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Christina of Sweden, Queen

Swedish, 1626 - 1689


Christina of Sweden, daughter of Protestant hero Gustavus Adolphus [1594-1632], is best known for having resigned both the throne of Sweden and the Protestant faith for which her father fought. Christina came to the throne at the age of six, upon her father's death in the Battle of Lützen. Five regents, headed by chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, governed the country until Christina came of age in 1644. Educated as a prince, Christina was one of the most learned women of her age, highly cultured, and a great patron of the arts. Christina's abdication in 1654 at the age of twenty-nine, after a ten year reign, shocked both her country and the Christian world. She had secretly converted to Catholicism and after naming her cousin Charles X Gustav as her successor immediately left Sweden; she was ultimately recieved in Rome by Pope Alexander VII. During her exile Christina attempted unsuccessfully to gain the crowns of Naples and of Poland. She returned to Sweden twice, in 1660 and 1667. In Rome, Christina involved herself in chruch politics, forming a strong friendship with Cardinal Decio Azzolino, her heir and generally believed to be her lover. Christina died in Rome; her tomb is in St. Peter's. [Compiled from sources and references recorded on CMS].


Arckenholtz, J. Memoires concernant Christine, reine de Suède. 4 vols. 1751-1760.
Bildt, Le Baron de. Christine de Suède et le Cardinal Azzolino. 1899.

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