Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp

Princess Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotta of Schleswig- Holstein - Gottorp ( born March 22, 1759 in Eutin, † June 20, 1818 in Stockholm ) was a member of the house of Holstein -Gottorp and by marriage Queen of Sweden and Norway.


Hedwig was the daughter of Frederick Augustus, Prince-Bishop of Lübeck and Duke of Holstein -Gottorp and Oldenburg and his wife, the Countess Ulrike Friederike Wilhelmine of Hesse- Kassel. She was a niece of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden and a cousin of Catherine II ( Catherine the Great ), Empress of Russia and Peter Friedrich Ludwig, Duke of Oldenburg.

Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotta grew up in Eutin. 1774 she married at age 15 her cousin Charles, the Duke of Södermanland and later King Karl XIII. Your cheerful nature, they quickly made popular at the Swedish court. Her husband's constant infidelity took Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotta calmly. The marriage remained childless long; the only common child, son Karl Adolf died in 1798 a few days after his birth.

Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotta held out to be queen of the policy; only after the deposition Gustav IV Adolf she stood up for his son. From that point on she was regarded as a leading figure of the " Gustavians " and stood in a strained relationship with the circles that Gustav IV Adolf had forced to abdicate.

She was an attentive observer and indefatigable writer. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotta was known by their so-called " diary " - consisting of 7000 pages that deal with the period from 1775 to 1817. Until 1800, the records are in the form of letters written ( addressed to her closest friend, Sophie von Fersen, later married Countess Piper, sister of Axel von Fersen the Younger ). From 1800 is the month summaries that are no longer held in the form of letters. The term " diary " is so misleading. Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotta records are one of the most important sources of knowledge of the Gustavian era.