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Queen Christina

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Queen Christina

Post  Elena on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:03 pm

http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2008/03/queen-christina-of-sweden-1626-1689.html


Actually, her title was "king" not "queen," since in Sweden the sovereign was always called "king," regardless of gender. This is only one of many unusual things about Christina of Sweden. Her parents had desperately wanted a son and when she was born both were deeply disappointed. Her mother reacted by rejecting her. Her father decided that she would be raised as a boy, anyway. Christina's father, the warrior-king Gustavus Adolphus, died when she was only six, so Christina became "king" as a little child. Her self-absorbed mother emotionally neglected her, with the exception of occasional outbursts of neurotic affection.

Such neglect, combined with the fact that she was being raised to fight, ride, and think like a man, led Christina to have rough manners and often adopt masculine dress. She was incredibly unattractive and unkempt but she did not care, being devoted to intellectual pursuits. It is not surprising that in her hunger for affection she developed an adolescent infatuation with one of her ladies-in-waiting. However, there is no evidence that Christina was a lesbian, or that she had any lovers, at all. The most responsible biographers, such as Sven Stolpe, believe that she probably died virgin. Christina was afraid of marriage, although there were men she deeply loved.

Regardless of all the psychological confusion, Christina was a just and capable ruler. Her diplomatic endeavors brought an end to the horrors of the Thirty Years War. She was a patroness of artists, scholars, and philosophers, especially Descartes. She developed a fascination with the Catholic religion and secretly studied under the Jesuits.

Christina hungered for spirituality, which led her to abdicate her throne in 1654 in order to become a Catholic. She was impressed by the Church teachings on purity, saying: "How beautiful this religion is. I should like to belong to it." She went to live in Rome, being under the mistaken impression that in Rome she could have a free life and do whatever she wanted. There was, however, a high standard of deportment required of Catholic queens, especially if they happened to be in the Pope's domain. Christina refused to conform; she would not behave, but went on swearing, dressing like a man, and shocking everyone, on purpose.

The Pope eventually had to ask Christina to leave town (she had executed one of her servants). She traveled all over Europe, having many adventures and always creating a commotion. She eventually came back to Rome, probably because she was madly in love with Cardinal Azzolino. The Cardinal was the great love of her life, to whom she wrote volumes of obsessive love letters. In spite of this (and everything else) Christina found peace at the end of her life by finally conforming herself to Church teachings (she had dabbled in both alchemy and Quietism.) She died in the sacraments of the Church. Perhaps not one of the most edifying of converts, Christina is certainly one of the most enigmatic.

Maxims of Queen Christina:
http://swordandsea.blogspot.com/2009/03/maxims-of-queen-christina.html

The soul has no gender.

We triumph over our passions only when they are weak.

All these dream-pictures of fatherland, freedom, honor, happiness and pride, which have inspired so many outstanding men to perform great and noble deeds, are, in truth, no more than daydreams.

Faith believes in God, but love sees Him.

All abandon us sooner or later. One must foresee this abandonment and resolve to quit all voluntarily. We must remain alone with God from now on, as he alone suffices for us to live and die happy.

When one examines one's heart one finds that nothing can fill it or console it but God alone.

Queen Christina's Mother:
http://swordandsea.blogspot.com/2009/11/maria-eleonore-of-brandenburg-queen-of.html

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Re: Queen Christina

Post  May on Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:49 pm

Thank you for the Sword and Sea links!
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Re: Queen Christina

Post  Mata Hari on Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:13 pm

Queen Christina's father.
http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com/2011/11/monarch-profile-king-gustavus-adolphus.html

It is appropriate today to take a look at the late, great Swedish monarch Gustavus Adolphus (officially King Gustav II Adolf). In Sweden, he is a giant historical figure, a dynamic warrior king who presided over a Kingdom of Sweden that became the regional super-power of Scandinavia. In European terms he was a pivotal historical figure as the Protestant champion of the Thirty Years War without whom the Catholic Holy Roman Empire might have been resurgent as the dominant power on the continent. Even in world history Gustavus Adolphus is known across the globe by military historians as one of the great captains of all time. He built and led the most advanced and formidable army of his time and has since been dubbed by many the “Father of Modern Warfare” because of his innovative organization of military logistics and his revolutionary integration of infantry, cavalry and artillery as a mutually supportive combined force on the battlefield. All of the great military geniuses of modern times, particularly Marlborough and through him Napoleon, continuing down to the present owe a reverent salute to King Gustavus Adolphus.

Gustavus Adolphus was born in Stockholm on December 9, 1594, eldest son and heir of Duke Charles of the Swedish Royal House of Vasa and Christina of Holstein-Gottorp during the reign of his cousin King Sigismund III. Europe was in the grip of religious upheaval and King Sigismund III, a Catholic, was deposed in 1599 by Duke Charles who became regent and finally King Charles IX in 1604, making Prince Gustavus Adolphus heir to the Swedish throne. He was only seventeen when his father died in 1611 and Gustavus Adolphus was thrust upon the throne of Sweden with his cousin Sigismund III still trying to regain his crown (who was also King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). In 1626, in response to this and to recover Baltic territories Sigismund had transferred from Sweden to Poland, the young King Gustavus Adolphus launched a war against Poland for control of the Baltic. It was a long and frustrating conflict, but Gustavus Adolphus was victorious, his throne secure and while he did not quite make the Baltic a Swedish lake as he had hoped, he had certainly made Sweden the dominant power in the Baltic Sea.

King Charles IX had trained his son almost from birth to be the best king possible. Part of this was political training but a large part was also military training and Gustavus Adolphus excelled at it. Even as a teenager he led Swedish troops in repelling a Danish attack in East Gotland. As King of Sweden he proved to be a man of great courage, creative thinking, grand ambitions and disciplined determination. If he was better at war than government he at least had the self-awareness to realize it and, as any good King should do, appointed an eminently qualified statesman to oversee administration while he focused on the military. This man was Axel Oxenstierna who the King made his chancellor and together they proved a winning team in the political arena and on the battlefield. By the time the Thirty Years War broke out in Central Europe, Gustavus Adolphus was already known as the “Lion of the North” for his great victories in Latvia and around the Baltic. He was impressive enough to catch the attention of the French Cardinal Richelieu, the power-behind-the-throne in the Kingdom of France. Cardinal Richelieu considered the Swedish warrior king his great “find” and helped fund his entry into the Thirty Years War.

Although classified as a religious war (and one of the worst), the Thirty Years War was obviously not strictly so. The “Protestant side” included many Catholic soldiers and there were many Protestant forces fighting on the “Catholic side”. Although Cardinal Richelieu and the rest of France were devoutly Catholic, they supported the Protestant Kingdom of Sweden as a way to prevent their Catholic rival, the House of Hapsburg which ruled the Holy Roman Empire, from becoming too powerful. As far as Gustavus Adolphus was concerned, he had defeated the Danes, the Poles and even the Russians in battle so the mercenary armies of the Holy Roman Empire held no terror for him. He was a staunch Lutheran of course and he was also concerned for the safety of his country. So far, the Protestant forces had, frankly, been getting their clocks cleaned by some extremely capable Catholic Imperial commanders. If the Catholics continued to drive northward the Holy Roman Empire might decide to conquer Scandinavia as well. The decision to intervene was made.

With a formidable reputation and self-confidence born out of experience, King Gustavus Adolphus marched into Germany at the head of what was almost certainly, man for man, the best army of the early 17th Century. Although small, they were better organized than any other force in Europe. King Gustavus Adolphus was the first commander since practically Imperial Rome to organize his men into permanent military units and he established a permanent chain of command, with special officers in charge of special jobs. He also integrated his armed forces and no one else had done. Instead of leading a mob of hired men, the King of Sweden led an army based on teamwork. Infantry, cavalry and artillery would all work in conjunction in a way no one at the time had ever seen before. He also, very critically, established a modern and organized system of logistics with a chain of supply bases to keep his troops fed and equipped consistently while on campaign. Under his command the Swedish army was truly an elite force and King Gustavus Adolphus demanded discipline and good character from his men. They could not loot, fornicate, get drunk, utter blasphemy or swear under pain of severe punishment. Being morally upright was just as important to him as being brave and obedient and was part of his overall vision of building the best army possible and that he certainly did.

It all paid off. As soon as he landed his forces he won a quick victory on the edge of the Baltic before moving inland where he confronted and defeated the Imperial commander Johann Tserclaes Graf von Tilly, one of the two most capable and victorious Catholic generals of the war. Gustavus Adolphus used innovative tactics no one at the time was prepared for, spreading his men out rather than packing them together in tight formations, having smaller units that could deploy and maneuver faster than anyone else and highly mobile artillery that could be re-positioned as circumstances required. He was everywhere victorious and the tide of war turned in favor of the Protestants and the Swedish army pushed farther and farther south. They spent the winter in the Rhineland and the following spring, in 1632, met Graf von Tilly in battle again in Bavaria. Once again the “Lion of the North” was victorious and in that battle the great Graf von Tilly was killed, a terrible blow to the Imperial forces. Desperate to stop the Swedish juggernaut the Emperor called upon a man he did not entirely trust but the only military commander of such reputation as to be capable of defeating Gustavus Adolphus; Albrecht Wenzel von Wallenstein, the conqueror of Silesia and the man whose victories against the Danes had been partly responsible for bringing an alarmed Sweden into the war in the first place.

The result was the battle of Lützen on November 6, 1632 (by the Protestant calendar), an epic showdown between the best Catholic and Protestant commanders in Europe. At first it seemed that in Wallenstein, Gustavus Adolphus had met his match. He got the jump on the Swedes as they moved to attack him, yet, in the initial assault on his lines, the Swedish forces made serious headway before the timely arrival of reinforcements set them back a bit. Rallying his men, the ever bold Gustavus Adolphus led a cavalry charge himself against the imperial lines, in a thick fog, in which the courageous monarch was shot down, still fairly early in the course of battle. At almost any other time, with any other army, this would have been the end of the Swedes. Any other army would have been disheartened, demoralized and their final defeat a forgone conclusion. This was not, however, the case with the Swedish army and it was thanks to all of the care the late King had taken to ensure a disciplined, devoted and determined army. They were not demoralized by the death of their monarch, they were enraged. The redoubled their efforts, steeled themselves for the fight and threw themselves back into the battle with a fury to avenge their fallen sovereign. The tide turned again and the Imperial army was soundly defeated. The King was dead but the great Wallenstein had been beaten.
Read more: http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com/2011/11/monarch-profile-king-gustavus-adolphus.html

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Re: Queen Christina

Post  May on Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:58 pm

How ironic that the daughter of the great Protestant champion of the Thirty Years' War became a Catholic!
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Re: Queen Christina

Post  Elena on Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:30 pm

You can be sure the irony of that was not lost on Europe. cyclops

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