Villa Fridhem was built in 1909 as a summer residence to Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg. Prince Carl, also known as the “Blue Prince”, was the son of Oscar II and Queen Sofia. He had three brothers, Prince Oscar, Prince Eugen, known as the “Painting Prince”, and Gustav V, who is our present king’s grandfather’s father. He married the Danish princess Ingeborg, daughter of king Fredrik VIII.
Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg had four children. Princess Märtha, who later married Olav of Norway, Princess Astrid, who married Leopold of Belgium, and Princess Margareta, who married Prince Axel of Denmark. They also had a son named Prince Carl Jr., with the nickname Samuel.
The name Villa Fridhem came from that Prince Carl, who was Chairman of the Red Cross, wanted this to be a residence of peace. Ferdinand Boberg was hired as an architect. His previous work, among others, was the NK-house and Valdemarsudde where Prince Carls’s brother lived, both in Stockholm. Boberg’s intention with Villa Fridhem was to build a real Swedish mansion, but he departed from the symmetrical position of the windows, the main entrance and the porch which are located by the side of the center of the house. As a model for the house was the childhood home of Princess Ingeborg “Charlottenlund” located outside of Copenhagen (see the painting in the blue salon) and their former summer residence “Parkudden” at Djurgården, Stockholm.
In the big hall/lobby you meet the huge fireplace in green marble, from close surroundings in Kolmården, which is still frequently used. On the main floor was the family’s dining room and Prince Carl’s workplace, which now is an office space and reception. In the blue salon is a big portrait of the three princesses Märtha, Astrid and Margareta. This painting was a gift to Prince Carl and was painted in 1934 by the Danish painter Saltoft. The special thing about this painting is that it took six month to finish, because the princesses lived in different countries, and the painter had to travel to paint them separately.
On the second floor was the family’s private bedrooms. The Princess’s bedroom was decorated in white and purple wallpaper with carnival motif. Prince Carl Jr. room were decorated with white and blue with chrysanthemum patterns. Prince Eugen, Prince Carl’s brother, had his own room since he visited Villa Fridhem often.
On the third floor were all guest rooms. All rooms were decorated in different colour schemes, including everything from the walls and textiles of the room to the small soap at the washbasin. In total Villa Fridhem, at that time, had 30 rooms.
Over the front door, that is the original, you see the beautiful royal ornaments with the Swedish and the Danish National Weapons and the initials of the Prince couple.