Anne Sophie Reventlow

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Anne Sophie Reventlow
Anne-Sophie, as queen, with the monogram of Frederick IV embroidered on her dress c. 1721.
Queen consort of Denmark and Norway
Tenure 4 April 1721 – 12 October 1730
Spouse Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway
House Reventlow
Father Conrad, Count Reventlow
Mother Anna Gabel
Born 16 April 1693
Clausholm Castle
Died January 7, 1743(1743-01-07) (aged 49)
Burial Roskilde Cathedral
Religion Lutheranism

Anne Sophie Reventlow (Danish: Anna Sophie; 16 April 1693 – 7 January 1743) was Queen of Denmark and Norway from 1721 to 1730 as the second wife of Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway.

She was born a komtesse (countess) as the daughter of Conrad, Count Reventlow of Clausholm, a Danish noble who served Frederick IV as Grand Chancellor of Denmark from 1699 until 1708 (his death). About Anna Sophie's childhood nothing is known apart from her upbringing in terms of knowledge was inadequate. Answered letters shows that she clumsily made use of Danish, French and German. She was described as a beautiful and lively woman with "black , fiery eyes."

Spouse by bigamy[edit]

Pastel portrait of Anne Sophie in her youth

In 1711 the King fell in love with Anne Sophie at a masquerade ball in Koldinghus the permanently residence of the royal family that season and wanted her as his mistress, which her mother refused to allow. The king abducted her on 26.06.1712 from her parent's estate Clausholm, undoubtedly with the support of her half-sister Christine Sophie and her husband Count Ulrik Adolph Holstein of Holsteinborg( 1664-1737 ). That same year the King took her to Skanderborg castle, where they were married morganatically in a wedding ceremony conducted by Thomas Clausen.

The King's official spouse was still alive. However, he had committed bigamy once before, with Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg. The church authorities had not forbidden the king to engage in polygamy, as there were doctrines based on biblical polygamy of Hebrew patriarchs. She was made Princess and Duchess of Schleswig. In 1713, she was given Vallø as a fief.


On 4 April 1721, soon after the death of Queen Louise, Frederick IV married Anne Sophie a second time. This time, the wedding was formal and conducted under grand ceremonies. He declined to make this marriage morganatic, although it was regarded as highly scandalous by the noble subjects and foreign rulers alike, as it flouted the era's standards that royals marry regular noblewomen, their own subjects (the requirements of so-called Ebenbuertigkeit).

The King had Anne Sophie recognized as Queen, and had her crowned at a hastily improvised ceremony at Frederiksberg Castle in May 1721 then she held his entry into the capital as queen. She has been erroneously referred to as the first non-royal to be Queen of Denmark; in reality she was the first since Ulvhild Håkansdotter. Three children were born of this marriage, but each of them died at or before one year of age; this was seen by clergy and nobility as punishment for the bigamy.

Crown Prince Christian, who had been very close to his mother, strongly detested Anne Sophie. Her brother-in-law, Prince Charles, and sister-in-law, Princess Sophia Hedwig, left the court in Copenhagen for Vemmetofte in protest, although her stepdaughter Charlotte Amalie showed her kindness. In 1725, the King made a will where he ensured the right of Anne Sophie after his death and made his son sign it.

Queen Anne Sophie's relatives, members of the Reventlow and Holstein families — popularly known as the "Reventlow Gang" — were placed in high positions. Her sister, the salonist Countess Christine Sophie Holstein, called "Madame Chancellor", exerted influence over affairs of state. Anne was blamed for the nepotism, but it is not known whether she actually affected him politically, or if it was he who wanted to assure her position this way. Her recommendation was important for anyone who wished something from the King. Due to her donations to widows and the poor, she was called "The Protector of the Poor Classes", but there is no information about whether she was popular or unpopular with the public.


Anne Sophie Reventlow and King Frederick IV had three children:

  • Christine Amalie (23 October 1723 – 7 January 1724);
  • Frederick Christian (1 June 1726 – 15 May 1727);
  • Charles (16 February 1728 – 8 July 1729).

Exiled widowhood[edit]

After Frederick IV's death in 1730, she was expelled from Copenhagen to her birthplace, the manor house Klausholm near Randers, Jutland. She was styled "Queen Anne Sophie", not "Queen Anne Sophie of Denmark and Norway" or "Queen Dowager". She spent the rest of her life in strict religion, under virtual house arrest on her estate, which the king did not allow her to leave without his express permission. Upon her death, King Christian VI allowed for public mourning and arranged to have her buried in Roskilde Cathedral, although to keep her from being buried with his father in the retroquire, he purchased the Trolle family chapel in the west end of the cathedral, and arranged for her and her children to be buried there.[1]



  1. ^ Hvidt, Marie (2004). Frederik IV (in Danish). Copenhagen: G.E.C. Gads Forlag. p. 291. 


Danish royalty
Preceded by
Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow
Queen consort of Denmark and Norway
Succeeded by
Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach