Royal Palaces in the Snow: Drottningholm


Drottningholm Palace in the snow
(photo by Holger.Ellgaard - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

As all royal roads seem to lead to Sweden right now (they've had a pretty good year and they're ending in style with the usual Nobel celebrations adding enough glitter to get any Christmas started), today's Palace in the Snow is one of the most famous royal residences there. Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of several members of the current family and a familiar sight in recent times as celebrations have taken place within its walls. And guess what, it looks about as fabulous as palace get when covered in snow.



(Photo by Holger.Ellgaard - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

Drottningholm is located on the island of Loven - its name means Queen's Islet. There was a royal building here from the 16th century when Queen Catherine Jagellon had a palace here but it was destroyed by fire in 1661. The following year, Hedwig Eleonora, widow of Charles X Gustav and regent for their son, Charles XI, commissioned a new palace there as a summer residence. It became an important location for the court until her death in 1715.


(photo by Holger.Ellgaard - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

In the 18th century, it was a summer home for several more queens consort of Sweden with Louisa Ulrika, wife of King Adolf Frederick, remodelling the palace and adding a theatre. In the following centuries, it fell in and out of favour with some parts deteriorating and restoration works sometimes criticised. 




(Photo by Holger.Ellgaard - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

A new programme of works, begun in 1907 under new king Gustav V, restored Drottningholm to its 18th century grandeur and Sweden's Royal Family made it a home once more. Now it is the private residence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, with other parts of the palace open to the public through the year. A mixture of baroque and rococco and with stunning garden around it, this is a palace made for the snow.

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