Louise of Sweden

Louise of Sweden (Louise Josephine Eugenie (Swedish: Lovisa Josefina Eugenia); 31 October 1851 – 20 March 1926), was Queen of Denmark as the spouse of King Frederick VIII. She was the only surviving child of Charles XV of Sweden and his consort, Louise of the Netherlands. She was the mother of both King Christian X of Denmark and King Haakon VII of Norway. [1]

Louise of Sweden
Queen consort of Denmark
Tenure29 January 1906 – 14 May 1912
BornPrincess Lovisa of Sweden and Norway
(1851-10-31)31 October 1851
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Died20 March 1926(1926-03-20) (aged 74)
Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
SpouseFrederick VIII of Denmark
IssueChristian X of Denmark
Haakon VII of Norway
Princess Louise
Prince Harald
Princess Ingeborg, Duchess of Västergötland
Princess Thyra
Prince Gustav
Princess Dagmar
Full name
Swedish: Lovisa Josefina Eugenia
English and Danish: Louise Josephine Eugenie
FatherCharles XV of Sweden
MotherLouise of the Netherlands


Louise was born in Stockholm. After the death of her brother, Carl Oscar (1852-1854), she became an only child at the age of three, and remained one because of her mother's inability to have more children due to an injury. This meant that the throne would pass to her uncle Oscar because, although Sweden had previously had the occasional female monarch, the constitution of 1809 stipulated agnatic succession. Her father made repeated attempts to obtain a constitutional amendment which would recognize her as heir presumptive to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.[2] These attempts were in vain, because there was simply no crisis of succession; Louise's uncle Oscar became the father of several sons, beginning with the birth of the eldest in 1858, and the existence of males in the Bernadotte dynasty rendered action unnecessary.[2] The king could not secure support for a constitutional change which would disinherit his brother and nephews merely to satisfy his desire for his own progeny to ascend the throne; in any case, a daughter could make an advantageous marriage and become the queen of another realm, which is exactly what happened with Louise.[3]

While her father often referred to her as "Sessan" (in English: "Sissy", a diminutive form of the title Princess), Louise herself made up the name "Stockholmsrännstensungen" ('Stockholm urchin'), and she often used that term in reference to herself. Her uncle, the future king Oscar II, found it shocking that the word was used for a princess, and tried to curb its use, often admonishing Louise for allowing the word to pass her lips. He was perhaps the only one to try to impose any discipline on her, and Louise is invariably described as a loved and spoiled only child, doted upon by her parents: she is said to have been like her mother in appearance, but like her father in behavior, and she is described as energetic, gregarious, masculine and rather unprepossessing. Louise was the center of society already as a child in Stockholm, where children's balls were arranged for her at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, which were considered as the most important part of the society children's social life and attended by among others her male cousins.[2]

Her academic education was provided by her governess Hilda Elfving. In 1862, she and her mother became students of Nancy Edberg, the pioneer of swimming for women. The art of swimming was initially not regarded as being entirely proper for women, but when the Queen and her daughter supported it by attending the lessons, swimming was quickly made fashionable and became accepted for females.[4]


Louise became the subject of speculations regarding her marriage early on. The most popular candidate was Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark (1843–1912). Louise and Frederick had been introduced to each other the first time in 1862. The marriage was considered desirable for several reasons. The situation between the royal houses of Sweden-Norway and Denmark was very tense at this time. Upon the death of the childless King Frederick VII of Denmark in 1863, there had been support for having Charles XV or his brother Prince Oscar of Sweden placed on the Danish throne instead of Christian IX. Charles XV was critical toward Christian IX, whose personal qualities he doubted. In Denmark, there was disappointment over the fact that Sweden, despite the current Scandinavism, had not supported Denmark against Prussia during the Danish-Prussian war in 1864. After 1864, both Sweden-Norway and Denmark started to discuss plans to create a form of symbolic peace between the two nations by arranging a marriage between Louise and Crown Prince Frederick. Charles XV of Sweden wanted to see his daughter become Queen of Denmark, and in Denmark the marriage was preferred above a marriage to a German princess, which would have been the likely alternative, after the recent war with Germany. [5]

However, Charles XV did not wish to force his beloved daughter into an arranged marriage, and therefore left the final decision entirely to her own taste.[2] The 14 April 1868, a meeting was arranged between Louise and Frederick at Bäckaskog Castle in Scania. As the matter was dependent upon whether Louise would like Frederick or not, the guests had not been informed about the purpose of the meeting. Except for Frederick, only the Danish King was present from the Danish royal family.[2] Upon meeting each other, both were apparently pleased, and Louise agreed to the marriage. [2][6]

During the engagement in the winter of 1868-1869, Louise studied the Danish language, literature, culture, and history under Lorentz Dietrichson. Louise married Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark (1843–1912) in Stockholm on 28 July 1869. The wedding was celebrated with great pomp in Sweden. The dowry of the Princess had entirely been made in Sweden. The marriage was welcomed by all three countries as a symbol of the new Scandinavism. Louise was the first Swedish princess to be married into the Danish royal house since Ingeborg Magnusdotter of Sweden in the Middle Ages.[7]

Crown Princess of Denmark

In Denmark, Louise became known as Louise rather than Lovisa. During her long period as Crown Princess of Denmark, she became very popular with the public, but unpopular with the Danish court and royal house. The marriage did not result in any friendship between the royal houses, and Louise experienced ostracism within the royal family, which was dominated by her mother-in-law, Queen Louise. She was not liked by her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, and her husband was too timid to give her any support against his mother and sisters. Her frank nature was not accepted at the Danish royal court. On one occasion, when her mother-in-law saw her dressed in a Parisian evening gown and disapprovingly ordered her to change her hair style; Louise answered in the same informal way as she was used to in Sweden. This incident caused Queen Louise to order her and Frederick to leave the country for three months.[2] Crown Princess Louise told the Swedish visitor Fritz von Dardel that her mother-in-law tried to place her in the shadows even in ceremonial situations when her presence was required: on one occasion, the Queen had turned down a request from Uppsala University students to sing for the Crown Princess. [2]

The family lived a discreet life at Amalienborg Palace during the winter and Charlottenlund Palace during the summer. During the first years of her marriage, Louise often visited Sweden. She was present at the death of her mother in March 1871. At that time, she was given comfort by her uncle's spouse, Sophie of Nassau, who became her confidante and personal friend.[2] During the summers at Charlottenlund Palace by Öresund, Louise was able to visit her Swedish family at their summer residence Sofiero Palace on the other side of Öresund and receive visits from them, which was described as a relief and comfort for her.[2] However, her mother-in-law disliked the Swedish royal family and insisted that she be informed and asked for permission first.[2]

Fredrick's lifestyle and adultery damaged his popularity and pained Louise.[2] In 1879, she visited her aunt, Queen Sophia of Sweden in Stockholm to ask for her advice; she was at this point described as distraught.[2] Queen Sophia then introduced her to Lord Radstock and Gustaf Emanuel Beskow.[2] From this point on, Louise reportedly found comfort in religion. She learned Greek, engaged in Bible studies and met Lord Radstock in Copenhagen in 1884.[2] She made friends with the Danish lady-in-waiting Wanda Oxholm, with whom she studied the Bible.[2] She was also interested in handcrafts such as leatherwork and painting.

Louise was described as a strict but caring parent, who gave her children a childhood dominated by religion and duty. Because of her inheritance from her maternal grandparents, the family lived well. It had long been known that she wished to see her daughter married back into the Swedish royal house, which happened when her daughter Princess Ingeborg married Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland in 1897.[2]

As Crown Princess, Louise was active in charitable and religion activities: she founded several charity organisations, among them the home «Bethania» and the «Kronprinsesse L.s Asyl» (Asylum of Crown Princess Louise), and formed a lifelong interest in The Church Association for the Inner Mission in Denmark. She is described as intelligent, with an ability to be natural, easy and friendly at representational occasions, and was seen as dignified and impressive.[2] In 1875, she received her aunt and uncle, the King and Queen of Sweden, at their official visit to Denmark.

In 1905, Norway became independent from Sweden with Danish support, which caused tension between Denmark and Sweden, and she was saddened when this made it difficult for her to visit Sweden.

Constitutionally, Louise was unable to inherit the thrones of Sweden and Norway. Her father Charles XV & IV was succeeded by his brother Oscar II. By a twist of fate, Louise's son, Prince Carl, did in fact eventually become King of Norway. He was elected to succeed her uncle to the Norwegian throne as a result of Norway's independence from Sweden in 1905.[8]

Queen of Denmark

Louise became Queen of Denmark in 1906. As Queen, she was mainly known for her many charity projects, an interest that she shared with her spouse. She did not care for ceremonial duties and public events, and lived a discreet life dedicated to her children and her interests in art, literature and charity.

Late years

Louise was widowed in 1912. Her eldest son Christian X of Denmark became the new king of Denmark. She was the last widow of a Danish monarch to use the title of Queen Dowager. From 1915 to 1917 she built herself Egelund Castle between Hillerød and Fredensborg where she lived for the rest of her life. Queen Louise died at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen in 1926 and is interred next to her husband in Roskilde Cathedral.


Queen Louise was the 862nd Dame of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa. Queen Louise Land in Northeast Greenland was named in her honour.[9]

Titles, styles, and arms

  • 31 October 1851 – 28 July 1869: Her Royal Highness Princess Lovisa of Sweden and Norway
  • 28 July 1869 – 29 January 1906: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Denmark
  • 29 January 1906 – 14 May 1912: Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark
  • 14 May 1912 – 20 March 1926: Her Majesty The Queen Dowager of Denmark



Christian X of Denmark26 September 187020 April 1947Duchess Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-SchwerinFrederik IX of Denmark
Knud, Hereditary Prince of Denmark
Haakon VII of Norway3 August 187221 September 1957Princess Maud of WalesOlav V of Norway
Princess Louise of Denmark17 February 18754 April 1906Prince Frederick of Schaumburg-LippeMarie Louise, Princess Friedrich Sigismund of Prussia
Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe
Stephanie, Princess Viktor Adolf of Bentheim and Steinfurt
Prince Harald of Denmark8 October 187630 March 1949Princess Helena Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-GlücksburgFeodora, Princess Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe
Caroline-Mathilde, Hereditary Princess of Denmark
Alexandrine-Louise, Countess Luitpold of Castell-Castell
Prince Gorm of Denmark
Count Oluf of Rosenborg
Princess Ingeborg of Denmark2 August 187812 March 1958Prince Carl, Duke of VästergötlandMargaretha, Princess Axel of Denmark
Märtha Louise, Crown Princess of Norway
Astrid, Queen of the Belgians
Prince Carl, Duke of Östergötland
Princess Thyra of Denmark14 March 18802 November 1945unmarriednone
Prince Gustav of Denmark4 March 18875 October 1944unmarriednone
Princess Dagmar of Denmark23 May 189011 October 1961Jørgen CastenskioldCarl Castenskiold
Christian Castenskiold
Jørgen Castenskiold
Dagmar Castenskiold
Christian Frederik Castenskjold


  1. "Louise, 1724 - 51 Frederik V's Dronning". Dansk biografisk Lexikon. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  2. Anne-Marie Riiber (1959). Drottning Sophia. (Queen Sophia) Uppsala: J. A. Lindblads Förlag. page . ISBN (Swedish)
  3. "Lovisa - Lovisa Josephina Eugenia". Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  4. Idun (1890): Nr 15 (121)
  5. "Lovisa (Louise)". Svenskt biografiskt lexikon. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  6. "Kronpinsessaii Lovisa" (PDF). IDUN. 8 February 1889. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  7. "Louise (Frederik VIII's Dronning)". Salmonsens konversationsleksikon. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  8. Knud J.V. Jespersen. "Louise (Frederik 8.s dronning)". Den Store Danske, Gyldendal. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  9. "Catalogue of place names in northern East Greenland". Geological Survey of Denmark. Retrieved 1 July 2016.

Other sources

  • Tor Bomann-Larsen (2004) Folket – Haakon & Maud II (Cappelen ) ISBN 978-8202225261
  • Lars Elgklou (1995) Familjen Bernadotte. En kunglig släktkrönika (Stockholm : Fischer) ISBN 9170547556
  • Kay Nielsen, Ib Askholm: (2007) Danmarks konger og dronninger (Hamlet) ISBN 9788773210376
  • Rikke Agnete Olsen: (2005) Kongerækken (Lindhard & Ringhof) ISBN 87-595-2525-8
Louise of Sweden
Born: 31 October 1851 Died: 20 March 1926
Danish royalty
Title last held by
Louise of Hesse-Kassel
Queen consort of Denmark
Succeeded by
Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
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