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QUEEN CHRISTINA

Christina of Sweden is a phenomenon that passed through the 17th century stunning all her contemporaries. Born in 1626, only daughter to King Gustav II Adolph, her father passes away when she is six years old. She ascends to the throne under the regency of the remarkable Chancellor Oxenstierna, but she does not get along with him and one day, she sends him away to reign on her own.

Her beginnings are brilliant, she acquires many territories for her kingdom of Sweden, develops the economy, the commerce. Then, one day, she is fed up with her job and decides to abdicate. Her people in tears beg her to revise her decision. To no avail. She abdicates and, with a light heart, she leaves her kingdom.

She goes to France, where she is received with pump by the court of Louis XIV. As she intends to lead the life she wants, she settles in a hotel in Paris. One night, she has Italian musicians come to her room, singing melodies in front of the closed curtains of her canopy bed. Suddenly she violently pulls the curtains. Appears in front of the terrified Italians a Gorgonian head screaming “Devil’s death do they sing well!” The distraught musicians leave shrieking.

As she was somewhat cumbersome, she was placed at the Fontainebleau Castle. There, she learns that her Italian lover, Monadelschi, is cheating on her. So she simply has him assassinated by her minions in a gallery.

The French Court finds that her manner somewhat lack common decency and suggest that the queen not prolong her stay in Fontainebleau.

She decides to go to Italy. To be able to contemplate at her leisure the pope’s collections, she converts to Catholicism. She settles in Rome, becomes close with the Vatican and, more importantly, assembles an important collection of art pieces.

Ever since her childhood, this woman was a talented intellectual, close to Descartes, corresponding with the greatest minds of her time. In Italy, she interested herself more closely to the Arts.

It is in Rome that she dies in 1683, at the age of 63. She was to have the distinct honour of being one of the only two women to be buried in the Saint Peter Basilica.

It must be noted that her disgraceful physique, big bulging eyes, overly important nose and more than a little sloppy attires greatly differ from the image of Queen Christina left behind by the sublime Greta Garbo, her compatriot.


by Prince Michael of Greece