Time to chat about another royal home!
Today’s post is all about Schackenborg, the palatial home of Prince Joachim of Denmark and, as you can see here, it’s not too shabby.
The estate consists of the palace itself
extensive gardens (that are open to the public in the summer)
and a working farm (including a Christmas tree farm!).
The palace transferred into the Royal Family’s ownership in 1978. The Schack family had owned the palace for 11 generations (!) and decided to transfer the property the the Queen of Denmark when upkeep simply became too much.
Here is the Count and Countess Schack with Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik and a young Prince Joachim, Prince Frederick standing in front of the Schackenborg in 1978. It must have been a sad day for the Schak family.
When the transfer took place, it was decided that Schackenborg would be held for Prince Joachim. As the second son who would likely never be king (brother Prince Frederick is one year older), the palace and estate would give Joachim both an income and a home. The plan was that Joachim would take over once he had enough of an education in agriculture and estate management.
Just imagine what must have been going through Prince Joachim’s head that day. Here he is, arms crosse with Queen Margrethe swishing ahead in her shawl. Born in 1969, Joachim wasn’t yet ten years old when all of this went down. In any case, this arrangement is similar how the Duchy of Cornwall was set up to give the Prince of Wales income before becoming King.
And here’s the count with Joachim and a wee peak at the transfer papers.
The future of the Schack family took quite a turn that day. Here is a recent photo of Mik Schack, the fellow who would have inherited had the estate stayed in his family.
This article includes an interview with Mik where he gives some more background on the situation.
Yes, I’m actually Count of Schackenborg. My family had Schackenborg Castle through 11generations, but could not afford to inherit it, so in 1978 it was taken over by the royal family,” said Mik Schack to bt.dk.
“My father told me that it was hopelessly in debt, and it would be too hard for a Copenhagenboy like me. I was not out to play farmer, because I had opened Musikcafeen at Huset and waswell on the way there,” continues Mik Schack.
And so the plan went into effect. Prince Joachim studied agriculture in Denmark and abroad, knowing that Schackenborg was his future.
In 1993, all that planning came into action and he took over the Schakenborg estate made the palace home.
In 1995, two years after moving to Schackenborg, Prince Joachim announced he was going to marry Alexandra Manley. Alexandra had quickly won over the royal family, and actually explained in an early interview that she first met Queen Margrethe one-one-one while she had a paintbrush in hand at Schackenborg, helping to paint a fireplace (source).
To celebrate the wedding , many Danes contributed to what was called The Nations Gift, which paid for the refurbishment of the exterior of the house and grounds.
There was a televised reception to thank the Danes for their gift and warm wishes, and this was the first time that Alexandra gave a speech in Danish. She only had six weeks of lessons under her belt at this point and despite that she impressed everyone. Alexandra’s is an interesting story – you can read a bit more about it by clicking here for our post on her twinkly engagement ring.
Queen Margrethe gifted the couple with monogrammed gates to the palace with an A for Alexandra and a J for Joachim. See them there? More about those gates in a minute.
First, Schackenborg made from tiny Lego pieces! Legoland is a big deal in Denmark- it’s where Lego was invented!- and they created a Lego model of the palace, which the couple visited in 1997.
Here’s a glimpse inside.
The couple had quite a few dogs to walk around the palace grounds.
And this photo gives us a better look at the interior.
This portrait was taken in the same room and was featured in Vanity Fair in 2003.
And another one of the gates for good measure!
Joachim and Alexandra divorced in 2005 and Alexandra moved out of the palace. It is now home to Princess Marie who married Joachim in 2008.
While Joachim and Alexandra married in Frederiksborg Palace Church outside of Copenhagen, Joachim and Marie married at a church close to their palace.
And the reception was actually held at Schackenborg. Love those floral heart wreaths!
This portrait of the bride and groom with ether parents was also taken in the palace.
That made me wonder if the monogram on the gates and been updated so I did some digging and sure enough, they did!
A few more shots of the palace before we leave. Here’s the whole family together – Princess Marie with tiny Princess Athena, Prince Felix, Prince Nicholai, and Prince Henrik.
As I mentioned earlier, Prince Joachim is a partner in a large christmas tree farm on the estate, and so naturally they have to have a big one at the palace each year.
Similar to Alexandra, Marie also posed by the window.
I haven’t been to Schackenborg or the surrounding town, but I think it would be fun to check out! How about you – is it on the list?