On Friday 22 January, The King opened the exhibition 'In Course of Time – 400 years of royal clocks' at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. The opening ceremony was attended by The Queen, The Crown Princess and Princess Christina, Mrs Magnuson.
The ceremony was held in Queen Lovisa Ulrika's Dining Hall, and began with a string quartet from the Royal Court Orchestra performing The Clock, Andante from Symphony no. 101 by Joseph Haydn, arranged by Ingvar Karkoff.
Director of the Royal Collections Margareta Nisser-Dalman then welcomed all those present and explained that The King had taken the initiative for the exhibition.
Percussionist Leif Karlsson then performed his piece Sonatina for Small Clock on a newly made instrument that had been built by clockmaker Sophia Reuterdahl, Leif Karlsson and carpenter Peter Dans. The instrument is made up of metal bowls from different clocks.
Senior Curator of the Royal Collections Lars Ljungström then spoke about the exhibition and the rich history of clocks and timekeeping at the royal palaces. The oldest clocks in the Royal Collections date back to the latter part of the 16th century, and were seen as mechanical sensations, with many moving parts. The exhibition includes several early clocks, with mechanisms and designs of the highest class.
The Queen Eleonora Youth Choir performed Klinga Mina Klockor by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, conducted by Natalia Edvall.
The King gave an opening speech, in which he said:
"Over the centuries, clocks have played an important role here at the palace – both for keeping time and as decorative objects. Not only is an excellent clock a work of technical mastery, it is also a thing of beauty to see. And sometime to hear, too! Hearing all the palace's clocks strike twelve at the same moment is a fascinating experience. I have thought so from an early age. So perhaps it will come as no surprise that clocks and clockmaking have been a great personal interest of mine!"
The exhibition features more than 50 royal clocks – some of which are on show for the first time – dating from the 16th century to the present day. The exhibition has been arranged to mark The King's 70th birthday on 30 April 2016.
'In Course of Time – 400 years of royal clocks' will be on display in the Bernadotte Apartments at the Royal Palace of Stockholm until 8 May.
Find out more about the exhibition here.
One of the clocks from the exhibition is shown above. This table clock with date mechanism, chiming mechanism and mirrored glass façade was made by Stockholms Manufabrique in around 1740. The clock plays a psalm, a march, an aria and a minuet.