Christina Alexandra of Sweden

Christina Alexandra of Sweden

Original Name Kristina Augusta
Stockholm, Stockholms kommun, Stockholms län, Sweden
Death 19 Apr 1689 (aged 62)
Rome, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy
Burial Vatican City
Memorial ID 7726220 · View Source
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Queen Regnant of Sweden. She was a Vasa Dynasty princess and the daughter of King Gustav II Adolph and Queen Maria Eleanor (who originally was a Hohenzollern princess of Brandenburg). Christina became Queen of Sweden at the age of 6 upon her father's death in Germany in 1632, and she reigned under regents for twelve years, led mostly by Count Axel Oxenstierna. Written about in English more than any other of the Swedish monarchs, she has even been portrayed dramatically by a latter-day countrywoman Garbo, in a Hollywood melodrama spiced with a fictitious love story. In 1644 Christina came of age and began her own ten years of power, reigning over what amounted to a Swedish Empire. Besides Sweden and Finland, it also included all of Russia's Karelia and Ingria, Estonia, northern Latvia, and in America her New Sweden colony (now Delaware). Considerable parts of northern Germany and Poland were added, as well as some African trading posts on the coast of present-day Ghana. At her coronation, the Queen announced that her cousin PrInce Carl Gustav was to be considered her heir, giving premonitions of her intent never to marry and credence to a rumor since her birth that she was somehow anatomically unsuited for matrimony. She began her career as active Queen Regnant with considerable interest in the affairs of state, but then started limiting her attentions to art collecting, hunting, riding and philosophical and cultural endeavors. These included bringing the great Descartes up to Stockholm (where the cold weather soon killed him). Christina's own "Maxims", published later, reveal a fiercely independent, intelligent personality. She was extremely generous in giving away her kingdom's land resources in Sweden and thus created an extraordinary amount of new landed noble families there. She established a school system in Sweden, improved industry and helped bring about the first Swedish newspaper. In 1654, Queen Christina suddenly abdicated in order to convert to the Roman Catholic religion her father had died combating. This broke the Swedish Queen Mother's heart, and old Maria Eleanor died soon after Christina's departure. She moved to Rome to the initial delight of Pope Alexander VII. The self-exiled and eccentric convert now changed her name to Maria Alexandra but only went by Christina Alexandra. She exhibited unusual behavior in travels around Europe, often shocking people by cross-dressing. While a guest in France she had one of her courtiers John Monaldeschi executed by swordplay in a bloody drama inside the Fontainebleau Palace. She eventually settled down in Rome, fell in platonic love with Cardinal Decio Azzolino and ever hoped to be an important asset to the Pope's prestige. At times, she changed her mind about having abdicated and began travels back to the Swedish capital, causing considerable embarrassment. The ex-Queen died in 1689 in Rome, where she was one of the very few women known ever to be buried at St. Peter's. Whlie her sarcophagus there is in the Papal Crypt, a huge monument, fashioned like a cenotaph (see photo), is up in the cathedral itself. Another memorial commemoration is her monumental likeness on an oustide wall of Stockholm Palace in Sweden.

Bio by: Count Demitz

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Graveaddiction
  • Added: 1 Aug 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7726220
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Christina Alexandra of Sweden (8 Dec 1626–19 Apr 1689), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7726220, citing Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City ; Maintained by Find A Grave .