Queens Consort in Premodern Europe. A European Research Project in Progress*

by Elise M. Dermineur (Lund)


In 1744, Friedrich II (1712–1786), King of Prussia, ne­gotiated the marriage of one of his younger sisters to the newly elected crown prince of Sweden, hoping to strengthen and develop further the ties between the two countries through this dynastic alliance.1 In the spring, when the young Luise Ulrike (1720–1782) was chosen by both parties as the intended spouse, she was informed by her brother and his ministers of the pro­gress of the negotiations. While leaving all the mate­rial considerations and the practical arrangements to them, she prepared herself to fulfil her duty:

(…) It is true that there are some differences in the cus­toms between this country and ours, but I will make it my duty to be compliant in everything, as much as I can be, according to the mores of the nation.2

Luise Ulrike, born a Prussian princess, was likely to marry a powerful foreign prince or king, just as many other princesses in premodern Europe did. Conscious of her duty and her prerogatives, the young princess was fully aware of her fate, as this extract shows, and she was ready to become not only the spouse of a prince she had never met, but also to be one day crow­ned queen of Sweden, a country in which she had ne­ver set foot. Luise Ulrike ultimately recognized that she would have to adapt herself to the customs of her new land and her new court.


Ulrika of Prussia as Aurora, by François- Adrien Latinville, 1747 or 1748. (source: Wikimedia commons).

Ulrika of Prussia as Aurora, by François-Adrien Latinville, 1747 or 1748. (source: Wikimedia commons).

Dynastic alliances in premodern Europe were always a vehicle for cultural synthesis and transfer between various territories and courts. A foreign princess, like Luise Ulrike, travelled to her new court with her own set of traditions, norms, and cultural identity. While noble houses throughout Europe shared many com­mon norms and values pertaining to their unique rank within society and their large networks, cultural dif­ferences, norms, court rituals, étiquette and regional traditions coloured and shaped the identity of female consorts. A foreign princess might well have been from another religion to that of her new husband, she might have received a different education, and she might have been brought up in a different court culture. In this project we are interested in these particularities and especially the meeting point between them and the cultural transfer and assimilation that occurred as well as the possible conflicts.

This research project, therefore, intends to bring light to the paradigm of the female consort, with special re­ference to the consort’s role and influence.3 One of the aims of this prosopographic research project is to build a general framework on queen consortship. While over past years a lot of attention has been devoted on reig­ning queens and female regents, there is still a gap to be filled when it comes to queens consort.4 What do we know about those who were supposed to stand in the shadow of kings, who provided them with heirs and often advice and who brought with them and to their spouses dynastic and diplomatic alliances? We do know a lot about the lives of particular individuals, from Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536) to Marie Antoi­nette (1755–1793), and the singularities and experien­ces of many of these queens consort, but we are still in need of a useful overarching paradigm that would describe and theorize their political and cultural roles. Furthermore, while looking for such a paradigm, it is critical to take into consideration the construction and reinforcement of their role and position as consort over time. Norms and expectations of consortship evolved throughout the period and the mechanisms and forces at work in such constructions are particularly relevant and need to be examined further.

This research project makes a significant contribution to scholarship by assessing the concept of queen con­sort. As stated, a lot of work has been done on either specific individuals or on female regents and female rulers, especially in the light of their political role and in relation to the state building process, but a gap still needs to be filled for those who did not govern but who did play a significant role.5 We are extremely attentive to queens consort who made cultural and political con­tributions to their new country. Their evident political function lies beneath the dynastic alliances contracted through their marriage, but some of these women did exert a real influence, beyond the primary duties ex­pected from a consort. The cultural influence of these queens consort is probably the lesser known area in historiography. While culture was widely exploited by many of them as a channel for influence – including political influence – their cultural legacies were never­theless and still are major visible contributions to the cultural landscape.

This broad European project therefore asks whether general patterns concerning queen “consortship” can be drawn, and it proposes an overarching approach while also underlining the singularities of consorts’ ac­tions and personalities.6 In this work-in-progress artic­le, I focus mainly on various aspects that the team will cover in this project: first the political role of a consort; then her cultural role and legacy; and finally I consider a few tools of analysis useful in the building of an ove­rarching framework of queen “consortship”.

Queens Consort in Premodern Europe: characteristics, duties, and functions

Queen Consort: a definition. A queen consort was the spouse of a sovereign king. The etymology of the term means “the one who shares the same fate”. In premo­dern Europe, a foreign princess who married a crown prince or a king often travelled to a new city, a new land and a new court. In most of the cases, it was wo­men who had to emigrate following their marriage, while crown princes and kings remained in their ter­ritories. Only a handful of male consorts cases existed, such as Francois de Lorraine (1708–1765), consort of Maria Teresa (1717–1780) in Vienna. These women ra­rely came back to their native land, spending most of their lives in their new country. They often had to learn a new language and often had to convert to a new re­ligion. Luise Ulrike, for instance, had to learn Swedish – which she never entirely mastered – and had to con­vert to Lutheranism.7 She only returned to her native Prussia as a queen dowager for a short stay, many years after her marriage, and after the deaths of many of her family members, including her favourite brother Au­gust Wilhelm (1722–1758) and her mother, neither of whom did she see again after her wedding.8 A dynastic marriage was also the occasion to settle ties and allian­ces between two countries: to settle a conflict, to provi­de an heir through a woman of a similar condition to the king, or/and to receive a significant dowry. Marie de Medici (1575–1642), for instance, brought with her 600.000 gold écus, and her family, the Florentine ban­kers of the French kingdom, consented to erase part of the king’s debt owed to them.

Duties and Obligations. A queen consort was expected to fulfil some obligations and duties. The most critical of these was, surely, to produce an heir, preferably male, to the crown. When Marguerite de Valois (1553–1615), queen consort of King Henri IV of France (1553–1610), failed to give her husband an heir, it was this particular reason invoked by the king in his request for a divo­rce, which was granted in 1599. Anne of Austria (1601– 1666) was widely criticized for failing to give an heir to King Louis XIII (1601–1643). Her image and reputation tremendously improved after the birth of Louis XIV in 1638, twenty-three years after her marriage. After the birth of her second son Luise Ulrike declared that her duty was over and that she had done her share – alt­hough she found herself pregnant twice afterwards. These examples are not unique, and underline the cri­tical reproductive function of a queen consort.

But beyond this reproductive function, a queen consort was also expected to fulfil certain responsibilities and norms that gradually, over time were assigned to the­se women. Charitable duties, representation and court entertainment were some of their unofficial tasks.



Drottningholm library (author: Holger Ellgaard, source: Wikimedia commons).

Drottningholm library (author: Holger Ellgaard, source: Wikimedia commons, Lizenz CC BY-SA 3.0).

Luise Ulrike (1720–1782). In this project, together with Professor Svante Norrhem, I focus specifically on Lu­ise Ulrike, princess of Prussia and queen of Sweden (1720–1782), sister of Fredrik the Great (1712–1786) and mother of Gustav III (1746–1792).9 Perhaps not known as much as other queens consort, such as the infamous Marie Antoinette for instance, Luise Ulrike’s case offers a good example of a queen consort’s role, prerogatives, status, duties, expectations and achievements.

Luise Ulrike was born in Berlin in 1720, the daughter of the king of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm I (1688–1740) and his wife, Sophie Dorothea von Hannover. Raised at the Prussian court, the young princess received a solid education from French Huguenot expatriates. Fluent in French, knowledgeable in music, theatre, literature and the sciences, she was educated as an enlightened princess and mixed with international artists, inclu­ding Italian opera singers, and European thinkers, such as Voltaire and Maupertuis who were protégés of her brother. In 1744, she married Adolf Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp, recently elected crown prince of Sweden, and moved to Stockholm. Six years later, fol­lowing the king’s death, her husband acceded to the throne and she became queen of Sweden. Her marriage was a very happy union, resulting in the birth of four children: the eldest, Gustav, succeeded to his father in 1771 as Gustav III king of Sweden.

Luise Ulrike was known particularly as a dyna­mic patron of science and art. She founded the Vitterhetsakademien in Stockholm in 1753, supported various artists, including women, through pensions, encouraged the development of theatre with the recon­struction of a theatre at Drottningholm palace (plays were performed in French), and was also an avid art collector. The queen of Sweden was also particularly active in the political life of her country of adoption, constantly working towards the reestablishment of tra­ditional monarchy through depriving parliament of its prerogatives. As such, she is a good example of a con­sort who was a culturally and politically active agent, an instrument at court, used by political factions and for diplomatic purposes, and finally a cultural catalyst.

Luise Ulrike left behind an abundant and vivid corres­pondence to and from her family and her friends, un­finished memoirs and several official documents.10 Her renovated palace of Drottningholm, which is now a visible legacy of her efforts, was filled with a large coll­ection of books, medals and coins, porcelain, furniture, paintings and other artefacts that she collected over the years.11 Courtiers, travellers and ambassadors passing through the court commented widely on her actions and on her personality. They left behind valuable de­scriptions, notes and memoirs. All these materials con­stitute the basis of my analysis of Luise Ulrike.12 While shedding light on this particular individual, I will work closely with other team members in order to build a useful theoretical framework on queens consort.

Cultural transfer, Political Influence and Conflicts

In this research project we are mainly concerned with women’s function as cultural agents, both in light of their achievements and legacies but also in their use of culture – in a broad sense – as a channel of power and influence.

Cultural Agents. As cultural agents, queens consort brought with them artefacts, fashion, artists, and their own national/regional taste and trends. Many objects, such as paintings and collections, were displayed at court and embodied the monarchs’ power, or rather will, to display power and authority. Luise Ulrike had a complete gallery of family portraits in her palace of Drottningholm, to signify to the visitor her Prussian roots, the daughter and the sister of Prussian kings. Marie de Medici commissioned Rubens to paint a se­ries of paintings representing her life and her glory, and intended to display her power and her importance through this cycle on the occasion of her daughter’s wedding.13

Queens consort could also fulfil the function of cul­tural catalyst at court. Luise Ulrike, for instance, a convinced Francophile, favoured French theatre; she supported French actors and encouraged the represen­tation of French plays at court. This did not stop her from supporting indigenous artists and thinkers.

Some of the queens consort cultural influences did crys­tallize and had a long lasting effect on the cultural life of their adoptive countries. Luise Ulrike, for instance, established the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities in 1753 (Kungl. Vitterhetsaka­demien Historie och Antikvitets Akademien).14 Hedwig Eleonore of Holstein-Gottorp (1636–1715), consort of Karl X of Sweden (1622–1660), and Luise Ulrike both developed and expanded the palace of Drottningholm in Stockholm, a legacy still visible today.

Political influence constitutes a major pillar in this re­search project. A queen consort, by definition, was de­prived of political power and political position, unless she became regent for her underage children. With the exception of regencies, especially in the French examp­le, women were not supposed to access governance.15 In this respect, Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden (1688–1741), for instance, occupied a particular place in historiography; she relinquished her authority inhe­rited by birth and her crown to her husband to become his consort.

The political influence of queens consort, however, existed from the day of their union.16 A dynastic marri­age was always political and combined multiple layers of diplomatic issues. Arranging a marriage between his daughter and the dauphin, Philippe V of Spain (1683– 1746) hoped that his daughter Maria Teresa (1726–1746) would play a political and diplomatic role on behalf of Spain at the court of Versailles. While this strong desire did not materialize in anything concrete, the intention was there. Many queens consort fulfilled this infor­mal diplomatic expectation. When Luise Ulrike arri­ved in Stockholm, she had already been briefed on the diplomatic situation between her native Prussia and Sweden. Her brother hoped she could be a supportive instrument in his foreign policy by helping him forge alliances in the north. This informal aspect of power constitutes a major aspect of this project.

Political agency and personal ambitions. But beyond this pattern, a queen consort could also have agenci­es and political ambitions of her own. Luise Ulrike, for instance, is also remembered as a political figure. A proud and fierce descendant of kings and queens, she regarded the power of the Riksdag (Swedish Parli­ament) as a monstrous usurpation of royal rights and privileges. Indeed, following the death of Charles XII in 1718, the Swedish constitution was modified and de­prived the kings of most of their political power to the benefit of the nobility. Upon her arrival in Stockholm, and with the example of absolutist monarchies such as France and her native Prussia in mind, Luise Ulrike was determined to abolish this aberration. In 1756, her plot and attempts to overthrow the Riksdag failed. As the aborted coup was discovered, the queen appeared as the key instigator, brain of the plotters, and nearly lost her crown and her head. The Riksdag, nevertheless, only issued a warning to her. She was forced to express her regret and apologies in writing and was repriman­ded by the archbishop. This incident, however, did not prevent her from pursuing her goal: the reestablish­ment of royal privileges and power in Sweden. Throug­hout her tenure as crown princess and then as queen, Luise Ulrike worked through various channels towards the reestablishment of a strong monarchy. She used cultural institutions to reinforce, expand and control her network of friends, allies and clients. Luise Ulrike, indeed, understood early on the necessity of building a strong network of allies in her new country in order to achieve a full restoration of royal authority in Swe­den. In her first years in her new country, she gathered a small group of supporters around her through the newly established order of the Harmony.17 The queen also placed various political actors in her newly found­ed Academy of Letters but also, and more interestingly, a few of her enemies as well. She leaned on ceremonials and various social gatherings to consult, negotiate, ad­vance her ideas and gather supporters. Her desire for a stronger monarchy even overshadowed her husband’s actions and often put his own authority in the back­ground. But personal ambitions often met with resis­tance and conflicts.

Failures, frictions and conflicts. Trespassing the limits of her assigned role and her expected behaviour, a queen consort could encounter failures in her agency, frictions and even conflicts. Many conflicts especially erupted when a consort failed to fulfil her duties and obligations, such as producing an heir as previously mentioned. But some conflicts also erupted because of failures in the integration/assimilation process in their new court. Sophie Magdalene (1746–1813), Danish princess and queen consort of Gustav III (1746–1792) king of Sweden, for instance, never succeeded in fully integrating into the court in Stockholm. On the mar­gins, isolated and rejected by many, including her mo­ther-in-law, the queen dowager Luise Ulrike, and her husband Gustav III, Sophie Magdalene’s latitude and influence at court were dramatically reduced.

Some of these conflicts were dramatic enough to lead to the questioning of a queen consort’s legitimacy as a monarch and endangered her position. Luise Ulrike’s aborted coup and failed plot in 1756 led parliament to seriously consider exile as a punishment. On this occa­sion, the queen could have faced death, as some of her unfortunate companions did.18 Marie Antoinette was executed as queen consort of Louis XVI (1754–1793), a symbol of the monarchy that the rebels wanted to erase.

While examining the political and contextual issues encountered, we need to pay attention to the mecha­nisms and the circumstances that led to such failures, especially in reference to, and mirrored with, the suc­cesses of consorts.

Building an overarching framework on consortship: additional considerations

In attempting to draw an overarching framework about the cultural and political role of queens consort in early modern Europe, I consider several factors and vectors that have influenced their actions, and impacted on their breadth of action, in order to evaluate their influ­ence and the conditions of the spread of their agency. These vectors are useful instruments of analysis and are applied throughout the project’s research. Among these factors, the main ones are: their input in the deci­sion-making process relative to politics and/or cultural politics; their network of interaction and/or degree of isolation (family, friends, allies, etc.) both in their im­mediate circle at court but also at large through their dynastic connections; their participation in the estab­lishment and/or functioning of institutions (creation of academies or schools for instance); and the court norms applied to their new court. We can also add that changes over time could also have a tremendous impact on their space of action. When Lovisa Ulrika disembarked on the Swedish coast in the summer of 1744, her latitude of action and her social capital were presumably high; only a few years later she had aliena­ted many at court and beyond, limiting therefore her scope for action. Furthermore, this picture would not be complete if we do not add the importance of the personality of the consort (and of her spouse) and her ambitions regarding power, social status, and legacy. Luise Ulrike, for instance, has been described as fierce, proud, haughty, intelligent, self-conscious of her roy­al prerogatives, and filled with political ambitions. In this sense, she resembled Marie de’ Medici, consort of Henry IV of France, who had difficulties in the transi­tion between her regency and when her son Louis XIII came of age to govern himself. Conflicts between mo­ther and son lasted over several years. Although Luise Ulrike’s experience was different, just like Marie she had a high opinion of herself and of royal prerogatives and duties, and just like her entered into conflict with her son.

Some queens consort had a strong conception of power that went beyond their own gender, which supposedly prevented them from formally taking on power. Some of these queens consort could, however, access real governance through acting as regents of their young children (Marie De’ Medici, Catherine De’ Medici, Anne of Austria to cite only but a few). Their examp­les may have set some norms about the function of the consort, with this opportunity to govern pertaining to their role. This aspect will be considered.

One key aspect in the breadth of a consort’s actions lies in the court norms. These norms of interaction and so­ciability limited the actions of the new foreign consort. Some courts had rather loose norms, while others were regimented by tight norms. When Luise Ulrike arrived in Stockholm in 1744, she came to a small court, mar­ried to a German born crown prince of Sweden, and welcomed by a German born king. None of them were directly descended from a Swedish royal branch. The court was not particularly wealthy and rather small compared to the contemporary courts in Paris, Lon­don or Vienna. When her son Gustav travelled across Europe in his early twenties and was surprised by the magnificence of the Danish court in Copenhagen, his mother wrote to him:

You need to realize that we are the most perfect beggars of Europe, and that there is not a single small count in the Empire who has more beautiful furniture, more beautiful tableware and a lifestyle that honours him.19

The Swedish court has never been praised for its sheen and splendour. Fabian Persson has highlighted its li­mits very well, its financial difficulties and the misbe­haviour of its members.20 In such a context, the court norms were rather loose compared to that of the court of France for instance. Social institutions such as le le­ver and le coucher did not exist in Sweden as such. The only social institution that was rigidly regulated at the Swedish court was the meal ceremonial. While court etiquette and norms did exist, they were rather loose and permitted the consort a greater breadth in her ac­tions and more input on her part.

All these elements, therefore, are taken into considera­tion and constitute a good basis for comparisons with which to achieve an overarching paradigm of queen consort.


This research project not only intends to examine closely the specificities pertaining to queens consort related to cultural transfer, cultural legacy, and politi­cal influence, but also to draw an overarching pattern of queen consortship in early modern Europe. While focusing on several case studies, this project will high­light the similarities, common characteristics, failures and differences of queens consort.

Printversion: Frühneuzeit-Info 25, 2014, S. 248–254.

* This research in progress is part of a European project titled “Marrying Cultures: Queens Consort and Euro­pean Identities, 1500–1800”. Marrying Cultures is a col­laborative international project made possible thanks to a generous grant from Humanities in the European Research Area and with teams based at the University of Oxford, Lund University, the German Historical Insti­tute in Warsaw and the Herzog August Bibliothek. More information about the “Marrying Cultures” project can be found here: http://www.marryingcultures.eu.

  1. Crown prince Adolf Fredrik (1710–1771). []
  2. Excerpts from a letter written by princess Luise Ulri­ke to her brother king Fredrick II of Prussia, March or April 1744. Published in Fritz von Arnheim (ed.): Lou­ise Ulrike, Die Schwedische Schwester Friedrichs Des Grossen: Ungedruckte Briefe an Mitglieder Des Preus­sischen Königshauses, Gotha 1909. “(…) Il est vrai qu’il y a quelques différences des usages de ce pays-là avec les nôtres, mais je me ferai une raison de mon devoir pour me conformer en tout, autant qu’il me sera possible, aux moeurs de la nation.” Author’s translation. []
  3. The project Marrying Cultures. Queens Consort and European Identities 1500–1800 is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme (www.heranet. info) which is co-funded by AHRC, AKA, BMBF via PT-DLR, DASTI, ETAG, FCT, FNR, FNRS, FWF, FWO, HAZU, IRC, LMT, MHEST, NWO, NCN, RANNÍS, RCN, VR and The European Community FP7 2007–2013, under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities programme. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 291827. []
  4. On female sovereigns and regents see especially, from the vast available literature, Katherine Crawford: Perilous Performances. Gender and Regency in Early Modern France, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press 2004; Carole Levin/R. O. Bucholz: Queens & Power in Medieval and Early Modern England, Lincoln: Univer­sity of Nebraska Press 2009; William Monter: The Rise of Female Kings in Europe, 1300–1800, New Haven: Yale University Press 2012, Regina Schulte: The Body of the Queen. Gender and Rule in the Courtly World, 1500– 2000, Berghahn Books 2006; Anna Whitelock/Alice Hunt (eds.): Tudor Queenship. The Reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2013. On queens consort see especially Caroline Hibbard: The Role of a Queen Consort. The Household and Court of Henrietta Maria, 1625–1642, in: Ronald Asch/Adolf Bir­ke (eds.): Princes, Patronage, and the Nobility, Oxford University Press 1991, pp. 393–414; Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Britain: 1660–1837. Royal Patronage, Court Culture and Dynastic Politics, Manchester: Man­chester Univ. Press 2002; Clarissa Campbell Orr (ed.): Queenship in Europe, 1660–1815. The Role of the Con­sort, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press 2004. []
  5. See especially Fanny Cosandey: La reine de France. Symbole et pouvoir, XVe–XVIIIe siècle, Paris: Gallimard 2000; Monter: The Rise of Female Kings (note 4). []
  6. Other team members are currently carrying out work on various European consorts. Professor Helen Watana­be-O’Kelly (project leader) is researching Maria Amalia, the eighteenth-century princess of Saxony and Poland, who married the King of Naples (later King of Spain), thus linking the German and Polish court of Dresden to that of southern Italy. Dr Almut Bues is investiga­ting Sophia and Katharina Jagiellonica. Sophia married Heinrich II, Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, and Katharina, Johan III, King of Sweden, Duke of Finland. Their contrasting married lives in Germany, Sweden and Finland respectively, their confessional allegian­ces and relationships with their eldest sons illustrate the different cultural challenges the consort faced. Dr Jill Bepler is examining Queen Hedwig Eleonore of Holstein-Gottorp, consort of Karl X of Sweden. During her 55 years as widowed queen mother she built up the royal collections and was involved in many important architectural projects. Dr Adam Morton focuses his at­tention on Catherine of Braganza, consort of Charles II of England, who illustrates both the friction between a foreign Catholic queen and her people and her lasting cultural influence. In her twenty years of widowhood in Portugal, she successfully worked for an alliance bet­ween Portugal and England. A Ph.D. student, Maria Ski­ba, is working on music relating to consorts and on mu­sical transfer between courts. A second Ph.D. student, Urszula Zachara-Związek, focuses on the first and third wives, both Habsburgs, of Sigismund Augustus, King of Poland. []
  7. She was born and raised as a Calvinist. []
  8. Her mother, Sophie Dorothea von Hanover (1687– 1757). []
  9. Luise Ulrike is the subject of two biographies, Oskar Gustaf von Heidenstam: Une Soeur Du Grand Frédéric, Louise-Ulrique, Reine de Suède, Paris: Plon 1897, and Olof Jägerskiöld: Lovisa Ulrika, Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand 1945. []
  10. Henrik Schück: Gustav III:s Och Lovisa Ulrikas Bre­vväxling, 2 vol., Stockholm: Norstedt 1919; Von Arn­heim: Louise Ulrike (note 2); Esther Jacobson: Gustav III:s Moder Lovisa Ulrika I Unga Och Lyckliga År. Ett Bidrag till Hennes Biografi, Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand 1925; Andreas Lindblom: Lovisa Ulrikas Naturaliekabinett Å Drottningholm, in: Nationalmusei Årsbok 9 (1927), pp. s. 85–123; Sigrid Leijonhufvud (ed.), Lovisa Ulrika o Carl Gustaf Tessin, Stockholm 1920. See also Johann Gustav Droysen et al. (eds.), Die politische Correspondenz Friedrichs des Großen, 46 Bde., Berlin: Duncker & Humblot/Berlin: Hobbing/Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer 1879–1939. []
  11. See Merit Laine: “En Minerva För Vår Nord”. Lovisa Ulrika Som Samlare, Uppdragsgivare Och Byggherre, Stockholm, Ph.D. dissertation, 1998. []
  12. Most of the archival material about Luise Ulrike can be found at the Riksarkivet, Slottsarkivet and Kungliga biblioteket in Stockholm, at the Preussisches Geheimes Staatsarchiv in Berlin, at the Archives du Ministère des Affaires étrangères in Paris. Part of her collection is vi­sible at Drottningholm Palace, at the Livrustkammaren museum, the Nordiska Museet, and the royal palace in Stockholm. []
  13. These paintings can be seen today at the Louvres muse­um in Paris. []
  14. See Sten Åke Nilsson: Drottning Lovisa Ulrika Och Vit­terhetsakademien, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell In­ternational 2003. []
  15. On French regency see especially Crawford: Perilous Performances (note 4). []
  16. See for instance Erin Griffey: Henrietta Maria. Piety, Po­litics and Patronage, Ashgate Publishing Ltd. 2008. []
  17. The order, known as Solfjädersorden in Swedish, was es­tablished in 1744. It was bestowed until 1746, the reasons for its disappearance are unknown. There were only 22 recipients. It was the first attempt of Luise Ulrike to gather supporters. []
  18. See Jägerskiöld: Lovisa Ulrika (note 9), pp. 191–214. []
  19. Lovisa Ulrika: Gustav III:s Och Lovisa Ulrikas Brev­växling, Ur Svenska Akademiens Arkiv. Stockholm: Norstedt 1919. Letter from Lovisa Ulrika to Gustav, December 11, 1770. “Mettez-vous bien dans l’esprit que nous sommes les gueux les plus parfaits de l’Europe, et qu’il n’y a pas un petit comte de l’Empire qui n’ait de plus beaux meubles, de plus belle vaisselle et un train qui lui fasse honneur.” Author’s translation. []
  20. Fabian Persson: Servants of Fortune. The Swedish Court Between 1598 and 1721, Ph.D. dissertation, Lund, 1999. []

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