16th Century Denmark, Norway & Sweden
Gunilla Bielke (1568 - 1597). Queen of Sweden from 1585 until 1592, when her husband died. Gunilla was the second wife of John III, and they had one son. She was recorded as being very beautiful, and she tried to influence her husband to be more Protestant.
Gunilla Bielke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Portrait of Frederick II of Denmark, suitor to Queen Elizabeth I. Walsingham, who managed all the arrangements with Elizabeth I's suitors, used the wooing to facilitate English foreign policy. Frederick was persuaded to incarcerate Mary, Queen of Scots husband, The Earl of Bothwell, who died 10 years later chained to a post. Frederick's daughter, Anne, eventually married Mary's son, James VI of Scotland/James I of England.
Sophie (1557–1631, nee of Mecklenburg-Gustrow), was Queen consort of Denmark as the wife of Frederick II, her cousin. She was the mother of Anne, consort of James I/VI of Britain and Christian IV of Denmark. A lover of knowledge, she was interested in science (and visited astronomer Tycho Brahe) and folklore. She served as regent for her son when he was a minor in Schleswig-Holstein. Sophie died age 74, the richest woman in Northern Europe.
Karin Månsdotter was Queen of Sweden, having first been a mistress and then the wife of King Eric XIV of Sweden. In 1564, Karin Månsdotter was employed as a servant to the wife of the King's trusted court musician Gert Cantor, who held a tavern and a guest house in his home; Karin likely helped to serve the guests. She was also a maid to the King's sister, Princess Elizabeth, when she became mistress to the king in 1565.
Portrait of Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Denmark. By Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, c. 1524.
Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan and later Duchess of Lorraine (1521-1590). Recently widowed, Christina famously refused the suit of Henry VIII when he was looking for his fourth wife; she supposedly said if she had two necks, then Henry would be welcome to one of them. After her second marriage, Christina served as regent of Lorraine from 1545-1552 during the minority of her son, Charles. She and her son laid claim to Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Christina Gyllenstierna (1494/5 - January 1559) led an uprising in Sweden to overthrow the (effective) control of Sweden by a Danish king, Christian II. After her husband was killed in battle, she took command of the defense of Stockholm. Christina was eventually forced to surrender, but negotiated terms that provided a general amnesty to herself and everyone else involved in the uprising. Christina became a national symbol of Swedish patriotism.
Portrait of the Danish King Christian II. By Michel Sittow, 1514/15.
Dyveke Sigbritsdatter (1490 - 1517). Dyveke was the mistress of Christian II of Denmark. She was Dutch, and became his mistress in either 1507 or 1509. Her mother, Sigbrit, acted as an adviser to the King and they two of them were greatly hated. Christian refused to end their relationship even after he married Isabella of Austria in 1515, and her brother demanded his mistress's removal. Rumors said her death in 1517 was by poison.
Portrait of Elisabeth of Denmark (1524 - 1586). Elisabeth was the daughter of Frederick I and Sophie of Pomerania. She married Magnus III, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. After his death she married Ulrich III of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and had one daughter.
Portrait of Agda Persdotter. Agda was the mistress of Eric XIV from 1558 until 1565. They had four daughters together.
Gunilla Bielke (1568 - 1597). Queen of Sweden from 1585 until 1592, when her husband died. She was the second wife of John III, and they had one son. She was said to be very beautiful, and she tried to influence her husband to be more Protestant.
Portrait of Christina of Holstein-Gottorp (1573 - 1625). Christina was Queen of Sweden from 1604 until 1611, when her husband died. She was the second wife of Charles IX, and they had three children. She later prevented her son from marrying his mistress, Ebba Brahe.