Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden

Adolf Frederick
King of Sweden
Adolf Frederick of Sweden, painted by Lorens Pasch the Younger
Reign 25 March 1751 – 12 February 1771 (&000000000000001900000019 years, &0000000000000324000000324 days)
Coronation 26 November 1751
Predecessor Frederick I
Successor Gustav III
Spouse Louisa Ulrika of Prussia
Issue
Gustav III
Charles XIII
Prince Frederick Adolf
Princess Sophia Albertina
Father Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin
Mother Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach
Born 14 May 1710
Gottorp, Schleswig, Duchy of Schleswig
Died 12 February 1771(1771-02-12) (aged 60)
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Burial 26 February 1771
Riddarholmen Church, Stockholm
Religion Lutheran

Adolf Frederick or Adolph Frederick (Swedish: Adolf Fredrik, German: Adolph Friedrich ; Gottorp, 14 May 1710 – Stockholm, 12 February 1771) was King of Sweden from 1751 until his death. He was the son of Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin and Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach.

Ancestry

His father was Christian Augustus (1673—1726) duke and a younger prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, prince-bishop of Lubeck, and administrator, during the Great Northern War, of the duchies of Holstein-Gottorp for his relative Charles Frederick. His mother was Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach.

On his mother's side, Adolf Frederick descended from king Gustav I of Sweden and from Christina Magdalena, a sister of Charles X of Sweden. From both his parents he was descended from Holstein-Gottorp, a house with a number of medieval Scandinavian royal dynasties among its ancestors. LAdolf Frederick was also a 13th-generation descendant of Erik V of Denmark; a 13th-generation descendant of Sophia of Denmark and Valdemar I of Sweden; and an 11th-generation descendant of Euphemia of Sweden, Duchess of Mecklenburg and her husband the duke Albrecht.

Reign

From 1727 to 1750 prince Adolf Frederick was prince-bishop of Lübeck (which meant the rulership of a fief around and including Eutin), and administrator of Holstein-Kiel during the minority of his nephew, Duke Charles Peter Ulrich, afterwards Peter III of Russia. In 1743 he was elected heir to the throne of Sweden by the Hat faction in order that they might obtain better conditions at the Peace of Turku from Empress Elizabeth of Russia, who had adopted his nephew as her heir. He succeeded as Adolf Fredrik on 25 March 1751.

During his whole reign (1751–1771), Adolf Frederick was little more than a figurehead, the real power being lodged in the hands of the Parliament of Sweden, often distracted by party strife. Twice he endeavoured to free himself from the tutelage of the estates. The first occasion was in 1755 when, stimulated by his imperious consort Louisa Ulrika of Prussia (1720–82), sister of Frederick the Great, he tried to regain a portion of the attenuated prerogative, and nearly lost his throne in consequence. On the second occasion, under the guidance of his eldest son, the crown prince Gustavus, afterwards Gustav III of Sweden, he succeeded in overthrowing the "Cap" senate, but was unable to make any use of his victory.

His mother died a widow in Hamburg on 22 December 1755. She was a descendant of earlier royal dynasties of Sweden, granddaughter of Christina Magdalena of Palatinate, Charles X's sister.

Death

The king died on 12 February 1771 after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, kippers and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: semla served in a bowl of hot milk. He is thus remembered by Swedish school children as "the king who ate himself to death."

He was regarded, both during his time and in later times, as dependent on others, a weak ruler and lacking of any talents. But he was allegedly also a good husband, a caring father and a gentle master to his servants. His favourite pastime was to make snuff boxes, which he allegedly spent a great deal of time doing. His personal hospitality and friendliness were witnessed by many who deeply mourned him at his death.

His portrait is included with the 16-sheet series of Princely Persons on Horseback by Johann Elias Ridinger.

Children

By his marriage to Princess Louisa Ulrika of Prussia (which took place on 18 August/29 August 1744 in Drottningholm), he had the following children:

  1. (Stillborn) (Stockholm, 18 February 1745 - Stockholm, 18 February 1745)
  2. Gustav III (1746–1792)
  3. Charles XIII (1748–1818)
  4. Frederick Adolf (1750–1803)
  5. Sofia Albertina (1753–1829)

Ancestors

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16. John Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8. Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
17. Augusta of Denmark
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Christian Albert, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
18. John George I, Elector of Saxony
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9. Marie Elisabeth of Saxony
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
19. Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
20. Christian IV of Denmark
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10. Frederick III of Denmark
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
21. Anne Catherine of Brandenburg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. Frederikke Amalie of Denmark
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
22. George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
11. Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
23. Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Adolf Frederick of Sweden
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
24. Frederick V, Margrave of Baden-Durlach
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12. Frederick VI, Margrave of Baden-Durlach
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
25. Barbara of Württemberg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6. Frederick VII, Margrave of Baden-Durlach
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
26. John Casimir, Count Palatine of Kleeburg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
13. Christina Magdalena of the Palatinate-Zweibrücken
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
27. Catharina of Sweden
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
28. John Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (= 16)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
14. Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (= 8)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
29. Augusta of Denmark (= 17)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. Augusta Marie of Holstein-Gottorp
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
30. John George I, Elector of Saxony (= 18)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
15. Marie Elisabeth of Saxony (= 9)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
31. Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia (= 19)
 
 
 
 
 
 

Adolf Fredrik
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Born: 14 May 1710 Died: 12 February 1771
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Fredrik I
King of Sweden
1751-1771
Succeeded by
Gustav III
Religious titles
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles Augustus of Holstein-Gottorp
(Lutheran Administrator)
Prince-Bishop of Lübeck
1727–1750
(Lutheran Administrator)
Succeeded by
Frederick August of Oldenburg
(Lutheran Administrator)

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