the exhibition via pieces that Queen Margrethe has received as gifts from the people she loves most. Here, we see the Queen Alexandrine Sapphires, a set that Margrethe received in stages from her parents.
In an excerpt from the audio guide she recorded for the exhibition, she reveals that she received the sapphire and diamond pendant from the set from her parents as an 18th birthday present. Then, as a wedding present, her father presented her with the rest of the suite, which consists of a necklace and gorgeous earrings.
She notes that the entire set was made by dismantling and renovating a sapphire corsage ornament that belonged to her grandmother, Queen Alexandrine. The resulting suite is much more versatile and, she argues, more wearable. The changes were made by her parents specifically to make the sapphire set more useful for Margrethe. “I am eternally grateful to them for that,” she shares.
There’s also another major sapphire jewel discussed in this episode: the Connaught Sapphire Brooch. “It is a very elegant brooch and very adorable, I would say,” Margrethe notes. She received the brooch as a gift from her mother, Queen Ingrid, during Ingrid’s lifetime. It had belonged to Ingrid’s mother, Crown Princess Margareta of Sweden.
Following the birth of Prince Christian, Margrethe decided to give the sapphire brooch to Crown Princess Mary, who wore it for Christian’s christening (and, later, for the christening of her twins). “I thought the brooch should go to her,” Margrethe explains. “The Crown Prince was very close to my mother. I thought it would have delighted her that he now had a son, and that his adorable wife got the brooch.”
During the discussion of the christening of Danish royal babies, the episode shows the Queen with the gold dish used during the baptismal ceremonies. It’s centuries old, elaborately made, and is engraved with the names of numerous Danish royal children from generations ago. Intriguingly, she states that the dish probably wasn’t made to be used for christenings, but rather as a part of a toilette set, which was later repurposed for a more sacred function.
The episode focusing on “love gifts” wraps up with a lovely tribute to several jewels given to the Queen by her late husband, Prince Henrik. We briefly see the gold and turquoise necklace he gave her for 75th birthday in April 2015. Henrik purchased the turquoises himself in Egypt.
And we get a lovely close-up look at the suite of jewels he commissioned for their silver wedding anniversary in 1992. The gold, diamond, ruby, and pearl set was made by one of the couple’s favorite jewelers, Torben Hardenberg. Margrethe calls Hardenberg “very, very imaginative” in her exhibition narration, and she declares that the silver wedding suite is “absolutely magnificent.”
We see the central element of the necklace (which can be removed and worn separately as a brooch) in great detail. Margrethe describes this section as “a heart made in quite small, fine, fine gold work.” She adds, “It’s a piece of jewelry that I appreciate tremendously.”
And we also get a lovely close-up of the coordinating earrings from the suite. She tells us a funny story about the creation of the set. For their 25th anniversary, it turned out that both she and Henrik went to Hardenberg to have pieces commissioned for each other. “We had to do old-fashioned comedy in and out of the doors so as not to meet. We managed. We had no idea that the other had been to the same place. It was really fun,” she recalls. Don’t miss the close-ups of these pieces, as well as the rest of the jewels, in episode three of Dronningens skatkammer!