Cristina of Sweden: a feminist queen, homosexual and art lover –

Cristina of Sweden: a queen feminist, homosexual and art lover so that it is one of the most exciting historical figures that we can explain to you, whose biography is surprising. He now meets the queen of Sweden who turned the world upside down.

Who was Christina of Sweden

Christine from Sweden, or Cristina Alessandra Maria After his conversion to Catholicism, he was queen of Sweden from 1632, but with full powers only from 1650until the abdication took place in 1654.

Daughter of King Gustaf Adolf II of Sweden and Queen Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, succeeded to the throne at the age of six after the premature death of his parents. Educated by the powerful High Chancellor of Sweden, Axel Oxenstierna and the daughter of one of the greatest defenders of Protestantism during the Thirty Years’ War, she caused a great scandal when, in 1654, in the midst of a deep religious crisis, he converted to Catholicism and abdicated in favor of cousin Carlo Gustavo, who became King Charles X.

Fearing the reactions and revenge of the protesters, immediately left Sweden to spend the rest of his life in various European countries, and then settled permanently in Rome, where he dealt with charity work, art, music and theater in a cultural movement that, after his death, led to the founding of the Arcadia Academy in 1960.

Of complex and unconventional personality, educated as a Prince and not as a Princess, Christina of Sweden was endowed with a lively intelligence and a solid humanistic and philosophical culture to which she dedicated herself particularly after the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the long thirty-year war in 1648. During the years of her reign, she shone due to his political competence but neglected the affairs of state and aroused the dissatisfaction of the country, although he did his best to make Stockholm the “Athens of the North”.

Cristina from Sweden’s relationship with her mother

Christina from Sweden was born in the castle of Tre Kronor, and from her birth, astrologers noted a rare conjunction of planets destined to make the girl one of the most influential rulers of Europe.

The king had already had two other daughters from his marriage, one born in 1620 and another, called Cristina, born in 1623 and died the following year. Therefore, the third pregnancy of Queen Maria Eleonora in 1626 was fearfully followed with the hope of finally giving Sweden an heir to the throne.

This fact would mark the princess forever since she was expected to be a boy and therefore the relationship with his mother was hard and distant in her first years of life since the Queen wished she could have given the kingdom an heir and not another girl.

The mother, a member of the Hohenzollern family, was of melancholy and detached temperamentand according to some he also suffered from psychological disorders. But after the death of the king on the battlefield on November 6, 1632, Cristina became the center of her mother’s attention. Gustavo Adolfo had decided that in the event of his death, his daughter would enjoy the protection of her half-sister Caterina. This solution did not please Maria Eleonora, who had banished her half-sister from the castle. In 1636, Chancellor Oxenstierna saw another solution to the problem, namely exile in Gripsholm Castle, meanwhile the regency council should decide on the possibility of her meeting regularly with her only nine-year-old daughter . For the next three years, Cristina grew up with her aunt and her family.

Cristina from Sweden’s relationship with her father

It was not the same way with his father. When the little princess was born, she was considered a man because she appeared with a lot of hair and shouted “with a loud and shrill voice” and although the king was expecting a boy, he was actually very happy to receive the newborn to the point of writing shortly after birth “She will become very smart, we are going crazy for her!” From other sources, it is known that Gustavo Adolfo was very attached to his daughter and that she repaid him with the greatest admiration.

Christina of Sweden, a homosexual queen

During his reign, many wondered who he should marry, but the first years the doubt was not even in the air. After all, she was just a 6-year-old girl. Little by little, the queen grew up and she began to have suitors although she she was always reluctant to get married although she was always willing to fall in love.

in the Senate, she was urged to marry in 1649 but she answered plainly: “…marriage implies a subjection to which I do not feel capable of submitting myself, and I cannot predict when I will be able to overcome this repugnance.” Her second cousin, Carlo, was in love with her and the two had a secret relationship in her youth, but it lasted until 1642 when the young man was called up to serve in Germany for three years following the Swedish army.

Cristina had a love affair with Ebba Sparrea court lady, whose contemporaries praised her amazing beauty. He addressed numerous love letters to her that today confirm the relationship between the two. In a letter written during her exile, in Pesaro, on March 27, 1657, Cristina writes to Countess Sparre:

«If you have not forgotten the power you have over me, you will remember that I have been possessed for twelve years by being loved by you. Finally, I am yours in such a way that it is impossible for you to lose me, and it will only be the end of life that I will stop loving you »

Probably to avoid these due to their sexual condition, Cristina declared her cousin Gustavo Adolfo hereditary prince on March 10, 1649. The nobility rejected this decision, while the other welfare states – clergy, bourgeoisie and peasants – welcomed the news. Cristina was officially crowned on Sunday, October 20, 1650, with great pomp, and the festivities lasted until the following January 9. For her coronation, Cristina departed with the procession from Jacobs Castle from which she emerged with a triumphal chariot completely covered in black velvet embroidered in gold and drawn by six white horses. The procession headed towards the Storkyrkan where the consecration would have taken place in the church and was so long that when the first cart in the procession reached the Storkyrkan, the last one left through the gate of Jacobsdal Castle.

Cristina from Sweden and her love for art

During the period of the reign of Cristina, Sweden became one of the most refined and cultured kingdoms in Europe, to the point that Stockholm was nicknamed “the Athens of the North”.

In fact, in 1645 Cristina invited Hugo Grotius to court to take over the work of her librarian, but he died on the way to Sweden, in Rostock. Instead, she appointed Benedict (Baruch) Nehemiah de Castro of Hamburg as her ordinary physicist. In 1647, Johann Freinsheim was called to court as a classicist. The Semiramide del Norte, as the queen nicknamed her, corresponded with Pierre Gassendi; Blaise Pascal dedicated a copy of his Pascaline to her. To catalog her new collection, the queen asked Nicolaus Heinsius the Elder and Isaac Vossius to come to Sweden. Cristina herself also studied neostoicismthe writings of the fathers of the church and of Islam and read the Treatise of the Three Impostors, a work banned in many circles at the time because it raised questions about all organized religionin addition to being passionate about classical history and philosophy.

In 1646, through one of Cristina’s best friends, ambassador Pierre Chanut, the queen was able to communicate with the philosopher Descartes, taking the opportunity to ask him for a copy of his Metaphysical Meditations. Cristina thus began a close personal correspondence with Descartes and invited him several times to Sweden, which caused the French philosopher to come to Stockholm on October 4, 1649. He settled with Ambassador Chanut and on December 18 of that same year he began to give private lessons to the queen, also discussing philosophy and religion. The palace froze, and on February 1, 1650, Descartes fell ill with pneumonia and died ten days later. Other prominent personalities who populated the court of Christine of Sweden included Claude Saumaise, Pierre-Daniel Huet, Gabriel Naudé, Christian Ravis, and Samuel Bochart.

Cristina was also very interested in theater and ballet, and she herself was delighted with these two disciplines. Her favorite programs include those proposed by Pierre Corneille. In 1647, the Italian architect Antonio Brunati had built Stockholm’s first court theater for her.

The court poet Georg Stiernhielm wrote several plays for her in the Swedish language as Den fångne Cupido eller Laviancu de Diane, which was performed at court with Christina as the goddess Diana, the protagonist of the story. He took the opportunity to invite foreign companies such as the Italian company in 1652 with Vincenzo Albrici and the Dutch company with Ariana Nozeman and Susanna van Lee in 1653. Among the artists employed at court we remember Anne Chabanceau de La Barre, an outstanding singer of the court.

Christina of Sweden: the decline

Having reigned for almost twenty years, working at least ten hours a day, Cristina was now exhausted in body and soul., with a nervous breakdown in progress and high blood pressure problems that led to problems with her eyesight and neck. In February 1652, the French physician Pierre Bourdelot went to Stockholm to treat her. Unlike most doctors of her time, he was unwilling to do anything to her, but instead prescribed plenty of rest, hot baths, and healthy breakfasts, opposing Cristina’s ascetic life.

Nevertheless, Cristina reigned over a poor country, where wars had strengthened the aristocracy, which increased in number due to the need to cover higher court costs with the creation of new nobles, while court income had been reduced by land transfers to new aristocrats. These, for their part, imposed ever higher taxes peasants accustomed by a long tradition to a very moderate taxation. Instead of devoting herself to government works, the queen also spent much of her time at the theater and at dance parties.

Among his last acts of government, in 1653, Christine of Sweden founded the Order of Amarante, a military knight honor, and Antonio Pimentel was named first knight; All members had to make a solemn promise not to marry or not to remarry after being widowed.

Finally, in February 1654, Christine of Sweden officially announced to the Council the decision to abdicate. Axel Oxens, a member of the royal council, took on the task of examining the matter, which lasted for some time. The crux of the matter was that the queen demanded 200,000 royal thalers a year, which she was instead paid from the income from the land and fief of the people of Norrköping, from the islands of Gotland, Öland and Ösel and from the royal residences. in Mecklenburg and Pomerania. Her debts were…