Princess Sophia Hedwig of Denmark

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sophia Hedwig of Denmark and Norway
Sophie Hedevig - Benoit le Coffre.jpg
Portrait by Benoît Le Coffre
Born(1677-08-28)28 August 1677
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died13 March 1735(1735-03-13) (aged 57)
Charlottenborg, Copenhagen
FatherChristian V of Denmark
MotherCharlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel

Princess Sophia Hedwig of Denmark and Norway (28 August 1677 – 13 March 1735) was a Danish princess, the daughter of King Christian V and his queen-consort, Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel. [1]


Princess Sophie Hedevig monogram at Rosenborg Castle

Sophia Hedwig became the object of marriage prospects early on and was betrothed three times. As a child, she became engaged to her cousin, John George IV, Elector of Saxony. This was in line with the traditional policy of dynastic marriage between Denmark and Saxony which had at that point become a tradition. In 1689, it was decided that the marriage was to take place two years later. When John George succeeded his father in 1691, he broke the engagement. In 1692, a marriage to the future Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, was suggested, and from 1694 to 1697. However, Sophia Hedwig refused to convert to Catholicism despite considerable pressure to do so by her father. [2]

Between 1697 and 1699, there was a Danish policy to create an alliance with Sweden through a double wedding between Charles XII of Sweden and Princess Sophia Hedwig of Denmark, and Prince Charles of Denmark and Hedvig Sophia of Sweden (after the marriage of Hedvig Sophia in 1698, she was replaced by Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden). However, though somewhat encouraging to the idea of a Danish match, Charles XII did in fact not wish to marry at all and the Danish-Swedish alliance was further more met with great resistance in Sweden. [3]

Sophia Hedwig remained officially unwed, although they were rumors that she entered a secret marriage with her courtier, the noble Carl Adolph von Plessen (1678-1758).[4]

In 1699, her father died and was succeeded by her brother, Frederick IV. As was the custom, Sophia Hedwig lived with her mother until her mother's death in 1714, and after this at the court of her brother the king. Among her ladies-in-waiting was Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg, who would in 1701 be the lover of her reigning brother the King and, in 1703, his wife by bigamy. When her mother died in 1714, she inherited the estates Gjorslev and Erikstrup, which she switched with the king for the estates Dronninglund, Dronninggård and Børglum Abbey (Børglumkloster).

She had a good relationship with her reigning brother until 1721, when she left the court with her younger brother, Prince Charles, in protest at the king's marriage with Anne Sophie Reventlow. The siblings settled with their own courts at the Vemmetofte manor, which Charles had inherited after their mother. They had a court of 70 noble courtiers, headed by Carl Adolph von Plessen, who was the friend of her brother Charles and possibly her own secret spouse. They did not make peace with the monarch until several years later. Sophia Hedwig, as well as Charles and von Plessen, founded schools for the peasantry on her estates, in accordance with her pietistic belief that schools were necessary to give religious instructions.

After the death of her brother Charles in 1729, she was his favored heir and inherited both his sizable estates Vemmetofte, Højstrup and Charlottenborg, as well as his debts, which she managed to handle with the help of the income from the estates Sorgenfri Palace, Dronninggård and Frederiksdal, which she was granted by her nephew when he succeeded her brother in 1730.

She was a talented portrait painter and interested in music, handicrafts such as ornaments in ivory, and embroidery. She also collected psalm books and various writings. Many of her works are preserved in the Royal Danish Collection at Rosenborg Castle. In 1735, Vemmetofte Convent (Vemmetofte Kloster) for unmarried noblewomen was founded after instructions in her will. She died at the age of 57 at Charlottenborg. [5]



  1. ^ "Arveprinsesse - Sophie Hedevig, 1677-1735". Dansk biografisk Lexikon. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  2. ^ Norrhem, Svante (2007). Kvinnor vid maktens sida : 1632-1772. Lund: Nordic Academic Press. Libris 10428618. ISBN 978-91-89116-91-7
  3. ^ "Sophie Hedevig". Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Walter Boss. "Carl Adolph v. Plessen". Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, Gyldendal. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  5. ^ "Vemmetofte Kloster". Retrieved November 1, 2019.

Other sources[edit]

  • G.Greer, The Obstacle Race (1979)

External links[edit]