Queen of Sweden. Of the Schaumburg Dynasty, she was born about 1255, the daughter of Count Gerard I of Holstein-Itzehoe and Countess Elizabeth, a Nicholan princess of Mecklenburg. Her father was a Holstein ruler from 1238. She was Queen Consort to Magnus III Barnlock of Sweden, when she married him in Kalmar in 1275, the year of his ascent to the throne after having ousted his brother King Waldemar. Their marriage was officially confirmed, and Haelwig officially proclaimed Queen, the following year. As the conflict between the brothers continued, she got herself to a nunnery in 1280, but was able to be crowned in Söderköping already the following year. It was the first known Swedish coronation of a queen alone, whose husband had been crowned previously. Magnus and she had six children. Daughter Ingiburga married King Eric VI Meanwith of Dernmark and son Birger his sister Margaret, called Martha. Queen Haelwig began a long widowhood in 1290 when Magnus died and was laid to rest in Riddarholm Church of Stockholm, as the first of the many kings buried there. The royal couple had been instrumental in founding the Grey Friar's Monastery for which the large church was erected. The dowager retired to her estate of Dåvö in eastern Westmania. She attended the glittering coronation of her son King Birger in 1302 in Söderköping, where her other two younger sons Eric and Waldemar entered his Royal Council. In 1318 she saw Birger lose his crown and flee to Denmark and Eric and Waldemar die of starvation, locked up at Nyköping Castle. Her baby grandson (Eric's boy) was elected King Magnus VII of Norway and Magnus IV of Sweden, but the tragedies she had to live through continued when ex-King Birger's son Prince Magnus, the once promising and legitimate Crown Prince, was beheaded in 1320 at 20 years of age. Haelwig died four years later at about 70. She was considered a very noble and peace loving personality as having taken part in the founding of abbeys and churches, was unwaveringly loyal to her husband and grieved inconsolably over all the treachery and violence between her sons and the sad deaths in the family. Of her offspring, only a daughter Richeza, Abbess of St. Clare's in Stockholm, survived her.
Bio by: Count Demitz