Marie of Hesse-Kassel
|Marie of Hesse-Kassel|
Queen Marie with the Order of Christian VII, by Jens Juel
|Queen consort of Denmark|
|Tenure||13 March 1808–3 December 1839|
|Queen consort of Norway|
|Tenure||13 March 1808–14 January 1814|
|Caroline, Hereditary Princess of Denmark
Vilhelmine, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
|House||House of Hesse|
|Father||Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel|
|Mother||Princess Louise of Denmark|
28 October 1767|
|Died||22 March 1852
Maria was the eldest child of Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel and Princess Louise of Denmark, born in Hanau. Her paternal grandparents were Frederick II of Hesse-Kassel and Princess Mary of Great Britain, a daughter of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach. Her maternal grandparents were Frederick V of Denmark and Louise of Great Britain, another daughter of George II and Caroline of Ansbach. Her father was the second son of the ruler of Hesse-Kassel, and as such, had no principality of his own. Thus he acted in such positions as were offered to cadet members of royal houses by their reigning relatives. Denmark offered more and better positions than the small Hesse-Kassel.
Marie Sophie grew up largely in Denmark, where her father held notable positions, such as the governorships of provinces. Her mother was the third and youngest daughter of King Frederick V of Denmark and his consort, Louise of Great Britain. As such, she was the niece of King Christian VII and the Prince Regent Frederick, as well as their first cousin.
On 31 July 1790 in Gottorp, she married her first cousin Frederick, then crown prince and regent of Denmark, who would later ascend as King Frederick VI. In the aftermath of the defeat of Denmark's ally, Emperor Napoleon I of the French, Denmark-Norway fell apart and the king and queen of Denmark ceased being king and queen of Norway in 1814. Queen Marie was regent of Denmark in 1814–1815 during her husband's absence abroad.
Marie was selected by her cousin as his spouse mainly as a way for him to demonstrate his independence from his Court, who wanted a more political match. The marriage was greeted with great enthusiasm by the public when she arrived in Copenhagen, as she was regarded as completely Danish and not as a foreigner. At the royal court, she was overshadowed by her husband's sister, who was the real First Lady of the court. She was pressed by the demand to produce a son, and when her last childbirth resulted in an injury which prevented further intercourse, she was forced to accept her spouse's adultery with Frederikke Dannemand. She managed the affairs of state very well in 1814–15. She was interested in politics and genealogy, and wrote and published the Exposé de la situation politique du Danemarc in 1807–14. In 1822–24 she published the genealogy Supplement-Tafeln zu Joh, which inspired her spouse to take the later Christian IX of Denmark into his family. She protected the charity organisation Det Kvindelige Velgørende Selskab from 1815. As a widow, she withdrew from public life, respected as a symbol of the old dynasty. She died at Amalienborg in 1852.
Marie and Frederick VI had eight children. None of Frederick VI's sons survived infancy, however, and when he died in 1839, he was succeeded by his cousin, Christian VIII of Denmark. The only surviving children of King Frederick VI and Queen Marie were their two daughters:
- Christian (Copenhagen, 22 September 1791 – Copenhagen, 23 September 1791)
- Marie Louise (Copenhagen, 19 November 1792 – Frederiksborg, 12 October 1793)
- Caroline (Copenhagen, 28 October 1793 – Copenhagen, 31 March 1881), married to her father's first cousin Frederick Ferdinand of Denmark, (d. 1863) some months before his nephew Frederick VII of Denmark, Hereditary Prince of Denmark, son of Christian VIII of Denmark. Childless.
- Louise (Copenhagen, 21 August 1795 – Copenhagen, 7 December 1795)
- Christian (Copenhagen, 1 September 1797 – Copenhagen, 5 September 1797)
- Juliana Louise (Copenhagen, 12 February 1802 – Copenhagen, 23 February 1802)
- Frederikke Marie (Copenhagen, 3 June 1805 – Copenhagen, 14 July 1805)
- Vilhelmine Marie (Kiel, 18 January 1808 – Glücksburg, 30 May 1891), firstly married to her second cousin Prince Frederik of Denmark, the future Frederick VII of Denmark, but they divorced, and she married secondly Karl, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, who was eldest brother of the future Christian IX of Denmark. Both her marriages were childless.
Queen Marie lamented her lack of sons and grandchildren. When her youngest sister, Duchess Louise Caroline of Lyksborg, became a widow when most of her large brood of children were as yet very young, Queen Marie accepted some of the younger ones into her tutelage in the royal household. They were much younger than the queen's two surviving daughters. One such foster child of hers was the future Christian IX of Denmark, born in 1818.
Christian of Lyksborg and his wife Louise of Hesse named their second daughter, Marie Sophie Frederikke Dagmar of Lyksborg (born 1847), in the queen's honor as her namesake. After her death in 1852, that girl became Tsarina Maria Fedorovna of Russia, preserving there the queen's first name (Maria/Marie).
She became the 292nd Dame of the Royal Order of Queen Maria Luisa on 17 April 1834.
Her titles were:
- 1767–90 Her Serene Highness Princess Marie of Hesse-Kassel
- 1790–1808 Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Denmark and Norway
- 1808–14 Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark and Norway
- 1814–39 Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark
- 1839–52 Her Majesty The Queen Dowager of Denmark
Marie of Hesse-Kassel
Cadet branch of the House of HesseBorn: 28 October 1767 Died: 22 March 1852
Title last held byCaroline Matilda of Great Britain
|Queen consort of Norway
Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp
|Queen consort of Denmark
Caroline Amalie of Augustenburg