Christian VIII’s robe

Christian 8th’s red velvet suit is from about 1845. Its luscious rosy red color, silky soft velvet, and thick, shining satin are an exquisite wxpression of pampering and luxury. It was a suit that attracted attention at a time when society’s powerful men wore only plain dark uniforms or dignified black coats and long trousers. Christian 8th was proud of being a well-educated and modern king, but this suit was designed a generation before, in 1808, as a modernization of the knights’ costumes from around 1600. It resembles something his own grandfather might have worn as a young man. However, Christian 8th may have chosen to wear something this old-fashioned because it conveys a feeling of tradition and stately ritual when he wore it for the ceremonial openiong of the Supreme Court. The coat, called a “frock” coat at the time in Denmark, has curved fronts and long tails. The knee breeches still have a wide front panel instead of a buttoned fly, which had already been common in men’s trousers for a generation. Only officers wore the rapier, but a prince and a king always wore the embroidered star for the Order of the Elephant. Here you can see Christian 8th’s red velvet suit up close.