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Touching story behind King Frederik's mystery bracelet from accession day revealed

Frederik became monarch on 14 January following Queen Margrethe's abdication

King Frederik waves from balcony with Queen Mary
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
22 March 2024
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One mystery from King Frederik's accession day has finally been resolved.

The new monarch, 55, was seen wearing a macrame and beaded bracelet as he was proclaimed King from the balcony of Christiansborg Palace at Amalienborg on 14 January.

It was widely believed to be a Shamballa bracelet and now a new royal exhibition has confirmed that the accessory was a gift to Frederik from his four children – Crown Prince Christian, 18, Princess Isabella, 16, and 13-year-old twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine.

The bracelet from Copenhagen-based jewellers, Shamballa Jewels, features blue stones and gold and diamond details. The word Shamballa is said to represent the mythical kingdom that Tibetan Buddhists believe symbolises enlightenment, peace and perfection.

King Frederik's Shamballa bracelet on display© Getty
King Frederik's Shamballa bracelet on display

In a display of unity with his father, Frederik's youngest son, Prince Vincent, was also wearing a similar-style bracelet on accession day.

Frederik and Mary with their children on balcony© Getty
Prince Vincent (right) also wore a similar bracelet to his father

King Frederik and his wife, Queen Mary, 52, stepped out to view the new exhibition – Frederik X: King of Tomorrow - at Amalienborg Museum. Among the personal items on display are Frederik and Mary's wedding attire, including the queen's satin gown designed by Uffe Frank.

In one of the cabinets there is also a previously unseen black and gold tulle dress, which Frederik gifted to his then-girlfriend Mary when he travelled to visit her in Australia for the second time after meeting during the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Australian-born Mary had a long-distance relationship with the then Crown Prince before she moved to Denmark to be with her future husband.

The couple's engagement was announced in October 2003 and the pair were married the following May at Copenhagen Cathedral. Frederik and Mary will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary on 14 May 2024.

Queen Mary's gold and black dress© Getty
Queen Mary's gold and black dress was a gift from Frederik during their dating years

The king and queen chatted and laughed together as they toured the display, which also included the King's christening outfit, student cap and a bright orange helmet with the name "Pingo" – a reference to Frederik's longstanding nickname from when he undertook training as a frogman in the Frømandskorpset, which is the maritime special operations force of the Danish Armed Forces 

Frederik and Mary's wedding outfits© Getty
Frederik and Mary's wedding attire is also on display

Frederik's wetsuit filled up with water during one military exercise forcing him to waddle like a penguin, which led to him being coined Pingo by his comrades, believed to be a reference to the popular children's programme, Pingu.

King Frederik's Pingo helmet from his frogman training© Getty
King Frederik's Pingo helmet from his frogman training

The exhibition will be on display at Amalienborg Museum in Christian VIII's Palace at Amalienborg from 22 March to 8 September 2024.

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