"A Princess of her time"

This year Princess Benedikte celebrated her 75th birthday. On that occasion she was honored with an exhibition at Koldinghus in Kolding, which museum she is also patron for. The exhibition is entitled "Prinsesse af tiden. H.K.H. Prinsesse Benedikte og 75-års Danmarkshistorie" (A Princess of her Time. H.R.H. Princess Benedikte and 75year history of Denmark). It tells her story from the day she was born to the day of her wedding, her royal work with among others the scouts and her being part of the the royal family.

I visited the exhibition end of June with a beloved friend. Following the blue dots on the ground, we were led to find the exhibition in one part of the old castle. First thing noticed, was a huge black and white photo of a very young Princess Benedikte when wearing the Ruby Parure. You get a glimpse of it down below on the first photo. Here you also see an old costume worn by the Princess performing as Queen Desirée in a play at Fredensborg Castle. An off-white, gold embroidered dress and a dark red velvet cape also beautifully embroidered with gold thread. It belonged to Queen Desirée. She assumably wore it when Napoleon was coronated, here.

Next to this we had a good look at her wedding gown from 1968 - a stunning piece of tailorly. Every time I get to see an exhibited wedding gown, I get the sense of standing in front of something with a story. The most beautiful story of them all: the story of love. Imagine wearing such a gown on your special day.

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On the next stand we read about her duty as member of the Danish royal family. It shows some of the gifts Princess Benedikte has received during her time of representing Denmark. These decorated cups are made for washing hands in between meals. I don't quite remember from whom she received these incredible cups, but they were a gift given to her on occasion of an official state visit. On display was also a small handbag made of gold (yes, actual gold), here. It was given to her on her first official visit to Argentina in 1964. We only get a glimpse of this outstanding piece, but imagine wearing it? Being its owner. That title belongs to the Princess.


I knew little about the exhibition before going. That means that I had no idea what to expect. I was happily surprised to see that the exhibition also included some of her dresses borrowed by the Princess herself for us to get a closer look. Hidden in dark light behind glass mounting, seven outfits showed up along with pictures of when they had been worn. Little plates gave us information about their origin, designer, etc. Both more everyday outfits and evening gown were on display. If that is not to love, well I don't know what is. It was like walking down a path of different decades - 60s, 80s, 90s...

Personally I fell in love with two evening dresses: a fitted pink gown with longer sleeves and  beautiful beadwork covering both front, back and the sleeves. The other on, from somewhere around the same time period, is this golden 60s gown featuring no sleeves, is floor-length and is a sea of sparkle.

The exhibition also showed some of her jewellery, among others diamond earrings, a ruby broche shaped like an anker and one of her orders. It was truly a magnificent experience. Feels like I know her better than I did before. Differently worth a visit. So, if you are going to Kolding you're able to see the exhibition for yourself till November 3rd.

Read more about "A Princess of her Time" and its magazine here.