The biography of the Swedish Queen Christina (1626-1689), who ruled the country from 1644 to 1654, has been and remains one of the most discussed today. Many contemporaries and historians set her as an example as a ruler loved by the people, while not putting her life on the altar of public affairs.
The Swedish Queen Christina is one of those women whose life is known to a wide range of people, but there is no exact data about the other. As a result, many facts of her biography are overgrown with conjectures and rumors.
The birth of the future queen
The future Swedish queen Christina was born on December 18, 1626 (according to the new style). Her parents were Sovereign Gustav II Adolf and the Brandenburg princess Maria Eleonora, during whose pregnancy all the signs known to the then doctors indicated the birth of her son, the future heir to the throne. The same thing, with one voice, was said by numerous fortune-tellers and soothsayers admitted to the court.
Even right afterchildbirth, the courtiers, seeing a newborn child, mistook him for a boy. Here begins the first discrepancy in Christina's biography. According to some sources, this conclusion was made due to the fact that the child was very large. Others point to an unusually loud voice, which they took as a sign of unusually strong boyish he alth. Third sources indicate that the baby was born with a lot of hair, which was also interpreted in favor of the male sex. Whatever it was, but King Gustav was informed about the birth of the heir of the boy, whom he dreamed of with the queen.
When the real sex of the child was revealed, the king was cautiously told that a girl was still born. But despite all fears, the monarch accepted this news favorably, and when he first saw his daughter, he said that if she had already deceived the entire royal court at birth, then great achievements await her in the future.
First years of life
The Swedish Queen Christina, whose biography began so extravagantly, was the daughter of one of the most educated monarchs of her time. He raised the child according to his views on what a real ruler should be. It was Gustav who saw her as the successor to the throne, which he announced to his nobles and subjects - if he does not have male heirs, then Christina becomes queen. The Swedes swore allegiance to her when Kristina was only one year old.
Gustav was personally involved in the initial upbringing, which Queen Maria Eleonora, who was very much looking forward to her son, was only glad of. Here comes the next ambiguity of the biography. ATAs a child, Queen Christina of Sweden suffered several injuries that caused one shoulder to be higher than the other and a noticeable limp when walking.
According to some sources, this was the fault of the queen, who did not take good care of the child until the king took up the upbringing of the girl … Another version says that this was facilitated by the father himself, who kept Christina constantly with him, but never paid attention to how and from where the child could fall, as a result of which the injuries received remained unhealed and left a mark for life.
Childhood and studies of the Queen
History often consists of accidents - descendants might not recognize such a name as Queen Christina of Sweden. The biography of the girl made the first sharp turn after the death of her father - in 1832, Gustav died in one of the battles of the Thirty Years' War, without giving the state a male heir. Queen Maria Eleonora was never interested in state affairs, so the Swedish Senate unanimously wished to fulfill the will of Christina's father and approved the girl as head of state, deciding that Count Axel Oksinstern would become regent until she came of age. As a mentor, he was an example for Christina in everything, doing a lot to ensure that the young queen received a good education.
Being a worthy daughter of her father, the little heir to the throne from childhood amazed her contemporaries with the ease with which she learned new knowledge. Foreign languages, arts, exact sciences and history - everything was given to a girl withease. Already at the age of 12, she could give a fiery speech in Latin, and Rene Descartes himself studied natural sciences with her, who said that Queen Christina of Sweden was his best student, and remained with her until her death.
The death of the great scientist is overgrown with rumors. The official version says that he died of pneumonia due to the harsh northern climate, but there is speculation that he was poisoned, as some courtiers feared his influence on the new queen.
The character of the ruler
In order to get deep knowledge of foreign languages, history, politics noted by contemporaries, a certain concentration, purposefulness and true love for the very process of learning new things are required from the student during training. Christina had all these qualities in abundance, but in addition to a brilliant mind, the girl was also brought up with the strength of character laid down by many generations of royal blood, a critical perception of reality and the right to act only as she herself sees fit. Her father called her none other than "king" (and not "queen"). When the girl grew up, only very serious arguments could force her to change the decision once made.
A great impression on the formation of Christina's worldview was made by her acquaintance with the biography of Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Ireland in 1558-1603, who was a patron of the arts and sciences and was remembered for her decision not to burden herself with marriage bonds and any kind of connections with men. As it wasin fact, no one knows, but officially both queens never married and did not leave behind children.
The Regent of Sweden, Count Oksishtern, from an early age began to prepare Christina for accession to the throne, talking with her on state topics. The future queen herself showed a keen interest in these topics, and from her correspondence it can be concluded that she understood the issue quite well already at the age of twelve.
Start of reign
Long before her coronation, Queen Christina of Sweden took an active part in the life of the state. Thanks to her outstanding abilities, from the age of 16 she was allowed to attend meetings of the Senate, where she often made a splash with her statements, judgments and opinions on foreign and domestic policy.
When she turned 18 in 1644, despite the fact that before the official coronation will have to wait a few more years, the Senate announces to the people about Christina's majority, and she becomes the de facto sole ruler of the kingdom.
The coming to power practically did not change the daily routine that the Swedish Queen Christina adhered to - interesting facts from life, scrupulously listed in the memoirs of contemporaries, note, for example, that she woke up at 5 in the morning and often demanded the same from her teacher - Rene Descartes. Personal time was divided between state affairs and further self-development, and the young queen often did not pay attention to conventions. In addition to the fact that she often wore men's clothes, consideringher more comfortable. Artists could paint any outfit, but if the paparazzi existed at the time when the Swedish Queen Christina lived, the photo could well capture ink stains on her dresses, which was a common occurrence for the ruler.
Rejection of marriage
After coming of age, mindful of the untimely death of Gustav, the Senate proposes to its ruler to marry in order to give the state an heir to the throne. It was assumed that this was one of the direct duties of the last representative of the ruling Vasa dynasty, who was Christina, the Swedish queen. The 17th century was conservative on this issue, but no matter what, following the example of her idol, Elizabeth I, Christina announced that she was not going to ever marry and have children. This decision shocked the whole of Sweden - from commoners to the aristocracy, who do not want to transfer power to "foreign" hands. Attempts were made to change the queen's mind - the Riksdag was looking for suitors for her, whom she rejected with enviable constancy. One of the parties in general seemed ideal to everyone - the Queen's cousin Karl-Gustav, especially since the prince himself was educated (of course, not seven, like Christina herself, but he knew three foreign languages), handsome and fell in love with Christina after they met. The result, however, was still the same - the queen refused to marry, but offered her brother to become the heir to the throne after her.
Carl-Gustav, who was 27 years old at the time, in love, refused, saying that he needed notthe crown of Sweden, and the hand of her queen.
Years of government
To distract the prince from thoughts of marriage, which the Riksdag insisted on, Christina sends Karl Gustav to Germany, where he spent 3 years as commander in chief of the Swedish troops. As it turned out, a long separation did not affect his feelings - the prince did not back down and continued to insist on the wedding. The queen, for her part, also did not change her beliefs - this also applied to the succession to the throne - she soon drew up documents in the Senate in which Carl-Gustav was appointed successor to the throne.
Insulted in his feelings, the prince left the royal court, going to the island of Eland, where he promised to wait until his cousin changed his attitude towards her. We had to wait long enough, because the Swedish Queen Christina did not even remember about him - at first she was absorbed in preparations for the coronation (which took place in 1650), and then the young queen was occupied with official duties.
Christina's foreign policy was primarily marked by the end of the Thirty Years' War, in which her father died. On this issue, she took a diametrically opposed position with respect to her mentor, Count Oksishtern, who believed that the continuation of hostilities was beneficial to Sweden. In defiance of him, the queen sends her representative to the German peace congress, and the peace treaty was signed. At the same time, historians and contemporaries admit that its conditions were unusually beneficial for Sweden - in addition to the fact that it left the occupied territories (Pomerania, Bremen, Ferden, the city of Wismar), inthe peace treaty stipulated the receipt of an indemnity in the amount of 5 million thalers.
In addition to controlling hostilities, Christina contributed to the development of culture - with her, the golden age came for artists.
Abandoning the throne
In 1654, an unprecedented event took place - on June 6, at a meeting of the Riksdag, the Swedish Queen Christina delivers a memorable speech of abdication. She says that she does not want to lead the state all her life and goes on a trip, to see distant countries, and instead of herself, as expected, she leaves her cousin Carl Gustav as king.
To what extent everything that was said was true, now one can only guess, but according to some indirect signs, it is suggested that not everything was as smooth as described in the official version. The successor to the throne was "appointed" long before the abdication, in addition, the coronation of the new ruler was carried out suspiciously quickly (Carl-Gustav began to be referred to as King Charles X) - it took place on the same day as the resignation of Christina.
All this suggests that the Riksdag put pressure on the queen, trying to force her to marry and give birth to an heir, although according to numerous testimonies, the roles of wife and mother, Christina almost panicked avoided all her life. It is likely that once the question was posed point-blank - get married or vacate the throne, so Christina found a third option, because after the wedding, Charles would still become king, and she would turn into his wife and mother under him. At the same time, if notthings went wrong with the children, then events could turn around in any way … By the way, something similar happened - the new king, despite his "love" for Christina, provided the country with an heir almost immediately, and most importantly - on time, because after 5 years he caught a cold and died. Again, a child (now a four-year-old) becomes the king, and the Riksdag actually rules the country until he comes of age.
New life abroad
Italy became the first country where the now former Swedish Queen Christina lived after her abdication. The interesting facts of her biography did not end with the renunciation of power, and the eccentric person began a new life with the transition to the Catholic faith (considering the mores of that time, this was a much bigger event than traveling to Italy itself on horseback and in men's clothes). Thanks to the new religion, Christina (by the way, after the new baptism she received the name Augusta) in Italy was well received by the Pope himself, but after a while he “asked” her from the country, since the former queen became famous as an ardent nihilist - she lived without considering with no rules, which set the Romans against themselves.
The next country Christina went to was France, always characterized by free morals. Here, the former queen is also credited with more than frivolous manners - a frequent change of lovers, close ties with other women, as well as murder (but not with her own hands, but through those close to her). True, with the latter, as always, not everything is clear - in those days, even the former queen had the right to trial, execution and pardon of hersubjects, so everything was framed as the execution of a sentence (there was even evidence that some kind of investigation was underway). But the fact remains - the Marquis of Monaldeschi, according to rumors, Christina's former lover, was stabbed to death, and she herself returned to Italy.
An attempt to regain the throne and the last years of life
In 1660, the successor of the former queen, Charles X, died, leaving behind a young son. And again, you can think about the reasons for Christina's refusal of the throne, because after learning the news from her country, she urgently goes to her homeland, where she demands to return the throne to her. But the Riksdag refuses, since Christina-Augusta now has a different religion, and Sweden now has an heir (and this issue would hardly have been resolved with the old queen).
After a rebuke from the Senate, the last years of the life of the former Swedish Queen Christina (1626-1689) passed in Italy, and rather calmly. Until the end of her days, she patronized musicians, poets and artists. Christina-Augusta died on April 19, 1689 and became one of three women buried in St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome.