The Danish Royals may seem wealthy but actually they do not own much

The Danish royal family does not posses a huge fortune – even if they look wealthy with their castles and classy cars.

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Unlike other royal families in Europe, the Danish royals aren’t wealthy as such. Their main source of income is the appanage (royal provisions) granted by the Danish Parliament every year as part of the state budget.

The direct royal provisions amount to DKK 100 million and is to finance their expenses – of which a very large part is pay for their employees. The royals also have to pay inheritance tax and property tax, but get their paid VAT back from the state, so their cars are cheaper to buy compared to your regular Danish citizens’.

Their main residences are owned by the state, and run by the Agency for Palaces and Cultural Properties (Styrelsen for Slotte og Kulturejendomme), who put them at the disposal of the reigning monarch.

The only exceptions are the three residences, which belong to the Queen as her personal property; Marselisborg Slot, Château de Caix in France, and the royal hunting lodge in Jutland at Trend. The costs of running these properties must be financed through their royal provisions.

The State-owned castles occupied by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family as their private living quarters and for representation are; Amalienborg, Fredensborg, Gråsten, and the hunting lodge Eremitage Slottet.

The actual Christiansborg Castle was never used for living quarters. Instead, the apartments, designed as royal living quarters, are used by Statsministeriet, the Prime Minister’s Office.

Only the Royal Reception Rooms are used by the Queen for state visits and official matters.

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The inside of the castles, where they are “tenants”, the Royal Households have to maintain themselves, but all exterior and major renovations are undertaken by the State.

Recently, Amalienborg was renovated as the Queen’s palace had the roof changed. On the Agency’s website the renovation works are estimated to have cost DKK 35 million.

At the moment, the entire state owned inventory used by the Queen to furnish the castles is being registered electronically. Everything has to be transferred to a computer-based register from old lists of items from teaspoons to paintings and carpets.

The number of items range between 50,000 to 60,000.

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The Royal Fund

The inventory used by the Royal Households to furnish their residences can be either private, owned by the state, or part of the Kongelige Danske Løsørefideikommis.

The Kongelige Danske Løsørefideikommis is a royal family fund, established in 1910 by King Frederik VIII and Queen Louisa. It is passed on from monarch to monarch and therefore doesn’t have to be split amongst the heirs.

Many Danes know that a great deal of the royal jewellery is part of the fund, but it actually also comprises many items other than jewellery.

For instance, the Crown Prince Silver, used by the actual Crown Prince Couple, Frederik and Mary, also comes from the fund and has been put at their disposal by the Queen.

Heirlooms in this fund are not subject to inheritance tax, which the royals have to pay, instead the items in the fund can be used freely by the monarch and family members. Of course they also cannot be sold to cover expenses.

By Bente D. Knudsen   Pictures: Hasse Ferrold, the annual New Year reception.

Sources:, and interview with former (now deceased) Royal steward Jens Greve.

Why are the Danes so crazy about their monarchy? Find out more in our article here.