Schackenborg and the Royal House are closely connected—both historically and today. For many years—before Hans Schack built Schackenborg—the area and the old Møgeltønderhus were a royal estate, and the bond between the Schack family and the Royal House has been a consistent thread throughout centuries of history. Therefore, it is by no means coincidental that Schackenborg returned to the Royal House when the last Schack at Schackenborg, Count Hans Schack 6., and his wife Countess Karin chose to transfer the castle and land holdings to Prince Joachim. The count couple were childless, and in the mid-1970s, the idea of transferring the castle to Prince Joachim was announced, but it was only confirmed in 1978 when the prince was nine years old.
Prince Joachim spent many moments at Schackenborg during his childhood and youth, where he got to know every nook and cranny of the castle and was entrusted with the many stories and the history of the castle.
Prince Joachim moved into Schackenborg in 1993. Before that, he had trained as a farmer and agricultural economist, so he was ready to take over Schackenborg’s large and modern farm. Prince Joachim came with a lot of enthusiasm and ideas, taking the initiative for many innovative projects such as The Five Farms, meat production, high-quality raw material production, and Christmas trees.
Even though Schackenborg is a cultural and historical gem and one of Southern Jutland’s few castles, maintenance had been lacking over the years, and when Prince Joachim took over Schackenborg, the old castle needed some tender loving care.
In connection with the marriage between Prince Joachim and Princess Alexandra in 1995, the couple received a public gift earmarked for a comprehensive restoration, especially of Schackenborg’s exterior. The first major project was to restore Schackenborg’s main axis. The work was inspired by a door frame in the castle that shows the entire layout around 1760. The beautiful baroque layout featured two axes intersecting at right angles, and with the extensive restoration of the main axis, Schackenborg returned to this expression. The restoration included the entire park, the restoration of the south bridge near the gatehouse, and the construction of a new bridge at the entrance from the east.
Schackenborg’s exterior walls also received a necessary and much-needed lift with the public gift. The facade was renovated, and the roofs were replaced. In particular, the roof restoration was a very large project, including the rebuilding of chimney pipes and the removal and restoration of dormers. The old gatehouse also underwent extensive restoration.
The south wing of the beautiful castle is furnished as a private residence for the prince couple and their family, so don’t be surprised if you see members of the royal family when visiting Schackenborg.
Photo: Steen Brogaard – The Royal House