She reigns over a Court which is simple and dignified. Her Majesty's entourage consists of a chief Court lady (Hof Darner) and two ladies-in-waiting. The season is during winter and early spring, when the Danish Parliament is sitting, and the King and Queen are in residence at the Amalien-borg Palace. It is a very unpretentious residence as compared with the old Royal palace of Christiansborg at the further end of Copenhagen, which was gutted by fire some fifty more years ago.
H.M. The Queen of Denmark, wife of King Frederick of Denmark, brother of Queen Alexandra of England. Her married life has been one of ideal happiness, and her unwearying efforts for the welfare of her people have made her beloved by all
The Amalienborg was originally four palaces occupied by Danish nobles, surrounding a fine open square. Two were converted into the King's palace, a third into a residence for the Crown Prince, while the fourth serves as a Government office. The reception-rooms of the Royal palace are stately and beautiful, and contain some of the historic heirlooms of Denmark, which used to be at the Rosenborg before it was converted into a museum. The Queen's Courts, or evening receptions, take place frequently throughout winter.
Her Majesty is very tall, with a gracious and dignified presence, and dresses for State occasions with considerable splendour. Presentations are not so numerous or so formal as at our own Court, for society in Copenhagen is small and select, and everybody knows every-body else. Young girls, on coming out, ac company their mothers to Court in quite a simple way, and their reception by the Queen marks their debut . The King gives frequent Ministerial dinners during the session, and there are usually three big balls at the Amalienborg in winter.
The Queen of Denmark has a selection of country palaces, each vying with the other for beauty of situation. Her favourite home is Charlottenlund, which was built for the Crown Prince on his marriage. What Sandringham is to Queen Alexandra, Charlottenlund is to the Queen of Denmark. There her tenderest and most private interests are centred, there most of her children were born, and there she has passed a considerable portion of each year since she came to it a bride.
Charlottenlund is some eight or nine miles from Copenhagen, situated a little back from the Strandvei, or sea road, which skirts the Sound. The road to it is lined with magnificent beeches for nearly a mile, and this avenue connects it with the Royal chateau of Bernstorff, the favourite home of the late King and Queen of Denmark, where Queen Alexandra passed much of her girlhood. All around, stretching for miles, is the beautiful deer forest, where the King has a pretty hunting-lodge, and enjoys sport with his friends.
Charlottenlund is quite a modern house. Its rooms are both artistic and capacious, and the windows command a view which is the most superb imaginable, looking, as they do, directly over the waters of the Sound.
The King and the Royal Princes are all enthusiastic billiard players, and, indeed, are no mean exponents of the game. It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, to find that the mansion is fitted with an exceptionally fine and up-to-date billiard-room.
The Queen is devoted to her flower garden, and takes great interest in her model dairy, and, it is said, can make butter on the most modern of Danish systems with any farmer's wife on the country-side. She is a kind friend to the cottagers in the neighbouring village of Gjentoftie, and she and the King are regular attendants at the quaint little Lutheran church, where they sit in their family pew in the midst of the rural congregation.
Further out in the country, some fifty miles from Copenhagen, is another Royal residence, lovely Fredensborg, which has a European reputation as the summer palace where the various members of the Danish Royal Family gathered in the autumn year by year. Thither came the genial Tsar, with his wife and children, our own Princess of Wales and her family, the King and Queen of Sweden, the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland - with their respective children - and the various members of the Danish House resident in the country.
The late King and Queen entertained their guests in patriarchal style; and the company which met each evening to dine in the magnificent cupola room, with its marble floor and painted ceiling, was scarcely to be matched in Europe. Cycling expeditions and boating parties on the lake of three miles in circumference, which stretches beyond the grounds, were the delight of the young people, and promoted at least one love-match - that of the King and Queen of Norway.
As Crown Princess, the Queen of Denmark was extremely popular at these gatherings, and is much attached to Fredensborg. When in residence, she goes about freely amongst the people of the quaint village of Fredens-borg, which nestles at the foot of the white palace, embowered in woods.
A favourite drive of the Queen is from Fredensborg to the old Royal palace of Fredericksborg, now restored and thrown open as a show place and museum, and she often picnics there with her children and grandchildren, and is joined by Queen Alexandra and the Empress Marie of Russia when they are staying at their villa on the Sound. The Badstue, a miniature chateau in the grounds of Fredericksborg, is a favourite rendezvous of the Queen and her guests. The Queen is also fond of driving to Elsingor to visit the reputed grave of Hamlet, and the woodland stream where Ophelia, we are told, drowned herself.
The Queen seldom goes to foreign Courts if we except the series of official visits paid after her husband succeeded to the throne of Denmark in 1906. She has, however, several times been in England, and visited it for the first time in 1888. She takes a great interest in the Home for Scandinavian Sailors, near the West India Docks, which is managed by Mrs. Welin, a Swedish lady. An amusing incident occurred when she was going over it in 1888.
At the time Queen Alexandra, who was then Princess of Wales, was accompanied by her brother and her sister-in-law. After she had inspected all the principal rooms in the home, she asked if she might pay a visit to the kitchen. Mrs. Welin, the manageress, of course, complied with the request, and to the kitchen the Royal party forthwith went. There they found the cook busily employed frying fish, for it was nearly dinner-time.
"I can cook fish," said the Princess of Wales, and suiting the action to the word, turned the fish in the pan until they were the requisite brown.
The cook scowled at "ladies in the kitchen," but when informed that it was the Princess of Wales who had been frying fish she dropped the dish she was carrying, and stood speechless with astonishment.
The Royal visitors next proceeded to the laundry; and the future Queen of Denmark, not to be outdone by the future Queen of England, said: "I think I could mangl' and thereupon began to turn the handle of the machine.
When in this country, the King and Queen of Denmark usually attend service at the Sailors' Church at Poplar, which is similarly constructed to a village church in their own country. On one occasion the visitors, who were accompanied by Queen Alexandra, noted that the pastor seemed a little perturbed, and on hearing that an interesting domestic event had just occurred in his family, they said : "The baby shall be named after us." Accordingly, the infant was christened Louise Alexandra Frederica.