Corfitz Ulfeldt

Corfitz Ulfeldt married Christian IV’s daughter Leonora Christina in 1636. He became the governor of Copenhagen Castle in 1637, ‘rigshofmester’ (the highest standing civil servant) in 1643, and quickly became the privy council’s leading figure.

His relationship with Christian IV soured towards the end of the king’s reign. The situation only got worse once Frederik III had ascended the throne, and in 1651 Ulfeldt fled together with Leonora Christina. He entered Swedish service and was one of the chief negotiators on the Swedish side in 1658, when Scania, Halland, and Blekinge were ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde.

Ulfeldt was arrested by the Swedes in 1659, accused of treason. He and Leonora Christina succeeded in fleeing back to Denmark, where they were held captive at Hammershus castle until the king released them on strict conditions. Ulfeldt soon went abroad again; he offered the Danish throne to the Elector of Brandenburg, and in 1663 he was accused of high treason. A doll of Corfitz was ‘executed’ and a monument of infamy erected in Copenhagen. He died on the run in a boat on the Rhine.


Collection History

Rosenborg has a long museum tradition. The core consisted of Christian IV’s magnificent collection of riding trappings and parade arms, which were transferred from Frederiksborg Castle in 1658. Soon after the King’s costumes followed together with heirlooms and precious artifacts. During the reign of Christian V the Regalia were transferred from Copenhagen Castle, and during the reign of Frederik IV collections of glass and porcelain arrived, as well as the art collections of the dukes of Holstein, captured from Gottorp Castle. The Crown Jewels were originally bequeathed for the use of the reigning Queen, because “in this Royal Family there have been so few jewels, and no Crown Jewels at all”, as the benefactress, Queen Sophie Magdalene, wrote in her will in 1746. In the early 19th century it was suggested that the Royal collections should be opened to the public. The scientist and Court official A.W. Hauch drew up a plan in 1813, innovative in its principle of exhibition. The earlier “theme” rooms were to be replaced with interior exhibitions which followed successive Royal generations chronologically. A walk round the museum would thus be a journey through the history of Denmark from Christian IV to the present day. The Castle was opened to the public in 1838. After the abolishment of Absolutism in 1849, the Royal castles and palaces became state property. In 1854 Frederik VII agreed with the state that the collection was to become entailed property passed on from king to king.