Copenhagen, Denmark | C.1760

Photo Credit: Lara Miles

Amalienborg is the home of the Danish royal family, located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Originally built for four noble families, when Christiansborg Palace burned in February 1794, the Danish royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces.

Amalienborg is the centerpiece of Frederiksstaden, a district that was built by King Frederick V to commemorate the tercentenary of the Oldenburg family’s ascent to the throne of Denmark. The project consisted of four identical mansions, built to house four distinguished families of nobility, placed around an octagonal square. These mansions – now called Palaces – form the modern palace of Amalienborg.

The palace is guarded day and night by Royal Life Guards. Their full-dress uniform is similar to that of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army with blue trousers, and a navy bearskin cap. The guards march daily from Rosenborg and execute the changing of the guard in front of Amalienborg at noon.

When the monarch is in residence, the King’s Guard (Kongevagt) also march alongside the changing of the guard, accompanied by a band that plays traditional military marches. The Guard Lieutenant (Lojtnantsvagt) is always alerted when another member of the royal family is reigning in absence of the Queen.

There are three types of watches: King’s Watch, Lieutenant Watch and Palace Watch. A King’s Watch is when Her Majesty the Queen takes up residence in Christian IX’s Palace. A Lieutenant Watch is when Crown Prince Frederik, Prince Joachim, or Princess Benedikte, takes the place as regent, when the monarch is unable to. A Palace Watch is when no member of the royal family is in the palace, and it is fittingly the smallest guard watch.

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