Richeza of Denmark

Richeza of Denmark
Queen consort of Sweden
Tenure 1210–1216
Spouse Eric X of Sweden
Father Valdemar I of Denmark
Mother Sophia of Minsk
Born c. 1190/91
Died 1220

Richeza on her gravestone (cenotaph)
Coat of arms of Denmark

Richeza of Denmark (Swedish: Rikissa Valdemarsdotter) (1190–1220) was a medieval queen consort of Sweden, spouse of King Eric X of Sweden and mother of King Eric XI of Sweden.


Richeza was a daughter of King Valdemar I of Denmark and Sophia of Minsk. She received her first name, originally a Lotharingian-Burgundian female name, in honor of her maternal grandmother, the late Richeza of Poland.

In c. 1210 the new king Eric X of Sweden, who had deposed his predecessor Sverker II of Sweden, desired to build cordial and peaceful relations with Denmark, which had traditionally supported the House of Sverker, against the Norwegian-supported dynasty of Eric. That was why Richeza, sister of the then reigning Valdemar II of Denmark, was married to king Eric.

When she arrived at the Swedish coast, the legend says, she expressed her surprise that she was expected to ride and not travel by carriage, as she had been used to in her birth country, and the Swedish noblewomen and ladies-in-waiting had encouraged her to adapt the customs of her new home country instead of trying to establish her own "Jutian" customs.

Queen Richeza bore exclusively daughters as long as her spouse was alive. King Eric died in 1216. Dowager Queen Richeza was pregnant at the time and then gave birth to her only surviving son, the future Eric XI of Sweden, after the death of her spouse. The family of King Eric X, however, was driven to exile from Sweden as the House of Sverker heir, John I of Sweden, was elected king there, to succeed Richeza's husband. It was in Denmark where Richeza herself died, without seeing her son's accession to the throne (in 1222), nor her daughters' marriages.




Rikissa Valdemarsdotter
Born: 1190/1191 Died: 8 May 1220
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Ingegerd Birgersdotter
Queen consort of Sweden
Succeeded by
Helena Pedersdotter

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