Prince Frederick Adolf of Sweden

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Prince Frederick Adolf of Sweden
Duke of Östergötland
Frederick Adolph of Sweden.jpg
Frederick Adolph of Sweden
Father King Adolf Frederick of Sweden
Mother Louisa Ulrika of Prussia
Born 18 July 1750
Died 12 December 1803
Montpellier, France

Prince Frederick Adolf of Sweden Swedish: Fredrik Adolf (18 July 1750, Drottningholm – 12 December 1803, Montpellier, France), was a Swedish Prince, youngest son of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, a sister Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. He was given the title Duke of Östergötland.


The Duke was described as "The most beautiful Prince in Europe" and as sensitive, passive and spoiled by his mother. He and his sister, Sophia Albertina, was their mother's favourites and also devoted to each other; during family conflicts, such as the famous succession scandal regarding the questioned legitimacy of the Crown Prince in 1778, he and his sister was on their mother's side. As a child, he had a weak health and a fierce temperament. His education became somewhat lacking. He was given the title colonel at twelve and general major at eighteen. He took part in the revolution of 1772 and was given the title of duke of Östergötland by his brother as a recognition, but he soon became a part of the opposition against his brother.

His sister-in-law, Hedwig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, describes him as beautiful, with expressive eyes, an easy going temper, and very handsome when he dresses properly, though often badly dressed in his private life, and gives the estimation that he would have been a greater social success, if he did not say so many suggestive things and had such a filthy mouth [that is to say, he used a sexually suggestive language], which he acquired because he had spent too much time with men, and had such a weakness for women and sex.

He had no task in his life other than the ceremonial, and spent his life wasting money and involving himself in love affairs, among them with the actress Euphrosyne Löf, sister of the great prima donna Fredrique Löwen. He did, however, service in the Russo-Swedish War in Finland in 1788.

Prince Fredrick Adolf was never married, and the ceremonial duties of his consort were performed by his sister Sophia Albertina. He had several plans to marry, but none of them was realised. His first proposal was to the Countess Ulla von Höpken, but she was married to another, and he was sent to France to forget her (1770). In 1774, he proposed to the cousin of his former love, Countess Sophie von Fersen, daughter of Axel von Fersen the Elder and sister of Axel von Fersen the Younger, the alleged lover of Marie Antoinette. She and her father refused, as they were afraid that she would be badly treated by his brother and mother, who was reluctant to give their consent, and because she was already engaged, and Frederick Adolf was sent to Italy (1776) until she was married.[1] He lived from 1778 to 1795, in a happy relationship with the ballet dancer Sophie Hagman, who was well liked at court, and had a daughter, Sophia Frederica, with her. In 1780, he temporarily ended his relationship with Hagman and proposed to the noble Margaretha Lovisa Wrangel, with whom he became informally engaged. The King gave his permission to the marriage with the condition that it was postponed for a year (during which Wrangel was sent to Scania), with the thought that his brother would change his mind; this was also the case, and Frederick Adolf returned to Hagman in 1781.[2] After his relationship with Hagman ended, he proposed to princess Princess Augusta Sophia of the United Kingdom in 1797, and after his relationship with Euphrosyne Löf ended he proposed to Dorothea von Medem, dowager duchess of Courland in 1801, but none of the marriages was realized.[2]

In 1800, Frederick Adolf left Sweden for health reasons and travelled to Germany and then to France. He died in Montpellier in France in 1803.


16. Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
8. Christian Albert, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
17. Marie Elisabeth of Saxony
4. Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin
18. Frederick III of Denmark
9. Frederikke Amalie of Denmark
19. Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg
2. Adolf Frederick of Sweden
20. Friedrich VI, Margrave of Baden-Durlach
10. Frederick VII, Margrave of Baden-Durlach
21. Christine Magdalen of Zweibrücken
5. Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach
22. Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (= 16)
11. Auguste Marie of Holstein-Gottorp
23. Marie Elisabeth of Saxony (= 17)
1. Prince Frederick Adolf of Sweden
24. Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
12. Frederick I of Prussia
25. Louise Henriette of Orange-Nassau
6. Frederick William I of Prussia
26. Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover
13. Sophia Charlotte of Hanover
27. Sophia, Countess Palatine of Simmern
3. Louisa Ulrika of Prussia
28. Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover (= 26)
14. George I of Great Britain
29. Sophia, Countess Palatine of Simmern (= 27)
7. Sophia Dorothea of Hanover
30. George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
15. Sophia Dorothea of Celle
31. Eleonore d'Esmier d'Olbreuse


  1. ^ Charlottas, Hedvig Elisabeth (1902) [1775–1782]. Bonde, Carl Carlson, ed. Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). I 1775-1782. Translated by Carl Carlson Bonde. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. pp. 43–44. OCLC 14111333.  (search for all versions on WorldCat)
  2. ^ a b Charlottas, Hedvig Elisabeth (1936) [1800–1806]. af Klercker, Cecilia, ed. Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). VII 1800-1806. Translated by Cecilia af Klercker. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. pp. 270–271. OCLC 14111333.  (search for all versions on WorldCat)
  • Invgar Andersson: Gustavianskt (1979)
  • Herman Linqvist: Historien om Sverige, Gustavs dagar.
  • Carl Rimberg: Svenska Folkets underbara öden VII. Gustav III:s och Gustav IV Adolfs tid 1756-1792