Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg

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Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg
Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg.jpg
Born 4 May 1679
Germany
Died 27 June 1704
Denmark
Cause of death
childbirth
Occupation Lady in waiting, royal mistress
Known for Bigamy with Frederick IV of Denmark
Spouse(s) Frederick IV of Denmark (by bigamy)
Children Frederik Gyldenløve (1704-1705)

Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg (4 May 1679 – 27 June 1704), Countess of Antvorskov, was a Danish noble and lady-in-waiting of German origin. She was the royal mistress of King Frederick IV of Denmark and, later, his first morganatic wife by bigamy.

Biography[edit]

She was the daughter of Prussian minister Adam Otto von Vieregg from Mecklenburg, the Prussian ambassador in Copenhagen from 1698 to 1706. Elisabeth Helene was made lady-in-waiting to Princess Sophia Hedwig of Denmark, and entered into a relationship with Frederick, who became King the same year (1699).

The relationship was initially a secret, but was discovered in 1701 after a letter from her father, defending their relationship, was made public. On 6 September 1703 she was secretly married to Frederick IV, who thereby committed bigamy (his queen consort, Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, was still alive), and was given the estate Antvorskov and the title Countess of Antvorskov. The church authorities had not forbidden the king to engage in polygamy, as there were doctrines based on biblical polygamy of Hebrew patriarchs.

She gave birth to a son, Frederik Gyldenløve (8 June 1704 – 9 March 1705), and died in childbirth. Frederick IV gave her an elaborate public funeral. After her death she was replaced as royal mistress by Charlotte Helene von Schindel, her lady-in-waiting.

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