Ulvhild Håkansdotter

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Ulvhild Håkansdotter
Queen consort of Sweden
Tenure 1117–1125
1134–1148
Predecessor Ragnhild
Richeza of Poland
Successor Richeza of Poland
Queen consort of Denmark
Tenure 1130–1134
Predecessor Margaret Fredkulla
Successor Malmfred of Kiev
Spouse Inge II of Sweden
Niels of Denmark
Sverker I of Sweden
Issue Helena of Sweden
Jon Sverkersson of Sweden
Charles VII of Sweden
Ingegerd Sverkersdotter
House House of Thjotta (by birth)
House of Stenkil (by marriage)
House of Estridsen (by marriage)
House of Sverker (by marriage)
Father Haakon Finnsson
Born c. 1095
Norway
Died 1148 (aged 52–53)
Sweden
The late Queen Wolfhilda of Sweden and Denmark is thought to be buried at Alvastra Abbey.

Ulvhild Håkansdotter, (Swedish: Ulfhild), (c. 1095–1148), was a medieval Scandinavian queen, twice Queen consort of Sweden (c. 1117–25 and 1134–48) and once Queen consort of Denmark (1130–34), married to King Inge II of Sweden, King Niels of Denmark and King Sverker I of Sweden. She is mentioned as a femme fatale of high-medieval Scandinavia.

Life[edit]

Ulvhild was certainly from Norway. Legends (sagas) mention her as daughter of Norwegian magnate Haakon Finnsson, of the Thjotta family. It is almost certain that her mother was not queen Margaret Fredkulla, and the name of her mother has not been preserved to later centuries.

Young Ulvhild was firstly married to King Inge II of Sweden, in about 1116/17. They appear not to have had children. In 1118, she is rumoured to have made Inge poison his brother and co-regent, King Philip. Legend say King Inge died of an evil drink in Vreta Abbey, allegedly poisoned by Queen Ulvhild and her alleged lover, Sverker Kolsson. This created her reputation as a dangerous woman.

After the death of King Inge, Ulvhild moved to Denmark. This was to claim asylum: she seems to have had relatives and allies in Denmark (she did not settle to Norway), whereas there were problems in Sweden. She is said to have married King Niels of Denmark after the death of his first queen, Margaret Fredkulla of Sweden, in 1130. After four years as Queen of Denmark, Ulvhild became a widow, after which she, Queen Dowager of both Sweden and Denmark, married King Sverker I of Sweden. She was to have separated from Niels and moved back to Sweden already in 1132. Some sources say that she had returned to Sweden and married Sverker already in 1130. No objections was made against the third marriage or against the legitimacy of her children, which had been taken as proof that she was not married to Niels, but only his mistress, while if she was married to him, the church would not have allowed her marriage to Sverker in 1130, when Niels was still alive. In reality, she likely married Niels in 1130, when his first wife died, and married Sverker in 1134, when Niels had died, which would meet no objection from the church.

King Sverker was said to be from a family without royal lineage. The marriage was to him a means of enhancing his legitimacy, Ulvhild having been queen of Sweden already once. Were Ulvhild - against all researched probability - a daughter of Margaret Fredkulla, herself daughter of king Inge I of Sweden, the marriage would have served Sverker yet better; Sverker seems not to have attempted to marry any known descendant of Sweden's earlier kings, he instead married two widows of such kings.

After a decade or so, queen Ulvhild died, and Sverker married secondly Rikissa of Poland, widow of Magnus, king of Gothenland, Sverker's earlier rival and opponent.

Children and family[edit]

Ulvhild was married three times; to King Inge II of Sweden in c. 1120, to King Niels of Denmark in 1130, and to King Sverker I of Sweden in 1134. She had at least two surviving sons and two surviving daughters, all born of her third marriage with Sverker:

  • Prince Jon Sverkersson of Sweden, (d. before 1156), mentioned as jarl, but killed by peasants during last years of his father Sverker.
  • King Charles VII of Sweden, (d.1167), who after his father's murder held (parts of) Gothenland, was possibly called jarl and certainly held as his father's heir and dynastical successor, but ultimately succeeded to the throne of Sweden after their dynasty's rival Eric IX, as King Charles VII of Sweden.

If a descendant of King Sverker I were father of Ingrid Ylva, then it is fully possible that he was also a son of Ulvhild.

References[edit]

Succession[edit]

Ulvhild Håkansdotter
House of Thjotta
Born: 1095 Died: 1148
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Ragnhild
Queen consort of Sweden
1117–1125
Succeeded by
Richeza of Poland
Preceded by
Richeza of Poland
Queen consort of Sweden
1134–1148
Danish royalty
Preceded by
Margaret Fredkulla
Queen consort of Denmark
1130–1134
Succeeded by
Malmfred