Sophia of Denmark

Sophia of Denmark
Queen consort of Sweden
Tenure 1261–1275
Spouse Valdemar of Sweden
House House of Estridsen
Father Eric IV of Denmark
Mother Jutta of Saxony
Born 1241
Died 1286
Religion Roman Catholicism
Danish Royalty
House of Estridsen
Armoiries Danemark.svg
Eric IV Ploughpenny
   Christopher Eriksen
   Canute Eriksen
   Sophia, Queen of Sweden
   Ingeborg, Queen of Norway
   Jutta, Abbess of St. Agneta
   Agnes, Lady of Langeland

Sophia of Denmark (Sofia Eriksdotter; 1241–1286) was Queen consort of Sweden as spouse of King Valdemar I of Sweden.


Sophia was the eldest daughter of Eric IV of Denmark and Jutta of Saxony. Her father was murdered in 1250 when she and her younger sisters, Agnes and Jutta of Denmark were young. As he left no son, Eric IV's brothers, Abel of Denmark and then Christopher I of Denmark assumed the Danish throne.

Sophia was married to Valdemar I of Sweden in 1261, as part of Birger Jarl's policy of peace between Scandinavian kingdoms. It is said, that when she was informed about the arranged marriage, she left the room, went in to her chamber and asked God; Give me happiness with him and him with me. Sophia was described as a politically interested, witty beauty with a quick tongue. She was also known for her interest in chess.

In 1269, Sophia visited her father's grave in Denmark as well as visiting her sisters, Agnes and Jutta, who had both been placed in Agnesklostret convent in Roskilde. In 1272, Sophia's sister Jutta visited Sweden and became Valdemar's mistress. The affair resulted in a child born in 1273. The following year, Jutta was again placed in a convent and Valdemar was forced to make a pilgrimage to Rome to ask for the Pope's absolution. According to legend, Queen Sophia said: I will never recover from this sorrow. Curse the day my sister saw the kingdom of Sweden.

In 1275, Valdemar was deposed by his younger brother, Magnus III of Sweden after the battle of Hova. The news was said to have reached the queen while she played chess. Many stories are told about her sharp tongue. She is said to have complained about her husband's brothers as "Magnus Ticklingfingers" and "Eric Everything-and-anything". In 1277, Sophia separated from her spouse and returned to Denmark. Her husband lived openly with mistresses in his comfortable prison until his death in 1302. In 1283, the ex-queen gave her income in the fishing of Norrköping to the Saint Martin Abbey in Skänninge. This is the first document were the city of Norrköping is mentioned. She died in 1286.


Sofia married Valdemar in 1260 and separated in 1277. They had six children:

  1. Ingeborg Valdemarsdotter of Sweden (1263–1292), countess of Holstein, spouse of Gerhard II of Holstein.
  2. Erik Valdemarsson of Sweden (1272–1330)
  3. Marina Valdemarsdotter of Sweden, spouse of Count Rudolf of Diepholz
  4. Rikissa Valdemarsdotter of Sweden (d. c. 1292), Queen of Poland, spouse of Przemysł II of Poland
  5. Katarina Valdemarsdotter of Sweden (d. 1283)
  6. Margareta Valdemarsdotter of Sweden, a nun.


Sofia Eriksdotter
Born: 1241 Died: 1286
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Catherine of Ymseborg
Queen consort of Sweden
Succeeded by
Hedwig of Holstein

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