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The Royal Couple danced the bridal waltz in the Dome Hall of the palace. Photo: Scanpix / Jørgen Jessen

The Dome Hall

Fredensborg Palace’s high-ceilinged ballroom

The heart of the palace is the Dome Hall which provides the setting for banquets and parties held at the palace. The hall measures 15 metres by 15 metres and is 27 metres high. In the vaulted dome of the ceiling, light pours in through five red-framed windows and the lantern at the top of the dome. The Danish Royal Family has been holding wedding receptions and banquets here for the last 300 years. Before midnight, the Royal Family’s bridal waltz is performed on the hall’s ornate marble floor which is laid in a pattern of stars. 

A defect in the marble floor ensures that the bridal waltz will carry on

The star-patterned marble floor has a single deliberate defect. Frederick IV ordered a deliberate defect to be made in the floor, because he believed that nobody had the right to challenge the sole source of perfection – that of the divine. The defective tile has perhaps given Fredensborg divine protection, because there has never been a fire at the palace. It has ensured that the tradition of the bridal waltz, when newly-wed princes and princesses dance the first dance together, has carried on over the decades. The last time the bridal waltz was danced was on the occasion of the wedding of Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary in 2004. Members of the royal houses of Europe surrounded the couple and clapped in time to the bridal waltz.