Special exhibition on the piano nobile in Christian VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg Palace, 27 September 2018 – 19 May 2019
Step into the royal land of fairy-tales when the Amalienborg Museum unfolds Her Majesty the Queen’s theatrical universe. The Queen has taken part in choosing a number of her own costumes and set designs for some of our most beloved fairy-tales, which The Royal Danish Collection is exhibiting in the great halls at Christian VIII’s Palace.
From her earliest childhood the pictorial aspect of fairytales has been of great importance to the Queen. One of the Queen’s childhood memories is the fairy-tale world which opened up when children’s books were read aloud in the childhood home. The illustrations in the books, as well as numerous trips to the ballet, the family tradition for dressing up, and the interiors of the royal palaces, have all contributed to inspiring the Queen in her artistic work with scenography and costume design.
In the special exhibition ‘The Fairy-tale Queen’ at the Amalienborg Museum, the Queen has taken part in choosing costumes and set designs for an exhibition which sheds light on several aspects of Her Majesty’s artistic practice. The Queen’s scenographic universe is unfolded in the many halls of Christian VIII’s Palace, and the first stop for the visitor is the Inspiration room, which focuses on the visual sources which have inspired the Queen’s scenographic work throughout her life. The visit continues to the room Dressing Up, where photos from private albums shed light on the Royal Family’s tradition for fancy dress. In these photos the visitor can see some of the high points of the Queen’s childhood and adolescence, as well as life as a young adult, including spontaneous dressing up both in daily life and for parties.
The next three rooms present a selection of costumes and set designs composed of the Queen’s decoupages. Here one walks through The Magic Forest, peopled with a festive mix of figures from Thumbelina, The Tinderbox, The Nutcracker, and Cinderella, before being let through the palace gates to a festive, slightly anarchic Palace Banquet with a glance at The Bleak. The visit concludes with Creativity, where the scenographer’s workbench and atelier have been recreated.
Thursdays are a private free space for the Queen — for many years the day has been reserved for instruction in painting and other creative activities. Since the 1980s, the Queen has worked professionally with scenography, and over the years she has contributed to many productions for The Royal Danish Theatre and The Pantomime Theatre in Tivoli Gardens. The Queen found her scenographic element at the last-named, and this charming theatre seems to be made for the Queen’s colourful, whimsical imagination and genuine joy in fairy-tales. Of her work with scenography the Queen has commented, “For me part of the thrill is to venture onto thin ice without knowing whether it will hold — it’s probably quite healthy to land in those kinds of situations now and again, where you can’t do things on autopilot”.
The exhibition has been made in collaboration between The Royal Family’s curator Elisabeth von Buchwald and designer Shane Brox, and Elisabeth von Buchwald comments that “the exhibition is an attempt to let the visitor gain a deeper insight into the creative part of the Queen’s mind”. With the Queen’s permission the curator has mixed the costumes and displayed them with thematic freedom in entirely new surroundings.
Shane Brox has created the exhibition design, waving his creative wand to give everything a little fresh magic, so that the golden halls are for a moment transformed into genuine fairy-tale landscapes in the Queen’s riotous colours.
Entirely in keeping with the Queen’s spirit, visitors can also give their creativity free rein and experiment with the technique of folding paper hats according to the Queen’s design, and thereby take a piece of the fairy-tale home with them.
Welcome to a visit to The Fairy-Tale Queen!
The exhibition is accompanied by the book Eventyrdronningen (The Fairy-Tale Queen), written by Elisabeth von Buchwald with a contribution by Shane Brox and photographs by Kamilla Bryndum, which includes a summary in English.
Book a guided tour HERE