Louise of Sweden
Louise of Sweden (Swedish: Lovisa Josefina Eugenia; Danish: Louise Josephine Eugenie; Stockholm, 31 October 1851 – Amalienborg Palace, 20 March 1926) was Queen of Denmark as the spouse of King Frederick VIII of Denmark. She was the only daughter of King Charles XV of Sweden (1826–1872) and Louise of the Netherlands (1828–1871).
Louise had a happy childhood. After the death of her brother, Prince Carl Oscar, in 1854, her father treated her like a boy and let her grow up as one, and she was therefore allowed to develop much less restrained than most girls of her time, becoming a confident, natural and happy person. This somewhat worried her mother, Queen Louise, herself very eager to behave according to the feminine ideal of the time. But her father once lovingly said about her : "She's an ugly devil, but she's funny!", and treated her with the same gruff affectionate manners as he would have with a son. She called herself "The Stockholm urchin", something her uncle, the future king Oscar II found shocking and tried to stop her from using, while the public referred to her as "Sessan" (in English: "(Princ)ess").
Together with her mother, she was a student of Nancy Edberg, the pioneer of swimming for women (1862); the art of swimming was initially not regarded as being entirely proper for women, but when the Queen and her daughter supported it by attending the lessons, swimming was quickly made fashionable and became accepted for women
There were several discussions about making Louise the heir to the throne of Sweden and Norway, as her mother could not have any more children and she was the only surviving child. But although Sweden had previously had female monarchs, and approval of female succession was declared in 1604, provision had not been made for it in the new constitution of 1809. Louise's succession would have required a change in the law, as would also have been necessary regarding the throne of Norway, which did not have female succession. The matter became moot when Louise's uncle, her father's brother, had his first son in 1858.
Louise married Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark (1843–1912) in Stockholm on 28 July 1869. The wedding was celebrated with great pomp and splendor at a time when Sweden was in a state of famine, and the princess's dowry consisted of things manufactured in Sweden, to benefit the Swedish economy. The marriage was suggested as a way of creating friendship between Denmark and Sweden. The two countries were in a tense situation after Sweden had not assisted Denmark during the war with Germany in 1863. Louise and Frederick met for the first time in 1862, but in 1868, Frederick was invited to Sweden to get to know Louise, and their meeting was described as a success. The same year, they were engaged. In Denmark, a Swedish princess was much preferred over a German princess after the recent war with Germany. The marriage was welcomed by all three countries as a symbol of the new Scandinavism. She was the first Swedish princess to be married in to the Danish royal house since the Middle Ages.
In Denmark, the marriage was popular among the public, and although she was unpopular within the royal family, Louise became quite popular among the public during her long time as Crown Princess, and continued to be so as Queen. She was described as friendly, natural and informal. The marriage was not a happy one, nor did it have any effect on the relationship between the two countries. Louise did not have a good relationship with her husband's family, especially not with her mother-in-law and her sister-in-laws, and she received no support from her spouse.
As the years passed by, her personality changed. She became more reserved and firm, and her husband's infidelity caused her to have a greater interest in religion. She took personal care of her children's upbringing, and raised them very strictly, much unlike her own free upbringing. Her only pleasure was her visits to her old home-country, Sweden, where she visited her old family and friends. She was often in Sweden, already in the early years, such as in 1871 and in 1872, being present and both her parent's death. She became known as strict and religious. She founded various charity organisations, such as Bethania and «Kronprinsesse L.s Asyl». She was also interested in handicrafts, such as leather work and painting.
In 1905, Norway became independent from Sweden with Danish support, which caused tension between Denmark and Sweden, and she was saddened when this made it difficult for her to visit Sweden. She became Queen of Denmark in 1906. As a Queen, she is mainly known for her many charity projects, an interest which she shared with her spouse. She did not care for ceremonial duties and public events, and lived a discreet life dedicated to her children and her interests in art, literature and charity.
Queen Louise was the 862nd Dame of the Royal Order of Queen Maria Luisa.
She eventually became Queen of Denmark in 1906 as Frederik's consort. The couple had 8 children, four sons and four daughters:
Constitutionally, Louise could not inherit the thrones of Sweden and Norway. Her father Charles XV was succeeded by his brother Oscar II. By a twist of fate, Louise's son, Prince Carl, did, in fact, eventually became King of Norway. He was elected to succeed her uncle to the Norwegian throne as a result of Norway's independence from Sweden in 1905.