The Danish royal family, present and future, captured in the same place as the royals of the past for an historic portrait
OK, some might ask why the actual next king, Frederik, has been relegated to a bit part at the back holding one of his twins or why Princess Isabella seems to have regressed several years to be about the same age as little Prince Henrik who appears to be making a grab for the throne as he scuttles into the foreground. But the main question is surely how something with so much going for it could end up looking so odd. Prince Christian, the centre of the whole portrait, might be a king in waiting with a whole country to rule in years to come but he looks unnaturally old in the painting for a boy who has just turned eight. And while the ruins of the ancient buildings in the background hark back to the portrait traditions of past centuries, here they make it look like Margrethe forgot to shut the door of the Garden Room one winter and is waiting for the builders to turn up and put the wall back up again.
The famous portrait of Christian IX by Laurits Tuxen captured a king and generations of royals to come at one moment in time in 1886 in the Garden Room at the Fredensborg Palace
Ultimately, all royal portraits are subjective and some will love the new Garden Room portrait by Thomas Kluge which will form part of an exhibition at the Amalienborg Palace before being hung for posterity in the Yellow Salon at the Fredensborg Palace. There have been plenty of strange portraits of regal subjects through the years and more will come. But this historic portrait has, in one way, brought this most ancient of royal families up to date. It has the air of a photo from a cartoon book. Very 21st century.