Frederik VIII’s robe

Frederik 8th was Crown Prince almost all his life because his father lived to be so old. He was only King for 6 years, and only two of his gala uniforms, a general’s and an admiral’s, have been preserved in the Royal Collections. This general’s uniform is made of dark blue, finely woven wool cloth, with a small red corded edge along the lapels and front edges. The special gold embroidery on the cuffs and collar show that this is a general’s uniform. The lighter blue trousers have a broad gold braid on the side seams. The red leather belt is worn outside the coat. It is decorated with gold braid and fastens in front with a special S-shaped hook. The special decorations on the shoulders are made of coiled gold cords stitched onto fabric. A special sword is part of the uniform, as well as a tricorn hat, unofficially called the “gravy boat”, with its cascades of beautiful white feathers. The coat is double-breasted with gilt buttons. It can be buttoned to either side. Uniforms were buttoned to both sides, alternating every month, to lessen wear on the expensive garment. For gala, however, coats were always buttoned to the right, so there was more space for medals and decorations on the left breast.