- Victoria of Baden
Princess Viktoria of Baden (Sophie Marie Viktoria) (
August 7, 1862– April 4, 1930), later Queen Victoria of Sweden, was a member of the Grand Ducal Family of Baden, who became the Queen Consortof King Gustav V of Sweden.
Princess Viktoria was born on
August 7, 1862at the castle in Karlsruhe, Germany. Her father was Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden, the fourth child of Grand Duke Leopold I of Baden and Grand Duchess Sophie of Baden ("née" Princess Sofia of Sweden). Her mother was Grand Duchess Luise of Baden ("née" Princess Luise of Prussia), the second child of Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany and Empress Augusta of Germany ("née" Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar). Victoria was also great-granddaughter (by her paternal grandmother) of King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden and Queen Fredrika of Sweden ("née" Princess Frederika of Baden).
Princess Viktoria married on
September 20, 1881Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden and Norway, the son of King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway and Queen Sofia of Sweden and Norway ("née" Princess Sophia of Nassau). Princess Viktoria then became Princess Victoria.
Together, Princess Victoria and Prince Gustaf had three children:
Life as a Queen
She became Queen of Sweden at her father-in-law's death on
September 8, 1907. Gustaf became the new King as "Gustaf V". Princess Victoria then became Queen Victoria.
Queen Victoria had substantial political influence over her husband, who was often considered Pro-German. She and her husband were brought together by their royal families, and their marriage was reported not to have been such a happy one (although is said to have been improved towards the end of their lives). They both had affairs outside of the marriage, but the marriage produced three children. Queen Victoria suffered from a very poor health (much due to mistreatment from several doctors in her youth), and she often went abroad on trips to make her health better (she suffered from
bronchitisand possibly tuberculosis). As Crown Princess, these trips were very common, but became much less so once she became Queen Consort.
From 1892 until her death,
Axel Munthewas her personal physician and recommended for health reasons that she spend winters on the Italian island of Capri. While initially hesitant, in the autumn of 1910 she traveled to Capri, arriving to an official welcome and a crowd which escorted her from the Marina Grand to the Hotel Paradise. From then on, except during the first world war and for the last two years of her life, she spent several months a year on Capri. After some time, she decided to purchase her own residence on Capri, an intimate rustic two-story farmhouse she named Casa Caprile, which she had extensively landscaped, surrounding it with a dense park. In the 1950s, some years after her death, this property became a hotel.
The Queen went to Munthe's residence, the
Villa San Michele, most mornings in order to join Munthe for walks around the island. Munthe and the Queen also arranged evening concerts at San Michele, at which the Queen played piano. They also shared a love of animals, with the Queen frequently being seen with a leashed dog, and she was known to support Munthe's (eventually successful) efforts to purchase Mount Barbarossafor use as a bird sanctuary. Perhaps inevitably given the small local population and their close friendship, it was rumored that Munthe and the Queen were lovers, but this has not been substantiated.
Although Queen Victoria lost a lot of popularity among the Swedes for her often notable Pro-German attitude (particularly politically during
World War Iwhen she is said to have influenced her husband to large extents) she was respected and admired for her strong female personality. She has also by Swedish historians in later years been somewhat revalued considering her horrendously strict Prussian upbring and constant painful health problems that haunted her all her life (during her difficult pregnancies for example, she was treated with mercury/quicksilver and undue heavy medications - a possible reason for her main health problems). She is regarded as probably the most talented of the Swedish Queens ever: she was an incredibly accomplished amateur photographerand painter. On her travels in Egyptand Italyshe both photographed and painted extensively, and experimented with all kinds of photo-developing techniques, producing very high quality photographic work. She was also an excellent pianistand, for example, could play through the complete " Ring of the Nibelung" by Wagnerwithout notes (she had had a phenomenal music education and in her youth she had turned the notes on court concerts for Franz Liszt). Her favourite composers were Schubertand Beethoven.
She was also devoted to various kinds of charity, both in
Sweden, Germanyand Italy.
Toward the end of her life, with her health declining, Munthe recommended she no longer spend time in Capri, and she returned to Sweden for some time, building a Capri-styled villa there. She then moved to Rome.
Her final visit to Sweden was on her husband's 70th birthday in 1928, and Queen Victoria died on
April 4, 1930in her home Villa Svezia in Romeat age 67.
At the death of her childless brother, Grand Duke Frederick II of Baden in 1928, Victoria became the heir to her great-grandfather King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden, who had been deposed in 1809. The unrelated House of
Bernadottehad been elected to the Swedish throne in 1810, and had reigned ever since. Victoria's son, King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, could therefore claim to be the direct heir to Gustav IV of the House of Holstein-Gottorp (Swedish line)and the House of Vasaas well as the Bernadottekings of Sweden.
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1= Victoria of Baden
Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden
3= Louise of Prussia
Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden
Sophie of Sweden
Wilhelm I of Germany
Augusta of Saxe-Weimar
Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden
Luise Karoline Geyer von Geyersberg
Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden
Frederica of Baden
Frederick William III of Prussia
Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Maria Pavlovna of Russia
*Her Grand Ducal Highness Princess Viktoria of Baden (1862–1881)
*Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden and Norway (1881–1905)
*Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden (1905–1907)
*Her Majesty The Queen of Sweden (1907–1930)
* [http://www.capritourism.com/en/Monum/smichele.htm Villa San Michele at CapriTourism.com]
* [http://www.capri.net/caprireview/article.php?cod=50&lang=en&tr=1 Capri Review article on Munthe and Queen Victoria]
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