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The Throne Chair of Denmark (Danish and Norwegian : Danmarks tronstol; also: salvingsstol, kroningsstol) is the physical representation of the Throne of the Kingdom of Denmark (since 1671) and of the Throne of the Kingdom of Norway (between 1671 and 1814).
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in Denmark and in the region of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany, where it has minority language status. Also, minor Danish-speaking communities are found in Norway, Sweden, Spain, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. Due to immigration and language shift in urban areas, around 15–20% of the population of Greenland speak Danish as their first language.
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is the official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties; some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are not mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.
The Monarchy of Denmark, colloquially known as the Danish Monarchy, is a constitutional institution and a historic office of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Kingdom includes Denmark, as well as the autonomous regions of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Kingdom of Denmark was already consolidated in the 8th century, whose rulers are consistently referred to in Frankish sources as "kings". Under the rule of King Gudfred in 804 the Kingdom may have included all the major provinces of medieval Denmark. The current unified Kingdom of Denmark was founded or re-united by the Viking kings Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth in the 10th century. Originally an elective monarchy, it became hereditary only in the 17th century during the reign of Frederick III. A decisive transition to a constitutional monarchy occurred in 1849 with the writing of the first Constitution. The current Royal House is a branch of the princely family of Glücksburg, originally from Schleswig-Holstein in modern-day Germany, the same royal house as the Norwegian and former Greek royal families.
According to legend, the Throne Chair is made of the horn of unicorns. In reality, it is made from Norwegian narwhal tusks. It is guarded by three life-size silver lions, based on Biblical references, and was a symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Twin Kingdoms.
A unicorn horn, also known as an alicorn, is a legendary object whose reality was accepted in Europe and Asia from the earliest recorded times. This "horn" comes from the imaginary creature known as a unicorn, also known in the Hebrew Bible as a re'em or wild ox. Many healing powers and antidotal virtues were attributed to the alicorn, making it one of the most expensive and reputable remedies during the Renaissance, and justifying its use in the highest circles. Beliefs related to the alicorn influenced alchemy through spagyric medicine. The horn's purificational properties were eventually put to the test in, for example, the book of Ambroise Paré, Discourse on unicorn.
The narwhal, or narwhale, is a medium-sized toothed whale that possesses a large "tusk" from a protruding canine tooth. It lives year-round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. It is one of two living species of whale in the family Monodontidae, along with the beluga whale. The narwhal males are distinguished by a long, straight, helical tusk, which is an elongated upper left canine. The narwhal was one of many species described by Carl Linnaeus in his publication Systema Naturae in 1758.
Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth, usually but not always in pairs, that protrude well beyond the mouth of certain mammal species. They are most commonly canine teeth, as with warthogs, pigs, and walruses, or, in the case of elephants, elongated incisors. In most tusked species both the males and the females have tusks although the males' are larger. Tusks are generally curved, though the narwhal's sole tusk is straight and has a helical structure. Continuous growth is enabled by formative tissues in the apical openings of the roots of the teeth. In earlier times elephant tusks weighing over 90 kg (200 lb) were not uncommon, though it is rare today to see any over 45 kg (100 lb).
The Throne Chair is located in the Castle of Rosenborg in Copenhagen.
Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects. It was built in the Dutch Renaissance style, typical of Danish buildings during this period, and has been expanded several times, finally evolving into its present condition by the year 1624. Architects Bertel Lange and Hans van Steenwinckel the Younger are associated with the structural planning of the castle.
Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and it is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.
Following the 1660 introduction of absolute monarchy in Denmark and Norway, King Frederick III (r. 1648–1670) ordered a throne chair to be created. The Throne Chair was made between 1662 and 1671 by Bendix Grodtschilling. During the reign of King Christian V (r. 1670–1699), gilt figures were added to the chair.
Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.
Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country. Denmark proper, which is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. The southernmost of the Scandinavian nations, Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also includes two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.
Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.
Both the Throne Chair and the silver lions were inspired by the Biblical Throne of King Solomon, which was guarded by twelve lions, as described in I Kings 10:
The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.
The Throne of Solomon is the throne of King Solomon in the Hebrew Bible, and is a motif in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Solomon, also called Jedidiah, was, according to the Hebrew Bible, Old Testament, Quran, and Hadiths, a fabulously wealthy and wise king of Israel who succeeded his father, King David. The conventional dates of Solomon's reign are circa 970 to 931 BCE, normally given in alignment with the dates of David's reign. He is described as the third and final king of the United Monarchy, which would break apart into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah shortly after his death. Following the split, his patrilineal descendants ruled over Judah alone.
18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the finest gold. 19 There were six steps to the throne, and the top of the throne was round behind; and there were arms on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. 20 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps; there was not the like made in any kingdom.
The Throne Chair was used at coronations between 1671 and 1840.When absolute monarchy was replaced by constitutional monarchy in 1849, kings were no longer crowned or anointed, whereupon the Throne Chair lost its practical function.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Monaco, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Japan, where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term generally also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, and acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have often included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is often called; the anointing ritual's religious significance follows examples found in the Bible. The monarch's consort may also be crowned, either simultaneously with the monarch or as a separate event.
Anointing is the ritual act of pouring aromatic oil over a person's head or entire body. By extension, the term is also applied to related acts of sprinkling, dousing, or smearing a person or object with any perfumed oil, milk, butter, or other fat. Scented oils are used as perfumes and sharing them is an act of hospitality. Their use to introduce a divine influence or presence is recorded from the earliest times; anointing was thus used as a form of medicine, thought to rid persons and things of dangerous spirits and demons which were believed to cause disease.
Even though Norway was formally an independent realm with its own throne, Denmark's Throne Chair was de facto also Norway's until 1814.
The Throne Chair is guarded by three lions of silver. They are the same size as natural lions, and each weighs 130 kilos. Their eyes, manes, and rumps are covered with pure gold. They were made between 1665 and 1670 by Ferdinand Kübich.
On 20 November 1905, when delegates of the Norwegian parliament entered the Christian VII Palace in Copenhagen in order to offer the throne of Norway to Prince Carl, they were met—and stopped—by the lions. This moment was immortalized by photographer Peter Elfelt. Based on Elfelt's photograph, painter Paul Fischer made a famous painting. Several versions of this painting have existed, and one is included in the art collections in the Castle of Oslo.
The silver lions are still used outside Rosenborg, mainly when protecting the castrum doloris of kings.
A crown is a traditional symbolic form of headwear, not hat, worn by a monarch or by a deity, for whom the crown traditionally represents power, legitimacy, victory, triumph, honor, and glory, as well as immortality, righteousness, and resurrection. In art, the crown may be shown being offered to those on Earth by angels. Apart from the traditional form, crowns also may be in the form of a wreath and be made of flowers, oak leaves, or thorns and be worn by others, representing what the coronation part aims to symbolize with the specific crown. In religious art, a crown of stars is used similarly to a halo. Crowns worn by rulers often contain jewels.
Christian V was king of Denmark and Norway from 1670 until his death in 1699.
Frederick III was king of Denmark and Norway from 1648 until his death in 1670. He also governed under the name Frederick II as diocesan administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Verden, and the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen (1635–45).
The Danish Act of Succession, adopted on 27 March 1953, restricts the throne to those descended from Christian X and his wife, Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, through approved marriages. Succession is governed by absolute primogeniture.
A throne room or throne hall is the room, often rather a hall, in the official residence of the crown, either a palace or a fortified castle, where the throne of a senior figure is set up with elaborate pomp—usually raised, often with steps, and under a canopy, both of which are part of the original notion of the Greek word thronos.
The Danish royal family is the dynastic family of the monarch. All members of the Danish royal family except Queen Margrethe II hold the title of Prince/Princess of Denmark. Dynastic children of the monarch and of the heir apparent are accorded the style of His/Her Royal Highness, while other members of the dynasty are addressed as His/Her Highness. The Queen is styled Her Majesty.
Danish Crown Regalia are the symbols of the Danish monarchy. They consist of three crowns, a Sceptre, Globus cruciger, the Sword of state and an Ampulla . The Danish Royal Regalia are kept in the treasury at Rosenborg Castle. The oldest of these is Christian III's sword of state from 1551. They further include King Christian IV's diamond; pearl- and gold-embroidered saddles; objects carved from ivory and rock-crystal; lapidary pieces of precious stones, and brooches in the form of fantastic animals.
The Kingdom of Norway as a unified realm dates to the reign of King Harald I Fairhair in the 9th century. His efforts in unifying the petty kingdoms of Norway resulted in the first known Norwegian central government. The country, however, soon fragmented and was collected into one entity in the first half of the 11th century, and Norway has retained a monarchy since that time. Traditionally, it has been viewed as being ruled by the Fairhair dynasty, though modern scholars question whether the eleventh century kings and their successors were truly descendants of Harald.
Anne Catherine of Brandenburg was queen-consort of Denmark and Norway from 1597 to 1612 as the first spouse of King Christian IV of Denmark.
The Norwegian monarch is the monarchical head of state of Norway, which is a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system. The Norwegian monarchy can trace its line back to the reign of Harald Fairhair and the previous petty kingdoms which were united to form Norway; it has been in unions with both Sweden and Denmark for long periods.
Coronations in Norway were held from 1164 to 1906, mostly in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Although a crowning ceremony was formerly mandated by the nation's constitution, this requirement was eliminated in 1908. However, Norwegian kings have since chosen voluntarily to take part in a ritual of "benediction" to mark their accession to the throne, during which the crown is present, but not physically bestowed upon the sovereign. The new ceremony retains some of the religious elements of earlier rites, while eliminating other features now considered to be "undemocratic".
The crown of King Christian V of Denmark was the crown used at the coronation of all of Denmark's absolutist kings. While the reign of such monarchs ended in 1840, the crown is still used during a Danish king's castrum doloris, the last time in 1972.
Coronations in Europe were previously held in the monarchies of Europe. The United Kingdom is the only monarchy in Europe that still practices coronation. Current European monarchies have either replaced coronations with simpler ceremonies to mark an accession or have never practiced coronations. Most monarchies today only require a simple oath to be taken in the presence of the country's legislature.
The Throne Chairs of Norway are the physical representations of the Throne of the Kingdom of Norway. One stands in the building of the Parliament in Oslo, the political capital of Norway, where it is used in a political context. The other stands in Trondheim, the religious capital of Norway, where it was used in a religious context. A lesser known is the Throne Chair in the Council Chamber in the Royal Palace. In addition to the Throne Chairs, there are two coronation chairs, which are also located in Trondheim. Between 1671 and 1814, the Throne Chair of Denmark was de facto also Norway's.
Bendix Grodtschilling, also Bendix Grodtschilling the Elder, was a Danish painter and carpenter.
The coronation of the Danish monarch was a religious ceremony in which the accession of the Danish monarch was marked by a coronation ceremony. It was held in various forms from 1170 to 1840, mostly in Lund Cathedral in Lund, St. Mary's Cathedral in Copenhagen and in the chapel of Frederiksborg Palace in Hillerød.
The Coronation of the Thai monarch is a ceremony in which the King of Thailand is formally consecrated by anointment and crowning. The ceremony is divided into two main events: the coronation rites and the celebration of the Assumption of the Residence. The coronation rites are a blend of Hindu and Buddhist traditions dating back several centuries. The rites included the purification bath of the king, the anointing of the king, the crowning of the king, and the investiture of the royal regalia, the royal utensils, and the royal weapons of sovereignty. The Assumption of the Residence is a private housewarming celebration by members of the royal family at the Grand Palace.