Wilhelmine Schröder

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Not to be confused with the singer Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient.

Wilhelmine Schröder was a Swedish telegraphist, writer, and journalist, and was also the confidant and royal mistress of King Charles XV of Sweden.

Wilhelmine Schröder was the daughter of a ruined land owner. She met Charles when she met him in an audience regarding a murder attempt of her father, who died a couple of years after the attempt. Charles fell in love with her and courted her for several years until 1869, when she agreed to a relationship on the condition that she remain financially independent and retain her job at the telegraph office in Hällestad rather than being "kept" by him. She moved to Stockholm when she tired of travelling between the cities, but took the same job in the capital, still refusing to be supported by Charles. Charles did, however, give her an apartment at Drottninggatan 72. She is described as having been independent, serious, and practical, though she had a great interest in the supernatural and in spiritualism. Charles was fascinated by her interests, discussed existential issues with her, and called her "a priestess of pure and holy love", with whom he sought "forgiveness for his sins". Their relationship lasted until Charles's death in 1872. Charles left his brother, who succeeded him, with instructions that Schröder should be financially provided for after his death, but she continued to insist on her economic independence.

Schröder eventually became a journalist in the paper Hemmet. In 1902, she published a book about the supernatural, Från det fördolda. Borg- och folksagor ("From the Hidden: Castle- and folktales").

References[edit]

  • Lars Elgklou: Bernadotte. Historien - eller historier - om en familj., Askild & Kärnekull Förlag AB, Stockholm 1978. ISBN 91-7008-882-9.
  • Carl Grimberg: Svenska folkets underbara öden. 9, 1844–1907