Monday, 11 May 2015

Episode 23: Queen Kristina

Kristina was the only (surviving) child of Gustav Adolf and his queen. It was of course not seen as an advantage that she was a girl, but - well, nothing to do about it. Since she was only six years old when Gustav Adolf died, Sweden was for many years to be ruled by the council, or really by Axel Oxenstierna. Meanwhile Kristina got a good education fit for a prince. When she came of age in 1644 she showed political skill and competence. But. She did not like the job and she did wish to marry. Instead she managed to get council and parliament to accept her cousin Karl Gustav of Pflaz as heir to the throne - abdicated and, to the horror of protestants, converted to catholicism. She spent the rest of her fairly long life being active in international politics (not very successfully) and culture (more successfully). Most of the time she lived in Rome where she died in 1689.

Kristina depicted by Sébastien Bourdon in the early 1650s.