Estrid of the Obotrites

Estrid of the Obotrites

Estrid (or Astrid) of the Obotrites (ca. 979 – 1035), was a Mediavel and Viking age Swedish Queen consort and West Slavic Princess, married to Olof Skötkonung, the King of Sweden, ca. 1000-1022, mother of king Anund Jacob of Sweden and the Russian Saint and Queen (Grand Princess) Ingegerd Olofsdotter.


Legend say that Estrid was taken back to Sweden from a war in the West Slavic area of Mecklenburg as a war-price. She was most likely given by her father, a tribal chief of the Polabian Obotrites, as a peace offering in a marriage to seal the peace, and she is thought to have brought with her a great dowry, as a great Slavic influence is represented in Sweden from her time, mainly among craftsmen.

Her husband also had a mistress, Edla, who came from the same area in Europe as herself, and who was possibly taken to Sweden at the same time. The king treated Edla and Estrid the same way and gave his son and his two daughters with Edla the same privilegies as the children he had with Estrid, though it was Estrid he married and made Queen.

Queen Estrid was baptised with her husband, their children and large parts of the Swedish royal court in 1008, when the Swedish royal family converted to Christianity, although the king promised to respect the freedom of religion - Sweden was not to be Christian until the last religion war between Inge the Elder and Blot-Sweyn of 1084-1088.

Snorre Sturlasson wrote about her, that Estrid was unkind to the children (Emund, Astrid and Holmfrid) of her husband's mistress Edla; " Queen Estrid was arrogant and not kind towards her stepchildren, and therefore the king sent his son Emund to Vendland, were he was brought up by his maternal relatives"."

Not much is known of Estrid as a person. Snorre Sturlasson mentions her as the lover of pomp and luxury, and as hard and strict towards her servants.


Their son Anund Jacob succeeded Olaf as king in c. 1022. A daughter, Ingegerd Olofsdotter, in Russia called Anna, married Yaroslav I the Wise, prince of Novgorod and Kiev.


* Herman Lindqvist, "Historien om Sverige" (In Swedish)
* Åke Ohlmarks "Alla Sveriges drottningar" (In Swedish)


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