ON A STROLL THROUGH COPENHAGEN’S NARROW STREETS, YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THIS IS A CITY INFLUENCED BY THE ROYAL FAMILY. SYMBOLS OF THE ROYAL PRESENCE ARE OBVIOUS IN ITS CASTLES AND PARKS.
For centuries, Copenhagen has been the home of the Danish royal family. The Royal Court values outstanding quality and impeccable craftsmanship, and has always had a close relationship with artisans in Copenhagen, making the city a draw for craftsmen and materials fit for kings and queens.
Since the 15th century, there has been one particular sign of quality and royal approval for most Copenhagen craftsmen: the Royal Warrant. Even to this day, the label “Purveyor to Her Majesty”, otherwise known as the Royal Warrant, still holds great esteem for the bearer. Many companies, artists and craftsmen apply every year for the predicate. However, it takes very unique talent and skill to make the cut. Besides a clean criminal record –among other things– an applicant needs to have a very well-established reputation and have a spotless record in business ethics.
But in the end it all comes down to one person: Her Majesty the Queen. It is entirely up to her who officially supplies her Court.
One of the newest purveyors on list of royal suppliers is Co’libri. Owner Malene Lerager runs this studio and workshop. Situated in the middle of the old city, Co’libri is a delightful mixture of very heavy machinery and the tiniest pen tools. Lerager, who is also a bookbinder, produces exclusive artwork while keeping the bookbinding tradition alive.
“Once in a while I’ll get a phone call from Amalienborg Castle, where the Queen lives. They ask me if I can come by and fulfill certain types of orders. Leather-bound guest books, for instance. Normally, I don’t deliver my orders personally. But when the Queen asks if I can come by, I get on my bike and ride to Amalienborg Castle and deliver it in person”, says Malene Lerager.
She also runs an exclusive book club for classic books. The club counts a few hundred subscribers. Among them are the Queen’s library and her husband, Prince Henrik.
Florist to the Royal Family
Particular types of purveyors reflect certain preferences in members of the court. The late Queen Mother Ingrid, for instance, was a dedicated flower aficionado, which in turn led to the need for a royal florist. So, in 1990, renowned florist Erik Bering was appointed Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court. His business partner and former apprentice Bjarne Als now operate Bering – House of Flowers.
Located a few hundred meters from Rosenborg Castle and the Kings Garden is a flower shop that is a must-see for visitors in Copenhagen. Bering-House of Flowers is a busy, beautiful and stylish store. This is where Bjarnes Als and his staff prepare large-scale royal events such as weddings and birthdays. They also cater to the Royal Family on a day-to-day basis, too.
“HRH Crown Prince Frederik sometimes rides his bike to our store to order flowers”, says Als while preparing a bouquet. He adds: “We get many visits from the Royal Family. We think of it as a sign of approval. It is a great honor for us to have the Royal Warrant”.
That the Royal Family values the talent of the Bering legacy– is beyond doubt. Last year Als was informed by the Queen’s Royal Life Guards that a piece of music called Flower March had been composed in his honor. Now, when parading through Copenhagen, the Royal Life Guards occasionally plays the musical tribute to
Bering–House of Flowers.
The Jeweler Legacy
The busy Købmagergade district has one of the two main shopping streets in the city. With thousands visiting daily, it’s the ideal place to display some of the finest jewelry in the kingdom. And P. Hertz jewelry have been doing just that since 1834; they were appointed purveyor to the Royal Court in 1909.
Dark wooden paneling frames this exclusive store’s glass displays, where you will discover handcrafted jewelry of the highest quality, and will easily explain the long relationship with the Royal Family.
Birgit Hertz is the CEO, and the sixth generation to run the business. She says, “Our work for the Royal Family is mostly confidential.” However, she does admit that P. Hertz was the creator of the Crown Prince and HRH Princess Mary’s wedding rings.
“For us the Royal Warrant is a testimony to our past. It is part of our DNA and how we operate as craftsmen and business owners. We don’t mind being a store with very traditional ambiance. In fact, we want our clients to feel like they are entering another time in history when they walk through our door.”