27 December 2018

Princess Round-Up 2018

Now for the first of the blog's traditional three Old Year/New Year posts. In the coming couple of weeks, I'll let you know which 2018 posts were your favorites and I will publish my predictions of Princesses to Watch in 2019. For now, though, let's take a look at my predictions for 2018 to see what I foretold correctly and whether I missed anything entirely.

Prince Louis with The Duchess of Cambridge
Matt Porteous/Kensington Palace
The Babies!
As I admitted, it was easy to predict third babies for The Duchess of Cambridge (Prince Louis), Princess Madeleine of Sweden (Princess Adrienne) and Tatiana Casiraghi (Maximilian) since all of their pregnancies were already public knowledge. But, I am particularly delighted that my speculations for three other babies turned out to be accurate. I had hoped for a third baby for Zara Tindall, who safely delivered baby Lena and then later revealed that she had suffered a second miscarriage that had not been publicly announced as the first one had been. Meanwhile over in Monaco, Beatrice Casiraghi did indeed quickly deliver her second son, Francesco, in May, just 15 months after her first baby. Then, in a big surprise, their sister-in-law Charlotte Casiraghi gave birth to her second child, Balthazar, by her current love Dimitri Rassam. This meant that all three of Princess Caroline of Monaco's adult children had a baby boy in 2018. Quite a baby boom! (Her fourth child, Princess Alexandra of Hanover, turned 19 during the summer.)

My other strong suspicion/hope/prayer (which I tried to keep under control in my predictions post) was that Prince Harry and his bride Meghan, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, would announce a pregnancy before the end of 2018. I could never have imagined that they would announce it as early as October. The entire world went mad and we all can't wait until spring when their little will arrive. Nevertheless, neither Sofia of Sweden nor Claire of Luxembourg have shown signs of new pregnancies as I thought they might this year.

Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank with their families and
little wedding attendants
Alex Bramall/Buckingham Palace via AP
The Yorkies
At last, we were treated to a very lovely York wedding when Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in October. It was a lovely ceremony in the "family church" at Windsor with lots of personal touches, including a gown designed specifically to reveal Eugenie's scars from scoliosis surgery. She was also surrounded by loads of little cousins in the bridal party, and even her little goddaughter Maud Windsor, granddaughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, was among them. Eugenie also managed to find a tiara in the back of the family closet that had not been seen in public for decades. The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara was part of a massive cache of jewels inherited by the Queen Mother in 1942. Eugenie, her great-granddaughter, is the first royal to ever wear it in public.

As for big sister Beatrice, reports are rife that she may have found love again after her long-term relationship with Dave Clark ended in 2016. I guess we shall see if Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi is Mr. Right...

Getty Images/WPA Pool
The Queen
Her Majesty indeed had another banner year after celebrating 65 years since her coronation. She was out and about quite a lot for a 92-year-old, frequently accompanied by one of her children or grandchildren, including the new Duchess of Sussex, who even had the privilege of staying over night with The Queen on the royal train. Nevertheless, with her heir Prince Charles' 70th birthday celebrations in November, speculation inevitably turned to what will happen once he is king. As for The Queen she delivered a touching address at his birthday party, remarking about what a privilege it is for a mother to be at her child's 70th birthday. Let's hope she is with us through ALL of her kids' 70th birthdays! That will keep her around until 2034! She'll be 107 when her "baby" Prince Edward reaches that milestone, but I'm sure she will still be doing very well!!

Crown Princess Masako
From Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
The Japanese Ladies
As predicted, the upcoming April 30, 2019 abdication of Emperor Akihito has placed more focus on the monarchy there. We have seen more of Empress Michiko and much, much more of Crown Princess (soon-to-be Empress) Masako, whose ill health over the years has often kept her out of the limelight. In the last few days, the two ladies featured prominently at the Emperor's official birthday celebrations and we will likely see them front and center at the New Year's Court. Meanwhile, Masako's daughter Aiko, who has suffered from bullying and some ill health, seems to be emerging into a more public role. She turned 17 on December 1, which prompted the Imperial Household Agency to spotlight some of her public and education-related activities this year, including the fact that she danced in a school performance and served as emcee for the event.

Sadly, the announced wedding Aiko's cousin Princess Mako of Akishino did not take place. Early in the year, the IHA said that the engagement had been delayed, but I believe this was just a polite way of canceling the wedding. Rumor has it that there were financial irregularities or concerns about the groom's family. However, another Japanese princess did get married. 28-year-old Princess Ayako of Takamodo, a great-niece of the Emperor, surrendered her imperial title and status to marry Moriya Kei on October 29.

By Casaregala via Wikimedia Commons
Following the death of former King Michael of Romania late last year, things were a bit unclear for his selected heir, Margareta, the eldest of his five daughters. Though she was living in the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest, the existing agreement would have required her to decamp within 60 days of her father's death. However, all has turned out well. Margareta is still at the palace where she regularly hosts prominent visitors to Romania. She has also continued to travel abroad to promote and support her country, despite the fact that the monarchy ended there at the end of 1947. Although she might have claimed the title "Queen of Romania" in pretense, she has opted instead to be called Her Majesty Custodian of the Crown. Her hard work has paid off; not only was she named Romanian's most influential woman in 2018, but some politicians event stated that it might be possible, even advisable, to restore the monarchy.

Landmark Celebrations
Most of this year's big birthday's were celebrated rather privately by our royal ladies. In Sweden, Queen Silvia celebrated her 75th with just her close family. Likewise, Queen Emerita Sofia of Spain enjoyed her 80th with her children and grandchildren, even releasing a family photo of everyone (less the son-in-law who is currently in prison on corruption charges). Former Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, gathered her kids and grandkids for photos and fun for her 80th birthday.

Photo studio of Boasson and Eggler,
State Archive of the Russian
Federation via Wikimedia Commons
The Romanovs
The centenary of the Romanov murders was indeed marked by many articles, posts and stories. Many new books were released not just about the Imperial Family and about their deaths, but also a couple of books that explored the culpability of their extended family, and  those who failed to save them. These books offered a new perspective on the extreme fear and uncertainty of the time. After all, it is easy with hindsight to say what should have been done, but in the midst of the violence and politics of a world war, it is much harder to make those difficult decisions. Had anyone been able to foretell the fate of the Romanovs, ships galore would have been launched to save them. Sadly, there were no Cassandras among the Romanov's royal cousins.

Elisabeth of Denmark
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
The Unspeakable
Thankfully, all of the superannuated royal ladies whom I mentioned were above the average life expectancy for European women survived the year. Unfortunately, one princess did not quite reach the average age of 84. Queen Margarethe of Denmark's cousin Princess Elisabeth passed away in June at the age of 83. Although she never married, she was buried next to her longtime partner, film director Claus Hermansen. Elisabeth spent 45 years in the Danish diplomatic service and was a regular guest at official royal occasions. The Danish Royal Family had already been greatly bereaved a few months earlier with the passing of Queen Margrethe's husband, Prince Henrik. In 2017, it had been announced that he was suffering from dementia. His health deteriorated rapidly in early February 2018, causing his son Crown Prince Frederik to cut short his trip to the Winter Olympics in Korea. He arrived back in Denmark just in time to be present when Henrik died in his sleep.

Alexi Lubomirski/PA Images/Hand Out/INSTARimages.com
Bride of the Year
Without a doubt the biggest wedding of the year was that of Prince Harry of Wales, who was given the title The Duke of Sussex, to American former actress Meghan Markle. Although "small" by Charles-and-Diana or William-and-Catherine standards, their wedding at St. George's Chapel, Windsor attracted huge attention all over the world. The lead-up to the wedding was unfortunately marred by some very thoughtless and tacky behavior on the part of Meghan's father and half-siblings, who even more unfortunately have continued to sell/tell their stories to the all-too-willing-to-listen media. Also, very unfortunately, Meghan's mixed race heritage has also caused issues among some. While her heritage has brought many new "fans" to the British Royal Family who would never have paid much attention in the past, it has also triggered many instances of actual racial bias as well as some unfounded accusations of racism among the media and the general public. I tend to discount rumors of rifts or problems within the BRF itself, but the public discourse (especially on social media) has yet to settle down. These arguments and controversies, in my opinion, have very little to do with the happy couple or the graceful and strong work ethic that Meghan is demonstrating as a working royal. Rather, it reflects the ongoing racial tensions of both the national and international cultures in which Meghan and Harry live. Genuine attacks against Meghan have very little to do with the real woman. Likewise, her zealous defenders often have little real understanding of the context and history of her role within the monarchy. This is just a new battleground in the longstanding catastrophe of race relations dating back centuries. The very fact that the daughter-in-law of the future King of the world's most recognized and respected monarchy is a woman of mixed race bodes well,  I hope, for continuing progress and positive change in our societies. If we pay attention, we could learn quite a lot from The Duchess of Sussex, though she is neither the cause of nor the solution to racial tensions. Since she was a child, she has done what she could to help support the causes of people of color as well as of women and others who suffer from bias around the globe. And, through her work with the survivors of Grenfell Tower, she has clearly shown that she will continue to support and champion others. She has done far more than most of us to move us toward a more harmonious and fair society. We would do well to stop squabbling, to actually listen to each other and to honor and celebrate the humanity in each of us.

Despite all this "noise" around the newlyweds, they have had a truly tremendous year. The success of Meghan's Grenfell Tower cookbook has been phenomenal. Harry's Invictus Games continued to draw international acclaim for its support of wounded warriors. The couple completed a triumphant tour of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. And, to put a cherry on top of our royal sundae, they announced the impending arrival of their first child less than five months after the wedding. I could hardly be more delighted with all they have accomplished so quickly. Can't wait to see what 2019 will look like for them.

19 December 2018

Your Favorite Crown Princess

Our December Twitter poll asked readers to choose a favorite crown princess from among Mary of Denmark, Masako of Japan, Mette Marit of Norway and Victoria of Sweden. It wasn't an easy decision for some people. "I voted but it's complicated," wrote Nathalie @MmedeParis, "because I like a lot of these four crown princesses...I love these four amazing women." The Spanish-language account Familia Real UK @FamiliaRealUK stated it more simply, "Difícil elección."

By Frankie Fouganthin via Wikimedia Commons
The bottom two princesses were virtually tied: Mette Marit earned 4% of the vote while Masako earned 5%. Not surprisingly perhaps, both of these ladies have faced more public challenges. At the time of her engagement to Crown Prince Haakon, Mette Marit Tjessem Hoiby was highly controversial as an unmarried mother with a young son. His royal aunt Princess Ragnhild event felt moved to publicly proclaim that this marriage could destroy the monarchy. Nevertheless, Mette Marit became a hardworking a popular princess. She had two children with her prince, but her path has still not been easy because of health issues. Over the years, she occasionally has had to cancel engagements due to headaches, vertigo, pneumonia, concussion, neck and back pain, flu, broken ankle, severe sun burn, Norovirus and low blood pressure (during her last pregnancy). In 2018, many people were devastated to learn that the princess has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a potentially terminal condition that causes scarring in the lungs. Nevertheless, she continues to try to carry out a full program of engagements although they are not always announced in advance in case she is not able to well enough to attend. Her fans, like Nathalie @MmedeParis appreciate her for all that she has been through: "She had all against her to be a Royal as a single mother with a not-so-good past. But with the love and support of Haakon she showed to the world that she could be an amazing princess. Love when time puts everyone in his just place."

From Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Masako's health concerns have been even more enduring. From the beginning, she struggled with fertility, successfully completing only one pregnancy with the birth of a daughter, who, because of Japan's gender-biased inheritance rules cannot inherit the throne after her father. Vonnie A @missfroggy63 selected Masako as her favorite because of her moxie, noting "she married into the family for love, but that choice proved debilitating for a while." Fairly early on, she withdrew entirely from public life and the Imperial Household officially announced that she was suffering from an adjustment disorder. Speculation blamed three primary causes: fertility issues in general, public criticism for not producing a male heir and the stringent demands of Imperial House rules. As Nathalie @MmedeParis wrote, "Lots of tenderness for Masako, who is a very intelligent woman but the well-reserved Imperial House and certain people made her suffer a lot." For years, she appeared at only a few events a year and did not accompany her husband, a Crown Prince Naruhito, on overseas visits. More recently, she has begun making more public appearances and even undertaken some international visits. "She rising like a Phoenix," according to Nathalie, "thanks to the support of her husband." Vonnie A agrees that "love is helping her recover. And sheer determination -- moxie." In spring 2019, when her father-in-law abdicates, she will become Empress. I hope that she feels adequately prepared for this huge role and does not suffer any setbacks because of it. After all, many would agree with Vonnie who says, "She seems so gentle and kind. I am inspired by her recovery."

By Erik Christensen, Porkeri Website
Your second-favorite Crown Princess, Mary of Denmark, took a whopping 42% of the vote. The Australia-born Mary Donaldson married Crown Prince Frederik after meeting him during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The Royal Watcher @saadsalman719 said choosing a favorite was tough, but "Crown Princess Mary wins for me because she has a lovely balance between charity, business and gala events, and manages to bring her children to many events (more than the others it seems)! I also really like her style (most of the time)!" Nathalie @MmedeParis also made note of Mary's family life, writing, "I always thought Frederik was a little weak in the character to be future king but, in my opinion, she made a big difference and I think she made him be a better crown prince. I see him more serious, more on his duties." Nathalie also admires Mary because, of the four women in this poll, she is the only one to have left her own country, learned another language, adapted to a new culture and adopted a different lifestyle." Fellow Aussie MF Stylist Perth @PerthsFashion selected Mary "as she is effortlessly stylish." [Read my post about Mary.]

Photo: Linda Broström The Royal Court, Sweden
Earning 49% of the vote, your favorite Crown Princess is the only one of the group who did not marry into her position. As the oldest child of the King of Sweden, Victoria became Crown Princess and future queen regnant at age two when Sweden changed the laws to allow gender-blind succession. She faced some personal struggles in her youth, particularly a long bout with anorexia, and has an ongoing condition that causes her to be unable to recognize people's faces. In the last 10 years, however, she has emerged as a model princess, marrying her former personal trainer Daniel Westling and raising two children. Lauraf68 @lauraf68 had a difficult time choosing between Mary and Victoria but ultimately went with Victoria because "she was born into the position and is still down to earth and relatable! I would expect Mary to be relatable since she was born into 'normal' circumstances." Nathalie @MmedeParis says she loves Victoria: "she’s all simplicity. She’s great. She showed the world her best. Daniel is solid and they have formed a great family." Having overcome anorexia, Victoria is "a future Queen who will be the pride of her country," Nathalie adds. Sloane Murray @THERoyalCrabbit puts it simply: "Go Victoria!" [Read my post about Victoria.]

11 December 2018

The Wives of Hussein

An Egyptian, a Brit, a Palestinian and an American walk into a palace... No, that's not the start of an article about peace talks or the opening of a corny joke. Instead, it is an outline of the four marriages of Jordan's legendary King Hussein II, whose role as a moderator in the still ongoing conflicts in the Middle East made him a legend during his lifetime. By the time the king died in 1999, he had had four wives, 11 biological children and one adopted child. Through tragedies and triumphs, his wives shaped the role of a modern Muslim queen and their legacy is carried on today in the person of Hussein's daughter-in-law, Queen Rania, formerly Rania al-Yassin.

Although many Muslim rulers are polygamists, King Hussein was only ever married to one woman at a time. This does not necessarily reflect disapproval of the practice as his daughter Princess Haya is the junior wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.  

Let's meet the wives of Hussein:

Dina and Hussein at their wedding.
via Wikimedia Commons
 Queen Dina
(Sharifa Dina bint Abdul-Hamid)
Having already survived the first of many assassination attempts, 19-year-old Hussein had been King of Jordan for just over two and a half years when he married his distant cousin, Dina, whose family was from Egypt. She was 25. Both the bride and groom were descendants of Mohammed and members of the Hashemite Dynasty, the second-longest ruling dynasty in the world after the Imperial House of Japan. Highly educated, Dina graduated from Cambridge University and completed graduate studies at London's Bedford College before returning to Egypt to teach philosophy and English literature at the University of Cairo. Their daughter Princess Alia bint Hussein arrived less than a year later. Unfortunately, the very young Hussein and Dina were not well-suited. His desire to exert control over her and to limit her political role--which may have had something to do with his mother Queen Zein's strong influence--perhaps did not sit well with Queen Dina. Their short marriage came to an end during a period when the relationship between Eqypt and Jordan was also strained as a result, in part, of the Suez Crisis. Dina was actually in Eqypt when she received the news that Hussein was ending the marriage. The divorce was finalized just 27 months after the wedding. Although she was granted the title Princess of Jordan, Dina initially was prevented from seeing her daughter. Thirteen years later, she married a commando in the Palestinian Liberation Organization. (He was another younger man; this time, her husband was almost 13 years her junior.) After he was arrested by the Israelis in 1982, she successfully negotiated to free him as well as 8,000 other prisoners.

Muna and Hussein with their sons Abdullah and Faisal
By Angela Cozzi (Mondidori Publications via Wikimedia Commons
Princess Muna
(Antoinette Gardiner)
King Hussein waited a few years after divorcing Queen Dina before he married again. He met his second wife, British-born Antoinette Gardiner. Her father was a British Army officer and Toni, as she was called, spent part of her childhood living abroad, particularly in Malaysia where she attended a boarding school for the children of British Service members. When she was 19, her father was assigned as a military adviser to Jordan. While they were there, Toni worked on the set of the epic film, Laurence of Arabia. She also met the 24-year-old King Hussein. They were married the following year, 1961. She converted to Islam and took the name Muna al-Hussein, meaning "desire of Hussein," but she was never granted the title of Queen. In fact, she only received a royal title as Princess after the birth of their first son Abdullah, now the King of Jordan, eight months later. Another boy, Prince Faisal arrived 21 months later followed by twin princesses Aisha and Zein five years after him. The marriage lasted just over 11 years. Like her predecessor, Muna was able to keep her royal status and remains a Princess of Jordan today. She also continues her work in support of nursing. During her marriage, she founded a scholarship for nursing and a nursing school that is now known as the Princess Muna College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. She is now the President of the Jordanian Nursing Council. She never remarried.

Hussein and Alia with U.S. President and Mrs. Ford
by Ricardo Thomas via Wikimedia Commons
Queen Alia
(Alia Baha uddin Touqan)
Just four days after his divorce from Muna was finalized, 37-year-old King Hussein married Palestinian Alia Baha uddin Touqan on her 24th birthday. Alia's was born in Cairo while her father was the Jordanian Ambassador to Egypt. He later served in the same role in Turkey and the United Kingdom before being sent as the Jordanian Permanent Representative to the United Nations. As a result, Alia grew up all over the world. After studying at Loyola University in Chicago and Hunter College in New York, she returned to Jordan and worked for Alia Airlines, which was named for the king's daughter by Queen Dina. It's now called Royal Jordanian. Alia got to know Hussein when he asked her to organize Jordan's first International Water Skiing Festival. Their two children, Princess Haya and Prince Ali, were born in the first three years of their marriage. In 1976, they adopted a Palestinian refugee orphan, Abir Muhaisen, whose biological mother had been killed in a plane crash. It was Queen Alia who formalized the public role of the Queen of Jordan, focusing largely on supporting social services, particularly hospitals and schools. She also was a patron of libraries and the arts. Very early in her queenship, she successfully advocated for women to have the right to vote and the right to hold office. Tragically, Alia's life was cut short by a helicopter crash in 1977. She was only 28. Her children were still toddlers. After Alia's death, Hussein continued supporting scholarships in her memory and named Jordan's international airport for her.

Queen Noor 12 years into her widowhood
From Skoll World Forum via Wikimedia Commons
Queen Noor
(Lisa Halaby)
Sixteen months after Queen Alia's death, King Hussein married for the fourth and final time. This time his bride was Lisa Halaby, a 26-year-old third-generation American of Syrian, British and Swedish descent. Lisa's father served in both the Truman and Kennedy administrations before become CEO of Pan American Airways. She was in the first co-ed class at Princeton University, completing a degree in architecture and urban planning. She worked for a time in Australia and Iran, before taking a job in Amman, Jordan with Alia Airlines (now Royal Jordanian) as the director of facilities and design. Soon thereafter she met Hussein, who was mourning his third wife's recent passing. Lisa converted to Islam and changed her name to Noor al-Hussein, meaning "Light of Hussein." Although of mostly Western descent, she continued to raise the profile and role of the Queen of Jordan. In addition to the educational and cultural issues championed by her predecessors, she also works on behalf of the economic empowerment of women and environmental concerns. She became an active stepmother to Hussein's existing children and produced four more: Prince Hamzah, Prince Hashim, Princess Iman and Princess Raiyah. Since the king's death in 1999, she has split her time between Jordan, the U.S. and U.K. and opting for a more international than national role for much of her work.

For more about Queen Dina
Queen Dina of Jordan on Unofficial Royalty
Queen Dina -- A lost chance for Jordan? on History of Royal Women

For more about Queen Muna
Princess Muna: Bringing Britain into the Royal Hashemite Court on History of Royal Women
Princess Muna al-Hussein of Jordan on Unofficial Royalty
Who is Princess Muna al-Hussein? on Royal Central

For more about Queen Alia
Consort Profile on The Mad Monarch
Queen Alia of Jordan on The Royal Watcher

For more about Queen Noor
Consort Profile on The Mad Monarch
Queen Noor: An American Queen on History of Royal Women
Queen Noor of Jordan on The Royal Watcher

05 December 2018

From Reigning Queen to Consort

By Johan Starbus via Wikimedia Commons
The message arrived unexpectedly. The great warrior King of Sweden Charles XII was dead. Shot through the head by an unknown assailant in Norway. He'd spent most of the last two decades, his entire adult life, outside of Sweden, fighting the Norwegians, the Germans and the Russians, and stirring up trouble in the Ottoman Empire. But, in all of his defense of his kingdom, Charles had neglected to do one very important kingly duty: marry and father an heir.

His baby sister Ulrika Eleonora, age 30, received the tragic news with mixed emotions. She'd barely seen him, after all, and his death opened an exciting new door for her. By the standards of primogeniture, the throne should have gone to her nephew, the teenage son of her deceased older sister. But, strict primogeniture didn't necessarily apply in Sweden at that time and Charles Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp was far, far away on that winter's day. Declaring herself the person most closely related to the King, Ulrika Eleonora boldly announced that she was now Queen.

Riksdag, Sweden's parliament agreed, on one condition: the new queen had to renounce the absolutism that her father King Charles XI had put in place. She disagreed with giving so much power to an elected government, but she wanted the throne more, so she conceded. In return, the Riksdag elected her as the Queen Regnant.

That summer, the Russians attacked Stockholm, but Ulrika Eleonora showed no fear and was hailed for her bravery. That helped add to her supporters. She also built up support by creating more and more nobles. During her reign she created more nobles than any other Swedish monarch. Nevertheless, her two greatest supporters were her childhood nurse, Emerentia von Duben, and her husband, Frederick if Hesse-Vessel. Unlike many favorites throughout history and around the world, von Duben actually was a very good friend to the queen and did not abuse her influence in order to enrich herself.

And, Frederick was the love of Ulrika Eleonora's life. In fact, when she claimed the crown, she longed for him to be named co-monarch with him as had happened with William and Mary in Britain a generation earlier. The Riksdag would not allow it. Nevertheless, she continued to rely upon him and his advice. At the same time, Ulrika Eleonora often tried to act against the new constitution that had given her the throne. She never wanted to give up the absolute monarchy, and thought that she would eventually be able to set aside.

The Riksdag was fed up. If Ulrika Eleonora insisted on opposing the government and sharing state information with Frederick, maybe they should make him king, after all. However, they still insisted that there would be no co-monarchs. If Ulrika Eleonora wanted Frederick to be king, she would have to abdicate. She agreed, under the condition that she would be his heir as well as his consort. She agreed. Her reign had lasted 15 months.

With Frederick's accession, Ulrika Eleonora became a loyal consort although she faced great personal challenges. She suffered a couple of miscarriages before her reign and never became pregnant again. Then, after sacrificing her crown for Frederick, he committed a personal betrayal by taking on a mistress, Hedvig Taube. To rub salt into these wounds, Hedvig delivered four children for Frederick. Ulrika Eleonora nursed her hurt in private, always maintaining her composure in public.

The Riksdag was not so easily placated, especially after Hedvig was made the first "official mistress" in Swedish history. On two different occasions, they raised the issue of the King's adultery as running counter to his accession oaths to treat the Queen respectfully. She was very popular as a consort, and no one wished to see her treated poorly. Nothing came of the first attempt, but the King received an official reprimand the second time.

It made little difference because soon thereafter Ulrika Eleonora died of smallpox. She was 53. With her death, Sweden was left without an heir. Frederick survived another decade. The Riksdag had to do some deep geneology work to select a new king, settling on Adolf Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, a great-grandson of the sister of King Charles X of Sweden.

Ulrika Eleonora was the last Queen Regnant of Sweden, but today the next monarch will be another woman, the current Crown Princess Victoria, who is expected to be followed by her daughter Princess Estelle.

For More About Ulrika Eleonora
Queens Regnant: From Regnant to Consort on History of Royal Women
Ulrika Eleonora 273 dödsdag on The Swedish History Blog