Category Archives: Swedish Royals

Hedwig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, Queen of Sweden

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

Known for her invaluable diary which described the Swedish royal court from 1775-1817, Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp was born on March 22, 1759, in Eutin, now in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Her parents were Friedrich August I, Duke of Oldenburg and Princess Ulrike Friederike Wilhelmine of Hesse-Kassel. She was a niece of King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden, the father of her future husband, and like her husband, a first cousin of Empress Catherine II of Russia (the Great).

Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte had two older siblings. Due to mental illness, her brother was Duke of Oldenburg in name only. His cousin Peter, Prince-Bishop of Lübeck, was regent throughout his entire reign and succeeded him.

Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte first met her cousin Prince Carl of Sweden, second son of King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia and brother of King Gustav III of Sweden, when he came to visit Eutin in 1770. In 1766, King Gustav III had married Princess Sophia Magdalena of Denmark. In 1772, the marriage still had not been consummated and Gustav wanted to give the task of providing an heir to his brother. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte’s name was brought up as a possible bride for Carl. The marriage was arranged in 1772, but the wedding was delayed because of the bride’s young age.

Carl of Sweden; Credit – Wikipedia

The couple was married by proxy in Wismar, a German city in the possession of Sweden, on June 22, 1774, with Baron Carl Otto von Höpken standing in for the groom. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte traveled to Sweden and arrived on July 1, 1774. On July 7, 1774, she made her entry into Stockholm on the Vasaorden, a kungaslup, Swedish for a ceremonial rowboat, built for King Gustav III in 1744. It was destroyed by fire in 1921 and an exact replica was built in 1923 which was used at the wedding celebrations of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling in 2010.

Ceremonial entry of Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte into Stockholm by Pehr Hilleström; Credit – Wikipedia

The Vasaorden at the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria in 2010; Photo Credit – Av Atlantic Chef – Eget arbete, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10686218

After her ceremonial arrival in Stockholm, Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte was formally presented to Queen Sophia Magdalena, Dowager Queen Louisa Ulrika, members of the Council, their wives and ambassadors. The second wedding took place the same evening at the Royal Chapel in the Royal Palace of Stockholm followed by a masked ball in the Royal Garden.

 

Wedding dress of Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

In July 1775, there were signs that Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte was pregnant. It was hoped that the succession problem was solved and prayers were held in the churches. In mid-September, preparations were made for the royal birth which was expected in October. However, on October 24, 1775, it was determined that there was no pregnancy. The news of the false pregnancy made King Gustav III decide to consummate his marriage and provide an heir to the throne himself, the future King Gustav IV Adolf, born in 1778.

Their marriage was distant and both Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte and Carl had extramarital affairs. From 1783, Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte had a long-term relationship with Count Carl Piper, whom she herself referred to as her lover in her diary. Among her other alleged lovers was Count Axel von Fersen, alleged lover of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte eventually had two children – one stillborn and one who lived only six days. Rumors of Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte’s alleged affairs were noted during her pregnancy in 1797.

  • Lovisa Hedvig (July 2, 1797), stillborn
  • Carl Adolf, Duke of Värmland (July 4, 1798 – July 10, 1798), died in early infancy

On March 16, 1792, King Gustav III was shot by Jacob Johan Anckarström during a masked ball at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm. Thirteen days later, on March 29, 1792, King Gustav III died of his wounds at the Royal Palace of Stockholm at the age of 46. His 13-year-old son succeeded him as King Gustav IV Adolf. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte’s husband Prince Carl, the young king’s uncle, served as regent until 1796.  Carl was not willing or not capable of managing state affairs and he entrusted the power of government to his confidant Count Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm.

In 1805, King Gustav IV Adolf joined the Third Coalition against Napoleon. His campaign went poorly and the French occupied Swedish Pomerania. In 1807, Russia made peace with France. A year later, Russia invaded Finland, which was ruled by Sweden, attempting to force Gustav Adolf to join Napoleon’s Continental System. In just a few months, almost all of Finland was lost to Russia. In 1809, Sweden surrendered the eastern third of Sweden to Russia and the autonomous Grand Principality of Finland within the Russian Empire was established.

Provoked by the disaster in Finland, a group of noblemen started a coup d’état that deposed King Gustav IV Adolf. On March 13, 1809, a group of conspirators broke into the royal apartments at Gripsholm Castle and imprisoned Gustav Adolf and his family. Gustav IV Adolf abdicated on March 29, 1809, thinking if he did so, his son would become king. However, on May 10, 1809, the Riksdag proclaimed that all members of Gustav Adolf’s family had forfeited their rights to the throne. After accepting a new liberal constitution, Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte’s husband, Prince Carl, was proclaimed King Carl XIII of Sweden on June 6, 1809. In December 1809, King Gustav IV Adolf and his family were sent into exile.

Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte in 1814; Credit – Wikipedia

After the coup, Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte stated, “I do not wish to be a Queen!” She had a deep affection for Frederica of Baden, the wife of Gustav IV Adolf and found it embarrassing to be taking her place. She told her husband that she would become his adviser and confidante, but that she would keep away from the matters of the state. During Carl’s reign, Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte visited him in his bedroom every morning to talk to him. She was crowned with Carl on June 29, 1809.

Carl was 60 years old when he became king. He was childless and not in good health so it was necessary to find a successor for him. All of King Gustav IV Adolf’s descendants had been declared ineligible to succeed to the Swedish throne, but there was a movement, the Gustavian Party, which supported the deposed king’s son, the former Crown Prince Gustav, to be acknowledged as heir to the throne. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte supported this movement. However, 41-year-old unmarried, childless Prince Carl August of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg  was chosen to be the Crown Prince of Sweden.

In November 1809, King Carl XIII had a stroke and was not able to participate in the government. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte informally took his place on the Council. The Gustavian Party asked her to accept the post of regent, exclude the newly appointed Crown Prince, and adopt the former Crown Prince Gustav as heir. She declined the offer to be regent, and the coup never took place. On May 28, 1810, Carl August, Crown Prince of Sweden died from a stroke. There were rumors that the Gustavian Party had poisoned him.

The Swedes had the idea to offer the position of Crown Prince to one of Napoleon’s Marshals. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, who had been appointed Marshal of France in 1804, was well-liked in Sweden, particularly because of his considerate treatment of Swedish prisoners during the recent war with Denmark. In addition, he was related to Napoleon through his wife Désirée Clary, whose sister Julie Clary was married to Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte. Désirée had previously been engaged to Napoleon. Bernadotte already had a son Oscar, born in 1799, who could continue the succession. On August 21, 1810, the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates elected Bernadotte as Crown Prince. He arrived in Stockholm in November 1810 and was formally adopted by the King Carl XIII, taking the name Carl Johan, and converted from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism. He would become King Carl XIV Johan, the first monarch of the House of Bernadotte, which still reigns in Sweden.

Bernadotte made a good impression on Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte. He asked her for advice and discussed the matters of state with her. In 1811, she was asked by the council to convince King Carl XIII to appoint Bernadotte regent and convince Bernadotte to accept the post, which she did.

Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte’s most lasting legacy was her diary. It was written in the form of unsent letters to her friend Countess Sophie von Fersen, sister of Count Axel von Fersen. The letters describe the Swedish royal court from 1775 – 1817 and are an important source for historical research. Besides dealing with gossip and social events of the court, Hedwig Elizabeth Charlotte also wrote about the French Revolution, the assassination of Gustav III, the Napoleonic Wars, and the deposing of Gustav IV Adolf.

King Carl XIII died on February 5, 1818, at the Royal Palace of Stockholm at the age of 69 and was buried at Riddarholm Church in Stockholm. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte’s health had begun to worsen in 1815. After her husband’s death, she said she would not be able to survive without him. On June 20, 1818, after a private dinner with the new King Carl XIV Johan, she went to her room to write, fainted and died at the age of 59. She was buried at Riddarholm Church in Stockholm.

Tomb of Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte; Photo Credit – www.finagrave.com

Wikipedia: Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, Queen of Sweden

Works Cited

  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedvig_Elisabeth_Charlotte_of_Holstein-Gottorp [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].
  • Sv.wikipedia.org. (2017). Hedvig Elisabet Charlotta av Holstein-Gottorp. [online] Available at: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedvig_Elisabet_Charlotta_av_Holstein-Gottorp [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].
  •  Unofficial Royalty. (2017). King Carl III of Sweden. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/king-karl-xiii-of-sweden/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].

King Carl XIII of Sweden

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

Born the second son of King Adolf Frederik of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, Carl was not destined to be king, but at the age of 60, he became King of Sweden and reigned for nine years. He would be the last Swedish monarch of the House of Holstein-Gottorp. Prince Carl of Sweden was born on October 7, 1748, at the Wrangel Palace on Riddarholmen islet in Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Wrangel Palace was the official Stockholm residence of the Swedish royal family from 1697 until 1754 when the Royal Palace of Stockholm was completed.  Carl was the first cousin of Empress Catherine II  of Russia (the Great) and the nephew of King Friedrich II of Prussia (the Great).

Prince Carl in 1758; Credit – Wikipedia

Carl had one older brother and a younger brother and sister:

The three sons of King Adolf Frederik: King Gustav III of Sweden, Prince Frederick Adolf and King Carl XIII of Sweden by Alexander Roslin, 1771; Credit – Wikipedia

During his twenty-year reign of his father King Adolf Fredrik, the King had no real power. The Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) held the power. Adolf Fredrik tried to change this twice, unsuccessfully. Because Carl was second in line to the throne, he was often used as a political tool for the opposition. In 1771, King Adolf Fredrik died and Carl’s brother succeeded to the throne as King Gustav III. In 1772, Gustav arranged for a coup d’état known as Revolution of 1772 or Coup of Gustav III. The coup d’état reinstated absolute monarchy and ended parliamentary rule.  Gustav imprisoned opposition leaders and established a new regime with extensive power for the king. Carl cooperated with his brother during the coup and as a reward was given the title Duke of Södermanland.

In 1766, King Gustav III had married Princess Sophia Magdalena of Denmark. At the time of the coup in 1772, the marriage still had not been consummated and Gustav wanted to give the task of providing an heir to his brother. On July 7, 1774, Carl married his 15-year-old first cousin Princess Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, daughter of Duke Friedrich August I of Holstein-Gottorp and Princess Ulrike Friederike Wilhelmine of Hesse-Kassel.

Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte in 1774; Credit – Wikipedia

In July 1775, there were signs that Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte was pregnant. It was hoped that the succession problem was solved and prayers were held in the churches. However, there was no pregnancy. The news of the false pregnancy made the king decide to consummate his marriage and provide an heir to the throne himself, the future King Gustav IV Adolf, born in 1778.

Their marriage was distant and both Carl and his wife had extramarital affairs. Carl and Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte eventually had two children – one stillborn and one who lived only six days.

  • Lovisa Hedvig (July 2, 1797), stillborn
  • Carl Adolf, Duke of Värmland (July 4, 1798 – July 10, 1798), died in early infancy

In the 1780s, King Gustav III was preoccupied with foreign policy: a growing hatred of Denmark and a desire to conquer Norway. In 1788, he began a war against Russia, the Russo-Swedish War, but had to retreat because of a mutiny in the army. In 1789, he resumed the war with varying success. The war ended in 1790 with the Treaty of Värälä. The war with Russia had destroyed Sweden’s economy, and when Gustav decided to attack France, a conspiracy developed.

Carl’s brother King Gustav III, 1792; Credit – Wikipedia

The Russo-Sweden War and the implementation of the Union and Security Act in 1789, which gave the king more power and abolished many of the privileges of the nobility, contributed to the increasing hatred of King Gustav III, which had existed among the nobility since the 1772 coup. In the winter of 1791-1792, a conspiracy was formed within the nobility to kill the king and reform the government.

On March 16, 1792, King Gustav III was shot by Jacob Johan Anckarström during a masked ball at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm. Thirteen days later, on March 29, 1792, King Gustav III died of his wounds at the Royal Palace of Stockholm at the age of 46. His 13-year-old son succeeded him as King Gustav IV Adolf. Prince Carl, Duke of Södermanland, the young king’s uncle, served as regent until 1796.  Carl was not willing or not capable of managing state affairs and he entrusted the power of government to his confidant Count Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm.

In 1805, King Gustav IV Adolf joined the Third Coalition against Napoleon. His campaign went poorly and the French occupied Swedish Pomerania. In 1807, Russia made peace with France. A year later, Russia invaded Finland, which was ruled by Sweden, attempting to force Gustav Adolf to join Napoleon’s Continental System. In just a few months, almost all of Finland was lost to Russia. In 1809, Sweden surrendered the eastern third of Sweden to Russia and the autonomous Grand Principality of Finland within the Russian Empire was established.

Carl’s nephew King Gustav IV Adolf, 1809; Credit – Wikipedia

Provoked by the disaster in Finland, a group of noblemen started a coup d’état that deposed King Gustav IV Adolf. On March 13, 1809, a group of conspirators broke into the royal apartments at Gripsholm Castle and imprisoned Gustav Adolf and his family. Prince Carl, Gustav Adolf’s uncle, agreed to form a provisional government and the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, gave their approval for the coup. Gustav Adolf abdicated on March 29, 1809, thinking if he did so, his son would become king. However, on May 10, 1809, the Riksdag proclaimed that all members of Gustav Adolf’s family had forfeited their rights to the throne. After accepting a new liberal constitution, Prince Carl was proclaimed King Carl XIII of Sweden on June 6, 1809. In December 1809, King Gustav IV Adolf and his family were sent into exile.

Carl was 60 years old and not in good health. In November 1809, he had a stroke and was not able to participate in the government while he recuperated. Since all of King Gustav IV Adolf’s descendants had been declared ineligible to succeed to the Swedish throne and Carl was childless, a new heir had to be found. Prince Carl August of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, the 41-year-old son of Friedrich Christian I, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg and Princess Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön, was chosen to be the Crown Prince of Sweden. The new Crown Prince arrived in Sweden in January 1810, but he died from a stroke on May 28, 1810.

The Swedes had the idea to offer the position of Crown Prince to one of Napoleon’s Marshals. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, who had been appointed Marshal of France in 1804, was well-liked in Sweden, particularly because of his considerate treatment of Swedish prisoners during the recent war with Denmark. In addition, he was related to Napoleon through his wife Désirée Clary, whose sister Julie Clary was married to Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte. Désirée had previously been engaged to Napoleon. Bernadotte already had a son Oscar, born in 1799, who could continue the succession. On August 21, 1810, the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates elected Bernadotte as Crown Prince. He arrived in Stockholm in November 1810 and was formally adopted by the King Carl XIII, taking the name Carl Johan, and converted from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism.

Jean Baptiste Bernadotte (King Carl XIV Johan of Sweden) as Crown Prince of Sweden; Credit – Wikipedia

The new Crown Prince quickly took an active role in the Swedish government, particularly in the area of foreign policy. He was actively involved in the events leading up to the Treaty of Kiel in 1814, in which Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden. Norway refused to accept the treaty at first, and the Crown Prince invaded, quickly suppressing the Norwegian forces. Soon, Norway became united with Sweden at the Convention of Moss. Unlike the previous union with Denmark, this was a personal union under a single sovereign, and Norway remained an independent state with its own constitution.

King Carl III, circa 1816; Credit – Wikipedia

King Carl XIII died on February 5, 1818, at the Royal Palace of Stockholm at the age of 69 and he was buried at Riddarholm Church in Stockholm. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte ascended the throne. His coronation in Sweden took place on May 11, 1818, and he took the name King Carl XIV Johan. In September 1818, he was crowned in Norway, as King Carl III Johan. Thus began the Bernadotte dynasty in Sweden, which continues today.

Tomb of King Carl XIII of Sweden; Photo Credit – www.findagrave.com

Wikipedia: King Carl XIII of Sweden

Works Cited

  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Charles XIII of Sweden. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_XIII_of_Sweden [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].
  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_Elizabeth_Charlotte_of_Holstein-Gottorp [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].
  • Fr.wikipedia.org. (2017). Charles XIII. [online] Available at: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_XIII [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].
  • Sv.wikipedia.org. (2017). Karl XIII. [online] Available at: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_XIII [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). King Carl XIV Johan of Sweden (Jean Baptiste Bernadotte). [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/king-carl-xiv-johan-of-sweden-jean-baptiste-bernadotte/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2017].

Frederica of Baden, Queen of Sweden

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

The wife of the King Gustav IV Adolph of Sweden who was deposed after a 17-year reign, Princess Friederike (Frederica) Dorothea Wilhelmina of Baden, was born on March 12, 1781, at Karlsruhe Palace in Karlsruhe, Duchy of Baden (now in the German state of Baden-Württemberg). Frederica was the fourth of the six daughters and the fourth of the eight children of Karl Ludwig, Hereditary Prince of Baden and Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. Her father predeceased his father so he never became Grand Duke of Baden.

Frederica, herself a queen, had seven siblings which included an empress, a queen, a grand duchess, a duchess, and a grand duke. Collectively, Frederica and her siblings are ancestors of a number of royal families.

Gustav Adolf and Frederica, circa 1797-1800; Credit – Wikipedia

The princesses of Baden were renowned for their beauty. The marriage of Frederica’s 14-year-old sister Louise to the future Alexander I, Emperor of Russia opened the door to prized marriages for her sisters. After having issues with some prospective brides, 19-year-old King Gustav IV Adolph of Sweden, son of King Gustav III of Sweden and Sophia Magdalena of Denmark, decided to arrange his own marriage. During a 1796 visit to Russia, he had met the former Louise of Baden who was married to the future Alexander I, Emperor of Russia. Gustav Adolf thought Louise was beautiful and he expected the same of her sister Frederica. He visited 16-year-old Frederica and her parents in August 1797 and immediately Gustav Adolf and Frederica became engaged. On October 6, 1797, Frederica of Baden was married by proxy to King Gustav IV Adolf in Stralsund in Swedish Pomerania with Swedish Baron Evert Taube standing in for the king. Baron Taube accompanied Frederica to Sweden where a second wedding ceremony was held on October 31, 1797, in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

The couple had five children:

Coming from a small, strict, Protestant German court, Frederica found it difficult to adapt to the pleasure-loving Swedish court. By nature, she was shy and isolated herself with her courtiers, who were girls the same age as her. Her mother-in-law, born Sophia Magdalena of Denmark, treated her with kindness because she remembered all too well how poorly her own mother-in-law had treated her. After the birth of her son in 1799, Frederica became more comfortable in her position as queen.

The king and queen preferred a quiet family life with a small entourage at Haga Palace or Gripsholm Castle. Frederica was a skillful clavichord player, enjoyed the company of her small circle of friends, and devoted herself to the upbringing of her children. She kept in close correspondence with her family. In 1801, her parents visited Sweden after having been in Russia to see her sister. However, the visit ended unhappily as her father died due to a coach accident during the visit.

In 1805, Gustav Adolf joined the Third Coalition against Napoleon. His campaign went poorly and the French occupied Swedish Pomerania. In 1807, Russia made peace with France. A year later, Russia invaded Finland, which was ruled by Sweden, attempting to force Gustav Adolf to join Napoleon’s Continental System. In just a few months, almost all of Finland was lost to Russia. In 1809, Sweden surrendered the eastern third of Sweden to Russia and the autonomous Grand Principality of Finland within the Russian Empire was established.

Provoked by the disaster in Finland, a group of noblemen started a coup d’état that deposed King Gustav IV Adolf. On March 13, 1809, a group of conspirators led by Carl Johan Adlercreutz broke into the royal apartments at Gripsholm Castle and imprisoned Gustav Adolf and his family. Prince Karl, Gustav Adolf’s uncle, agreed to form a provisional government and the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, gave their approval for the coup. Gustav Adolf abdicated on March 29, 1809, thinking if he did so, his son would become king. However, on May 10, 1809, the Riksdag proclaimed that all members of Gustav Adolf’s family had forfeited their rights to the throne. After accepting a new liberal constitution, Prince Karl was proclaimed King Karl XIII of Sweden on June 6, 1809. In December 1809, Gustav Adolf and his family were sent to Germany.

Frederica in exile; Credit – Wikipedia

Gustav Adolf and Frederica settled in Frederica’s home country, the Grand Duchy of Baden. However, the couple became incompatible and divorced in 1812. In the divorce settlement, Gustav Adolf renounced all his assets in favor of his mother and his children. He also renounced the custody and guardianship of his children. Two years later, Frederica placed her children under the guardianship of her brother-in-law, Alexander I, Emperor of Russia.

Frederica settled in Bruchsal Castle in Baden. She acquired several other residences in Baden and a country villa, Villamont, near Lausanne, Switzerland. Frederica spent most of her time at her brother’s court in Karlsruhe, but she also traveled around Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, using the name Countess Itterburg after a ruin in Hesse she had acquired. Apparently, Frederica turned down two proposals of marriage, one from the widower of her sister, Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and the other from King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia.

During her final years, Frederica was often ill. She died in Lausanne, Switzerland of heart disease on September 25, 1826 at the age of only 45. Frederica was buried at her family’s burial site, Schlosskirche St. Michael in Pforzheim, then in the Duchy of Baden, now in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Schlosskirche St. Michael; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Wikipedia: Frederica of Baden, Queen of Sweden

Works Cited

  • De.wikipedia.org. (2017). St. Michael (Pforzheim). [online] Available at: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Michael_(Pforzheim) [Accessed 24 Sep. 2017].
  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Frederica of Baden. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederica_of_Baden [Accessed 24 Sep. 2017].
  • Fr.wikipedia.org. (2017). Frédérique de Bade. [online] Available at: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9rique_de_Bade [Accessed 24 Sep. 2017].
  • Sv.wikipedia.org. (2017). Fredrika av Baden. [online] Available at: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredrika_av_Baden [Accessed 24 Sep. 2017].

King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

King Gustav IV Adolf became king at the age of 13 when his father was assassinated and was deposed 17 years later in a coup. He was born at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on November 1, 1778, the elder of the two sons of King Gustav III of Sweden and Princess Sophia Magdalena of Denmark, daughter of King Frederik V of Denmark and his first wife Princess Louise of Great Britain, daughter of King George II of Great Britain.

The marriage of Gustav Adolf’s parents remained unconsummated for ten years. There were various theories regarding the cause including his mother’s strict religious upbringing and introverted character, his father’s sexuality, and the possibility that either or both Queen Sophia Magdalena and King Gustav III had some kind of physical problem. Eventually, Count Adolf Fredrik Munck af Fulkila acted as a sexual instructor for the couple. The instruction resulted in the birth of Gustav Adolf. When it became known that Munck participated in the reconciliation between the royal couple, there were rumors that he was Gustav Adolf’s father.

Gustav Adolf had one younger brother who died in infancy:

  • Prince Carl Gustav, Duke of Småland (1782–1783)

Gustav Adolf in 1785; Credit – Wikipedia

At the time of his birth, Gustav Adolf was put under the care of Maria Aurora Uggla, lady-in-waiting and confidant of Queen Sophia Magdalena. As Crown Prince, Gustav Adolf began his education before he was three years old with Count Fredrik Sparre. When he was ten-years-old, Gustav Adolf received the Royal Order of the Seraphim.

On March 16, 1792, King Gustav III was shot by Jacob Johan Anckarström during a masked ball at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm. Thirteen days later, on March 29, 1792, King Gustav III died of his wounds at the Royal Palace of Stockholm at the age of 46. His 13-year-old son succeeded him as King Gustav IV Adolf.  Prince Carl, Duke of Södermanland, the young king’s paternal uncle, served as regent until 1796. Carl was not willing or not capable of managing state affairs and he entrusted the power of government to his confidant Count Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm.  Nils von Rosenstein, the first permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, served as Gustav Adolf’s tutor.

King Gustav IV Adolf in 1793; Credit – Wikipedia

In 1795, Gustav Adolph was betrothed to Duchess Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The engagement was arranged by Count Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm, the confidant of the regent Prince Karl, who wished to keep his influence after Gustav Adolf was declared of legal majority by having a queen indebted to him for her position. Gustav Adolf was initially positive about marrying Louise Charlotte and the engagement was celebrated in the courts of Sweden and Mecklenburg-Schwerin. However, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia wanted her granddaughter Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna of Russia to be Queen of Sweden and made her dislike of the engagement known. Because of this, many people told the Gustav Adolf that Louise Charlotte, whom he had not seen, was not beautiful. When Gustav Adolf was declared of legal majority in 1796, he broke off the engagement to Louise Charlotte. Her father demanded compensation. In 1803, the matter was finally settled when the Swedish city of Wismar in Germany was turned over to Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Around the time of his betrothal to Louise Charlotte, Gustav Adolf had fallen in love with Ebba Modée, a maid of honor to Hedwig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, the wife of Gustav Adolf’s uncle Prince Karl. He offered to call off his engagement to Louise Charlotte, abdicate, and elope with her to Bohemia. She declined and encouraged him to go on his trip to Russia in 1796, where he was to be engaged to the Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna. However, the Russian engagement fell through because Gustav Adolph refused to allow his prospective bride to continue to practice her Russian Orthodox religion.

Gustav Adolf and Frederica, circa 1797-1800; Credit – Wikipedia

After all the problems with prospective brides, Gustav Adolf arranged his own marriage. During his 1796 visit to Russia, he had met the former Louise of Baden who was married to the future Alexander I, Emperor of Russia. Louise had a sister Frederica and since Gustav Adolf thought Louise was beautiful, he expected the same of her sister. He visited Frederica and her parents, Karl Ludwig, Hereditary Prince of Baden and Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt, in August 1797 and immediately Gustav Adolf and Frederica became engaged. On October 6, 1797, Frederica of Baden was married by proxy to King Gustav IV Adolf in Stralsund in Swedish Pomerania with Swedish Baron Evert Taube standing in for the king. Baron Taube accompanied Frederica to Sweden where a second wedding ceremony was held on October 31, 1797, in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

The couple had five children:

In 1805, Gustav Adolf joined the Third Coalition against Napoleon. His campaign went poorly and the French occupied Swedish Pomerania. In 1807, Russia made peace with France. A year later, Russia invaded Finland, which was ruled by Sweden, attempting to force Gustav Adolf to join Napoleon’s Continental System. In just a few months, almost all of Finland was lost to Russia. In 1809, Sweden surrendered the eastern third of Sweden to Russia and the autonomous Grand Principality of Finland within the Russian Empire was established.

Provoked by the disaster in Finland, a group of noblemen started a coup d’état that deposed King Gustav IV Adolf. On March 13, 1809, a group of conspirators led by Carl Johan Adlercreutz broke into the royal apartments at Gripsholm Castle and imprisoned Gustav Adolf and his family. Prince Karl, Gustav Adolf’s uncle, agreed to form a provisional government and the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, gave their approval for the coup. Gustav Adolf abdicated on March 29, 1809, thinking if he did so, his son would become king. However, on May 10, 1809, the Riksdag proclaimed that all members of Gustav Adolf’s family had forfeited their rights to the throne. After accepting a new liberal constitution, Prince Karl was proclaimed King Karl XIII of Sweden on June 6, 1809. In December 1809, Gustav Adolf and his family were sent to Germany.

The arrest of Gustav Adolph; Credit – Wikipedia

Gustav Adolf and his family settled in Frederica’s home country, the Grand Duchy of Baden. However, the couple became incompatible and divorced in 1812. In the divorce settlement, Gustav Adolf renounced all his assets in favor of his mother and his children. He also renounced the custody and guardianship of his children. Two years later, Frederica placed her children under the guardianship of her brother-in-law, Alexander I, Emperor of Russia. Frederica settled in Bruchsal Castle in Baden. She acquired several other residences in Baden and a country villa, Villamont, near Lausanne, Switzerland, where she died in 1826.

Colonel Gustafsson, the former King Gustav IV Adolf, circa 1830; Credit – Wikipedia

Gustav Adolf ultimately settled in a small hotel in St. Gallen, Switzerland where he lived in great loneliness. He used several titles in exile: Count Gottorp, Duke of Holstein-Eutin, and Colonel Gustafsson. On February 7, 1837, Gustav Adolf suffered a stroke and died at the age of 58. In 1881, his great-granddaughter Princess Victoria of Baden married Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden, the future King Gustaf V. At the suggestion of the Crown Prince’s father King Oscar II of Sweden, Gustav Adolf’s body was returned to Sweden and interred in the Riddarholm Church, the traditional burial place of the Swedish Royal Family until fairly recently.

Tomb of King Gustav IV Adolf; Photo Credit – www.findagrave.com

Wikipedia: King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden

Works Cited

  • De.wikipedia.org. (2017). Gustav IV. Adolf (Schweden). [online] Available at: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_IV._Adolf_(Schweden) [Accessed 24 Sep. 2017].
  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_IV_Adolf_of_Sweden [Accessed 24 Sep. 2017].
  • Sv.wikipedia.org. (2017). Gustav IV Adolf. [online] Available at: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_IV_Adolf [Accessed 24 Sep. 2017].

King Gustav III of Sweden

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

King Gustav III of Sweden is best known for being mortally wounded during a masked ball at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm, Sweden and dying thirteen days later. The incident was the subject of Giuseppe Verdi’s 1859 opera Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball).  Gustav was the eldest son of King Adolf Frederik of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, daughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, daughter of King George I of Great Britain.   He was the first cousin of Empress Catherine II (the Great) and the nephew of King Friedrich II of Prussia (the Great). Gustav was born on January 24, 1746, at the Wrangel Palace on Riddarholmen islet in Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Wrangel Palace was the official Stockholm residence of the Swedish royal family from 1697 until 1754 when the Royal Palace of Stockholm was completed.

Wrangel Palace in the 1600s. The palace was rebuilt in 1802 after a fire. Credit – Wikipedia

Gustav had three younger siblings:

King Gustav III and his brothers (left to right): King Gustav III of Sweden, Prince Frederick Adolf and King Carl XIII of Sweden by Alexander Roslin, 1771; Credit – Wikipedia

Until he was five years old, Gustav was under the care of a governess, Hedvig Elisabet Strömfelt. During the reign of his father, the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) held all the power and they appointed Gustav’s governors. King Adolf Frederik often expressed his dissatisfaction with this arrangement, sometimes even in the presence of his son. Despite this, Gustav’s governors Carl Gustaf Tessin and Carl Fredrik Scheffer were among the most important Swedish statesmen of the time.

Past wars and the result of the 1743 election caused tension between Denmark and Sweden. To foster friendship between the two countries, a betrothal was arranged in 1751 between two five-year-olds, Crown Prince Gustav of Sweden and Princess Sophia Magdalena of Denmark, the eldest daughter of King Frederik V of Denmark and his first wife Princess Louisa of Great Britain, daughter of King George II of Great Britain. The betrothal was arranged by the Swedish parliament, not the Danish and Swedish royal families. The proposed match was disliked by both the mothers. Gustav’s mother, Queen Louisa Ulrika had long been in conflict with the Swedish parliament and would have preferred a marriage with her niece, Philippine of Brandenburg-Schwedt. Sophia Magdalena’s mother Queen Louise of Denmark feared that her daughter would be mistreated by her mother-in-law Queen Louisa Ulrika.

Sophia Magdalena by Carl Gustaf Pilo, 1765; Credit – Wikipedia

Gustav III of Sweden by Alexander Roslin, 1772; Credit – Wikipedia

On October 1, 1766, Gustav and Sophia Magdalena were married by proxy at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen with the bride’s half-brother Frederik representing the groom. Sophia Magdalena then traveled to Sweden where she married Crown Prince Gustav in person on November 4, 1766, at the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

The wedding attire of Gustav and Sophia Magdalena at the Royal Armory (Swedish: Livrustkammaren), a museum in the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden

The marriage was not a happy one. Sophia Magdalena was quiet and serious and found it difficult to adapt to the pleasure-loving Swedish court. The interference of Gustav’s jealous mother, Queen Louisa Ulrika, did not help the situation. Sophia Magdalena dutifully performed her ceremonial duties, but she did not care about social life and would rather exist in peace and quiet with a few friends.

In 1771, King Adolf Frederick of Sweden died and Gustav succeeded his father as King Gustav III of Sweden. Gustav and Sophia Magdalena’s coronation was held on May 29, 1772, at the Storkyrkan (The Great Church) in Stockholm.

Unfinished painting of Gustav III’s coronation by Carl Gustaf Pilo (Sophia Magdalena can be seen sitting on the right); Credit – Wikipedia

In 1772, Gustav arranged for a coup d’état known as Revolution of 1772 or Coup of Gustav III. The coup d’état reinstated absolute monarchy and ended parliamentary rule.  Gustav imprisoned opposition leaders and established a new regime with extensive power for the king.

Gustav III (center right) at the Revolution of 1772 by Pehr Hilleström; Credit – Wikipedia

The marriage of Sophia Magdalena and Gustav remained unconsummated for ten years. There were various theories regarding the cause including Sophia Magdalena’s strict religious upbringing and introverted character, Gustav’s sexuality, and the possibility that either or both Sophia Magdalena and Gustav had some kind of physical problem. Eventually, Count Adolf Fredrik Munck af Fulkila acted as a sexual instructor for the couple. The instruction resulted in the birth of a son. When it became known that Munck participated in the reconciliation between the royal couple, there were rumors that he was the father of Sophia Magdalena’s son. The couple eventually had another son, but he did not survive childhood:

Gustav III, Sophia Magdalena, and Crown Prince Gustav Adolf in Haga Park by Cornelius Høyer, 1784–1785; Credit – Wikipedia

Like many 18th century monarchs, Gustav III was influenced by the French Age of Enlightenment philosophers. He was well-acquainted with the philosophy of Voltaire, well-known for his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state. Gustav was determined to reconcile his strengthened royal power with the ideas of tolerance and freedom of the enlightenment. He regarded himself as a true friend to the freedom of the press and encouraged publications in socially useful subjects. However, when the opposition to him grew stronger, Gustav restricted what could be written about him. In 1774, a new freedom of the press regulation was issued which contained a number of restrictions compared to the previous regulation of 1766.

In the 1780s, Gustav III was preoccupied with foreign policy: a growing hatred of Denmark and a desire to conquer Norway. In 1788, he began a war against Russia, the Russo-Swedish War, but had to retreat because of a mutiny in the army. In 1789, he resumed the war with varying success. The war ended in 1790 with the Treaty of Värälä. The war with Russia had destroyed Sweden’s economy, and when Gustav decided to attack France, a conspiracy developed.

The Russo-Sweden War and the implementation of the Union and Security Act in 1789, which gave the king more power and abolished many of the privileges of the nobility, contributed to the increasing hatred of Gustav III, which had existed among the nobility since the 1772 coup. In the winter of 1791-1792, a conspiracy was formed within the nobility to kill the king and reform the government. Among the conspirators were Jacob Johan Anckarström, a Swedish military officer, Carl Pontus Lilliehorn, colonel of the Svea Life Guards,  Count Adolph Ribbing, Count Claes Fredrik Horn and Baron Carl Fredrik Pechlin, a former major general in the Swedish army and a member of the Riksdag.

The murder was to take place in the evening of March 16, 1792, at a masked ball held at Royal Opera House in Stockholm. Gustav and his friends ate a light supper at the opera house before joining the masked ball. Towards the end of the supper, a letter arrived for Gustav. At the last moment, Carl Pontus Lilliehorn regretted his part in the conspiracy and sent an anonymous letter to Gustav warning him of the murder plans. Gustav’s friend Count Hans Henric von Essen begged him not to go the masked ball. However, Gustav had received many threatening letters in the past and ignored the warning.

Gustav’s masquerade dress; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Gustav, wearing a mask, a triangular hat, a Venetian cape and the star of the Royal Order of the Seraphim, walked arm in arm with von Essen to the masked ball. Gustav’s was easily recognized because of the Royal Order of the Seraphim and he was surrounded by conspirators Jacob Johan Anckarström, Count Claes Fredrik Horn and Count Adolf Ludvig Ribbing. One of the conspirators said to him in French: “Bonjour, beau masque” (“Good-day, fine masked man”). Anckarström then shot Gustav in the back. von Essen ordered the doors to be closed and all guests were questioned which led to the arrest of several of the conspirators. It was decided that a limited number of the conspirators would be charged and that Jacob Johan Anckarström would be the scapegoat. He was beaten for three days before he was beheaded, mutilated and dismembered. Carl Pontus Lilliehorn, who wrote the anonymous warning letter, was released and exiled. Other conspirators were either imprisoned or exiled.

On March 29, 1792, thirteen days after being shot, King Gustav III died of pneumonia and blood poisoning at the Royal Palace of Stockholm at the age of 46.  King Gustav III was given a magnificent funeral at Riddarholm Church in Stockholm where he was also buried. He was succeeded by his 13-year-old son King Gustav IV Adolf.

Tomb of King Gustav III; Photo Credit – www.findagrave.com

Wikipedia: King Gustav III of Sweden

Works Cited

  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Gustav III of Sweden. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_III_of_Sweden [Accessed 23 Sep. 2017].
  • Sv.wikipedia.org. (2017). Gustav III. [online] Available at: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_III [Accessed 23 Sep. 2017].
  • Sv.wikipedia.org. (2017). Mordet på Gustav III. [online] Available at: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordet_p%C3%A5_Gustav_III [Accessed 23 Sep. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). Sophia Magdalena of Denmark, Queen of Sweden. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/sophia-magdalena-of-denmark-queen-of-sweden/ [Accessed 23 Sep. 2017].

King Adolf Frederik of Sweden

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

The first Swedish king of the House of Holstein-Gottorp, King Adolf Frederik was born Prince Adolf Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp on May 14, 1710, at Gottorp Castle in Gottorp, Duchy of Schleswig now the city of Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He was the second of the six sons and the fifth of the ten children of Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin and Albertina Friederike of Baden-Durlach.

Adolf Frederik had nine siblings including the mother of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia:

In 1727, the seventeen-year-old Adolf Friedrich was elected Prince-Bishop of Lübeck, then a state of the Holy Roman Empire, succeeding his brother Karl August. After the death of his cousin Karl Friedrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp in 1739, Adolf Friedrich became the administrator of the duchy for his 11-year old nephew Karl Peter Ulrich. Karl Peter Ulrich’s mother was Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia, the elder surviving daughter of Peter the Great. When his mother’s sister Elizabeth succeeded as Empress of Russia, she named her nephew her successor. Now called Peter, he married Adolf Friedrich’s niece Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst. Emperor Peter III of Russia reigned briefly until he was deposed by his wife who reigned as Empress Catherine II (the Great.)

In 1743, after the Russo-Swedish War (1741-1743) which ended in Sweden’s defeat, negotiations were held with Empress Elizabeth of Russia. She agreed to restore part of Finland to Sweden if her heir’s uncle, Adolf Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp, was made heir to the childless King Frederik I of Sweden. Thereafter, Adolf Friedrich was known by the Swedish version of his name, Adolf Frederik.

Adolf Frederik; Credit – Wikipedia

The powers that be decided that Adolf Frederik should marry either Princess Louisa Ulrika of Prussia or her youngest sister Anna Amalia. The princesses were the daughters of King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia and his wife Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, daughter of King George I of Great Britain and only sibling of King George II of Great Britain. The Swedish ambassador to Prussia inspected both sisters and recommended Louisa Ulrika. The sisters’ brother King Friedrich II (the Great) of Prussia, who had succeeded to the Prussia throne in 1740, described Louisa Ulrika as arrogant and divisive and recommended Anna Amalia, described as kind-hearted and more suitable. Friedrich’s real reason for recommending Anna Amalia is that he wanted a sister who would gain influence in Sweden and considered his youngest sister to be more manageable. After getting the opinion of the groom Adolf Fredrik, the Swedish government insisted on Louisa Ulrika and King Friedrich II of Prussia gave his approval. Louisa Ulrika was taught about Sweden, converted to Lutheranism, and was advised to refrain from any involvement in politics.

On July 17, 1744, Louisa Ulrika and Adolf Fredrik were married by proxy in Berlin with the bride’s brother August Wilhelm standing in for the groom. Louisa Ulrika was escorted to Sweden by the Swedish ambassador and his wife. On August 18, 1744, she was welcomed by King Frederik I at Drottningholm Palace, where the second wedding ceremony was held the same day, followed by a ball and a court reception.

Louisa Ulrika by Antoine Pesne, circa 1744; Credit – Wikipedia

King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden by Antoine Pesne; Credit – Wikipedia

Following a stillbirth, Louisa Ulrika and Adolf Fredrik had four children:

The three sons of King Adolf Frederik: King Gustav III of Sweden, Prince Frederick Adolf and King Carl XIII of Sweden by Alexander Roslin, 1771; Credit – Wikipedia

Adolf Fredrik was introverted, gentle and submissive, and Louisa Ulrika was pleased with him because she immediately felt secure in the fact that she was his superior. Already during their first day together, she was meddling in politics, informing Adolf Fredrik that her brother Friedrich had plans for an alliance between Sweden, Russia, and Prussia, and asked Adolf Fredrik to raise the subject with the Prussian envoy, which he agreed to do. Upon the death of King Frederik I of Sweden on March 25, 1751, Adolf Frederik succeeded to the Swedish throne. At the time of her wedding in 1744, King Fredrik I gave Louisa Ulrika the ownership of Drottningholm Palace, not too far from the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Louisa Ulrika and Adolf Fredrik continued to reside at the palace during their reign (1751–1771). In 1777, Louisa Ulrika sold Drottningholm Palace to the Swedish state. Currently, it is the home of the Swedish Royal Family.

Adolf Frederik in coronation robes; Credit – Wikipedia

During his twenty-year reign, Adolf Fredrik had no real power. The Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) held the power. Adolf Fredrik tried to change this twice, unsuccessfully. In the Coup of 1756, Queen Louisa Ulrika and her confidants planned to abolish the rule of the Riksdag and reinstate absolute monarchy in Sweden. The attempted coup was exposed and several confidants of the royal family were executed.

During the December Crisis (1768), King Adolf Frederik refused to sign state documents and formally resigned from the throne. It was thought that this action would bring about the assembling of a new Riksdag, during which a reform to increase the king’s powers could be introduced. On December 20, 1768, the Riksdag was assembled and promised new reforms. King Adolf Frederik agreed to retake the throne, the crisis was averted, and the government could function again. However, the Riksdag did not assemble until 1769, and the only action it took regarding the royal house was to give it an increased allowance.

At the age of 60, King Adolf Fredrik died on February 12, 1771, at the Royal Palace in Stockholm after eating an extremely large meal and then suffering a stroke. In Sweden, he is remembered as “the king who ate himself to death.” He was buried at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm.

Tomb of King Adolf Frederik; Photo Credit – www.findagrave.com

Wikipedia: King Adolf Frederik of Sweden

Works Cited:

  • De.wikipedia.org. (2017). Adolf Friedrich (Schweden). [online] Available at: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Friedrich_(Schweden) [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017].
  • En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Frederick,_King_of_Sweden [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017].
  • Sv.wikipedia.org. (2017). Adolf Fredrik. [online] Available at: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Fredrik [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, Queen of Sweden. [online] Available at: http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/louisa-ulrika-of-prussia-queen-of-sweden/ [Accessed 17 Sep. 2017].

Christening of Prince Gabriel of Sweden

Prince Gabriel, the younger son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, will be christened tomorrow – December 1, 2017 – in the chapel at Drottningholm Palace.

Today, the Swedish Royal Court released the names of his godparents:

  • Princess Madeleine of Sweden – Carl Philip’s sister
  • Miss Sara Hellqvist – Sofia’s sister
  • Mr Oscar Kylberg – Carl Philip’s business partner
  • Miss Carolina Pihl – Sofia’s former business partner
  • Mr Thomas de Toledo Sommerlath – Carl Philip’s maternal first cousin

The christening will be held at 12 noon local time (that’s 6am Eastern Time) and will be live-streamed at the following link.  Note that coverage begins at 11:30:

https://www.svtplay.se/video/15911734/prins-gabriels-dop/prins-gabriels-dop-1-dec-11-30

Sofia of Sweden, Grand Duchess of Baden

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Princess Sofia of Sweden was the wife of Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden. She was born Princess Sofia Vilhelmina Katarina Maria Lovisa Charlotta Anna of Sweden on May 21, 1801 in Stockholm. She was the daughter of King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden and Friederike of Baden, and had four siblings:

Sofia’s father was deposed as King of Sweden in 1809, and the family went into exile in Baden, her mother’s homeland. Her parents soon separated and divorced, and Sofia and her siblings stayed with their mother at Meersburg Castle on Lake Constance in Baden. In 1814, their mother placed the children under the guardianship of her brother-in-law, Tsar Alexander I of Russia.

Leopold of Baden. source: Wikipedia

On July 25, 1819 in Karlsruhe, Sofia married Leopold of Baden, her grandfather’s half-brother. The marriage had been arranged by her great-grandfather, Karl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Baden, to help strengthen Leopold’s right to the throne of Baden. (Leopold had been born of Karl Friedrich’s second – and morganatic – marriage, and had only recently been elevated to Prince and Margrave of Baden, and formally acknowledged as having succession rights.) Sophie – having taken the German version of her name – and Leopold had eight children:

Sophie and her children, c1834. source: Wikipedia

She became Grand Duchess in March 1830, when her husband succeeded to the throne. Very conscious of her duty, she worked diligently, supporting her husband and becoming involved in charitable organizations which helped those in need. She maintained a strong interest in science and art, but it was politics that seemed to be her biggest interest. A prolific writer, she maintained an extensive correspondence with relatives and friends throughout Europe, and never hesitated to share her thoughts and opinions when it came to any sort of political situation – whether in her own country or elsewhere.

Sophie was widowed in 1852, and lived out the rest of her life at Karlsruhe Palace. Despite having been very angry because of the way her father had been deposed, and her brother stripped of his Swedish titles, in 1863 Sophie met with the heir to the Swedish throne – the future King Oscar II – and his wife Sofia of Nassau. The meeting served to begin healing the relationship between the two families.

The Dowager Grand Duchess Sophie died at Karlsruhe Palace on July 6, 1865, and was buried in the Karlsruhe Stadtkirche. After World War II, her remains were moved to the Grand Ducal Chapel in the Pheasant Garden in Karlsruhe.

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Breaking News: Swedish baby prince named

 

Te Deum Service, a thank you service for the royal birth: King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Prince Carl Philip, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel; Photo Credit – Swedish Royal Court, Photo: Anders Wiklund / TT

At a cabinet meeting on Monday, September 4, 2017, King Carl XVI Gustaf announced the names of his newest grandson, the second son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia:

His Royal Highness Prince Gabriel Carl Walther, Duke of Dalarna. He will be called Prince Gabriel.

On the same day, a Te Deum service, a thank you service for the royal birth, was held in the Royal Palace church attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Madeleine, Christopher O’Neill, Prince Carl Philip and the Hellqvist family.

Breaking News: Princess Sofia of Sweden has given birth to 2nd son

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia with their first child Prince Alexander; Photo Credit – Swedish Royal Court

The following announcement was made by the Swedish Royal Court:

The Office of The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce that HRH Princess Sofia gave birth to a healthy child Thursday the 31 August 2017 at 11.24am at Danderyd Hospital. Both mother and child are in good health.

A second announcement stated that Princess Sofia had given birth to a son and that the name will be announced on Monday.

Princess Sofia, born Sofia Hellqvist, married Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, son of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, on June 13, 2015.  Their first child Prince Alexander was born on April 19, 2016.