Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

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Juliane Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Julianemariedenmark.jpg
Juliane Marie as queen dowager at the height of her influence by Vigilius Eriksen
Queen consort of Denmark and Norway
Tenure 8 July 1752 – 13/14 January 1766
Spouse Frederick V of Denmark
Issue Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Denmark
Full name
Juliane Marie
House House of Welf
Father Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Mother Antoinette Amalie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Born (1729-09-04)4 September 1729
Wolfenbüttel
Died 10 October 1796(1796-10-10) (aged 67)
Fredensborg Palace, Denmark
Burial Roskilde Cathedral
Religion Lutheranism

Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern (Danish: Juliane Marie; 4 September 1729 – 10 October 1796) was queen of Denmark between 1752 and 1766, second consort of king Frederick V of Denmark and Norway, mother of the prince-regent Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway and herself de facto regent 1772–1784, King Christian VIII of Denmark descends from her.

Early life[edit]

Juliane Marie portrayed in her official role as queen

Born as daughter of Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, she held the rank of a Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel with the style Princess. She married King Frederick V of Denmark at Frederiksborg Palace on 8 July 1752, just over six months after the death of his first wife Louise of Great Britain. The marriage was partly arranged as a way of stabilising her vivacious consort. As a child, she appears to have stuttered.

Queen Consort[edit]

The marriage was arranged by Count Moltke, who thought it best that the king remarried as soon as possible. The king, who was unwilling to remarry, was convinced after seeing her portrait. She was married on 8 July 1752 on Frederiksborg Slot and crowned the same day. The marriage was not popular among the public, as it was considered to be too soon after the death of the popular former queen. She did her best to be liked; appointed J. Schielderup Sneedorff and Guldberg for her son's tutelage, and her son thereby became the first Danish prince in generations whose first language was Danish. She also tried to speak and write Danish herself, although never very well, but she never became a popular queen. She was careful to show loyalty toward her adulterous spouse, which did give her some sympathy. As queen, she was never involved in politics; her brother-in-law Frederick the Great, expected her to be his agent and remove Count Von Bernstorff from his position, but she never did.

As a queen, she lived a quiet life, and during the lifetime of the king is not believed to have had much influence. Her goal was to make her own biological son regent. She was given a very stiff upbringing, and it was difficult for her to replace the popular Queen Louise. She did not play any part in the upbringing of her stepchildren.

Queen Dowager and political activity[edit]

The Queen-Dowager showing the portrait of her only son hereditary prince Frederick by Johann Georg Ziesenis.

She became more important as a Queen dowager. In 1766, she became a widow. During the period of 1766–70, she was treated with hostility by the royal couple and their respective favourites, and seldom invited to the royal table.

In 1768, she participated in the banishment of Christian's mistress Støvlet-Cathrine, who was believed to have influence over him. In 1770, the new king, her stepson King Christian VII of Denmark, had become insane and the power had fallen in the hands of his consort Caroline Matilda of Great Britain and her lover Johann Friedrich Struensee. They had liberal political views and issued a series of democratic laws that raised the opposition to the nobility. Juliane Marie became the centre of the opposition, and she belonged to the group participating in the coup d'état that brought down the government of Struensee by exposing his affair with the queen. She arranged for the king to sign the arrest of Struensee after she had already made the arrest, issued in the name of the king. In 1772, Struensee was executed and Queen Caroline Mathilda was exiled.

The son of Juliane Marie, Hereditary Prince Frederick, was now made regent. In reality, he was the puppet of his mother, who was the real and undisputed ruler during his regency, aided by Ove Høegh-Guldberg. At the coup, she was praisingly compared to Esther, Deborah, and Judith. The king was made to sign a letter thanking her for having "saved" him.[1] Her government was one of extreme conservatism. She restored the privileges of the nobility and was regarded as the hero of the aristocracy and the savior of their privileges. The opposition, on the other hand, called her a devil and the cause of all misfortune of Denmark. She is remembered for having founded a porcelain factory, which was created royal factory of the state in 1779, today known simply as Royal Copenhagen. The crown of her regency is regarded the Law of Indigenous Rights of 1776, which prohibited foreigners from holding public office.[2]

Formally, she had no official position, but she was recognized as the new leader de facto. The first period after the coup, she was openly present at the council meetings, but she was soon dissuaded from it, as this was not in accordance with royal law.[3] She corresponded with Frederick the Great, who was her supporter and who referred to her as the Regent of Denmark. Juliana was given the responsibility of the upbringing of the crown prince, Frederick VI. The crown prince greatly disliked her, because she attempted to form him to be in favor of her regency, and also because she tried to stop him from seeing his sister, who was his closest friend. In 1781, she decided on the advice of Frederick the Great that the crown prince should marry a Prussian princess.

On 30 June 1780, she gave refuge to the children of her brother, Duke Anthony Ulrich of Brunswick and the Russian regent Anna Leopoldovna, the siblings of the deposed Czar Ivan VI of Russia, when they were released from Russian captivity: upon an agreement with Catherine the Great, she received Catherine (1741–1807), Elizabeth (1743–1782), Peter (1745–1798) and Alexei (1746–1787), who were born in captivity, and let them live the rest of their lives in comfortable house arrest in Horsens; they were not used to social life, and kept a small "court" of 40/50 people, all Danish except for the priest. The siblings were kept under the responsibility of Juliana, and on the financial support of Catherine.

Final years[edit]

Sarcophagus of Juliana Maria in Roskilde Cathedral.

According to stipulations, the Crown prince should be admitted to the council as soon as he had his confirmation. To prevent his admittance, Juliana Maria postponed his confirmation until after his sixteen's birthday in 1784.[4] She also filled the council with her followers.

In 1784, the crown prince was declared of legal majority. She handed him a document with instructions of how he should rule. Juliana advised him to always rely on her advice, and she also had the king write a statement of advice to the crown prince in which he stated that until now, three people: the King, Prince Frederick and Juliana had been one, and in the future, four people must be one.[5]

The Crown prince, however, had no intention to allow Juliana and her son to continue their rule. He managed to make his insane father sign an order dismissing the supporters of Juliana Maria from the council and declaring than no royal order was now legal unless co-signed by the Crown Prince.[6] During his first session with the council, he fired the government loyal to Juliana without warning and appointed his own officials, which ended all of the influence of the old regime in one blow, and the regency of Juliana and her son was thereby ended. At the following ball, however, the people involved acted as if nothing had happened, and gave the impression that no coup had taken place. She was taken with great surprise by the coup of 1784. In 1785, King Gustav III of Sweden suggested that she depose the crown prince regent, but she declined. Juliana lived the rest of her life discreetly at the court.

In Literature[edit]

Juliana Maria is an important character in Norah Lofts' historical novel The Lost Queen (1969), chronicling the tragic marriage of King Christian VII and Queen Caroline Matilda. The book portrays her in highly negative way.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  2. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  3. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  4. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)
  5. ^ Alf Henrikson: Dansk historia (Danish history) 1989 (in Swedish)
  6. ^ Clarissa Campbell Orr: Queenship in Europe 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort. Cambridge University Press (2004)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Danske dronninger i tusind år, Steffen Heiberg, 2000
  • Gyldendal og Politikens Danmarkshistorie bind 9 (Den lange fred), 1990
  • "Juliane Marie" at KVINFO (in Danish)
  • Marie Tetzlaff : Katarina den stora (1998)
  • Carl Frederik Bricka (1887-1905) "Juliane Luise Amalie" in Dansk biografisk Lexikon VIII. Bind. Holst - Juul / 611 (in Danish)

Succession[edit]

Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 4 September 1729 Died: 10 October 1796
Danish royalty
Preceded by
Louise of Great Britain
Queen consort of Denmark and Norway
1752–1766
Succeeded by
Caroline Matilda of Great Britain