28 January 2015

Today's Princess: Jutta and Agnes of Denmark

Agnes of Denmark was only a year old when her father, King Eric IV of Denmark, was murdered in 1250. Her sister Jutta was four. Their older sisters were Ingeborg, six, and Sophia, nine. All four young girls were left in the care of the new King Abel, their uncle, who may have had a hand in their father's death. He died two years later and they became the concern of their uncle King Christopher I, who wished to suppress the monetary and regal claims of his nieces by Eric and his nephews by Abel.

Eric's widow remarried and moved to Germany. Her four Danish daughters were sent to live in monasteries. In 1261, Christopher made important marriages for Sophia, who would be Queen of Denmark, and Ingeborg, who would be Queen of Sweden. Without alliances at the ready for Agnes and Jutta, he had to be more creative. Now 15, Agnes became the Abbess of a new convent founded in her name (and nominally "by" her), St. Agneta in Roskilde. However, Agnes did not really care for convent life. Neither did Jutta when she was placed there a couple of years later to become the new Abbess.

In their twenties, the princesses left the convent. Agnes went to manage an estate that had finally been granted as part of her overdue inheritance. Jutta went to Sweden to visit their sister Sophia, and got herself into a spot of trouble. Turns out King Valdemar of Sweden didn't mind sleeping with his wife's sister. The two had an affair that resulted in a son, Erik. While Valdemar did penance before the Pope in Rome, Jutta was sent back to the dreaded convent of St. Agneta. Queen Sophia never forgave her.

It is not known exactly when the two younger sisters died but they lived at least into their forties.

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