- Marie Sophie of Hesse-Kassel
Marie Sophie of Hesse-Kassel Queen consort of Denmark and Norway Queen Marie Sophie of Denmark,
with the Order of Christian VII
portrait by Jens Juel
Queen consort of Denmark Tenure 13 March 1808–3 December 1839 Queen consort of Norway Tenure 13 March 1808–14 January 1814 Spouse Frederick VI Caroline, Hereditary Princess of Denmark
Vilhelmine, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
House House of Oldenburg
House of Hesse
Father Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel Mother Princess Louise of Denmark Born 28 October 1767
Died 22 March 1852(aged 84)
Burial Roskilde Cathedral Religion Lutheranism
Marie Sophie Frederikke of Hesse-Kassel (German: Marie Sophie Friederike von Hessen-Kassel; Hanau, 28 October 1767 – Amalienborg, 21 March/22 March 1852) was Queen Consort of Denmark and Norway. She served as Regent of Denmark in 1814–1815.
She was the eldest child of Landgrave Charles of Hesse-Kassel and Princess Louise of Denmark. Her paternal grandparents were Frederick II of Hesse-Kassel and Princess Mary of Great Britain. Mary was a daughter of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach. Her maternal grandparents were Frederick V of Denmark and Louise, another daughter of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach. Her father was the second son of the Landgrave, the Sovereign Prince of Hesse-Kassel, and as such, had no Principality of his own. Thus he acted in such positions as were offered to cadet members of Royal Houses by their reigning relatives. Denmark was offering more and better positions than the small Hesse-Kassel.
She grew up largely in Denmark, where her father held notable positions, such as the Governorships of provinces. Her mother was the third and youngest daughter of King Frederick V of Denmark and his consort, Louise of Great Britain. As such, she was the niece of King Christian VII and of Prince Regent Frederik, as well as the first cousin of Regent and Crown Prince Frederik, the Danish rulers of that period.
On 31 July 1790 in Gottorp, she married her first cousin, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (1768–1839), then Regent of the Realm, the future King Frederick VI of Denmark. Her husband had been Regent since 1784 (when he was just 16 years old), on behalf of his insane father Christian VII of Denmark, who would die in 1808. The Royal Couple assumed the throne upon King Christian's death, having already acted as de facto monarchs for over two decades. In the aftermath of the defeat of Denmark's ally, Emperor Napoleon I of the French, Denmark lost its dominion Norway; the Royal Couple ceased to be Norway's King and Queen in 1814. Queen Marie was Regent of Denmark in 1814–1815 during her husband's absence abroad.
Marie was selected by her cousin as his spouse mainly as a way for him to demonstrate his independence from his Court, who wanted a more political match. The marriage was greated with great enthusiasm by the public, as she was regarded as completely Danish and not as a foreigner, and she was given an enthusiastic welcome when she arrived at Copenhagen. At the Royal Court, she was overshadowed by her husband's sister, who was the real First Lady of the Court. She was pressed by the demand to produce a son, and when her last childbirth resulted in an injury which prevented further intercourse, she was forced to accept her spouse's adultery with Frederikke Dannemand. She managed the affairs of state very well in 1814–15. She was interested in politics and genealogy, and wrote and published Exposé de la situation politique du Danemarc in 1807–14, and in 1822–24 she published the genealogy Supplement-Tafeln zu Joh, which inspired her spouse to take the later Christian IX of Denmark into his family. She protected the charity organisation Det Kvindelige Velgørende Selskab from 1815. As a widow, she withdrew from public life, respected as a symbol of the old dynasty.
They had eight children. However, none of Frederick VI's sons survived infancy and when he died in 1839, he was succeeded by his cousin, Christian VIII of Denmark. The surviving children of King Frederick VI and Queen Marie Sophie Frederikke were their two daughters. Their children were:
- Christian (Copenhagen, 22 September 1791 – Copenhagen, 23 September 1791)
- Marie Louise (Copenhagen, 19 November 1792 – Frederiksborg, 12 October 1793)
- Caroline (Copenhagen, 28 October 1793 – Copenhagen, 31 March 1881), married to her father's first cousin Frederick Ferdinand of Denmark, (d. 1863) some months before his nephew Frederick VII of Denmark, Hereditary Prince of Denmark, son of Christian VIII of Denmark. Childless.
- Louise (Copenhagen, 21 August 1795 – Copenhagen, 7 December 1795)
- Christian (Copenhagen, 1 September 1797 – Copenhagen, 5 September 1797)
- Juliana Louise (Copenhagen, 12 February 1802 – Copenhagen, 23 February 1802)
- Frederikke Marie (Copenhagen, 3 June 1805 – Copenhagen, 14 July 1805)
- Vilhelmine Marie (Kiel, 18 January 1808 – Glücksburg, 30 May 1891), firstly married to her second cousin Prince Frederik of Denmark, the future Frederick VII of Denmark, but they divorced, and she married secondly Karl, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, who was eldest brother of the future Christian IX of Denmark. Both her marriages were childless.
Queen Marie Sophie Frederikke lamented the total lack of sons and of grandchildren of her own. When her youngest sister, Duchess Louise Caroline of Lyksborg became a widow when most of her large brood of children were as yet very young, Queen Marie accepted some of the younger ones into her tutelage in the Royal Household. They were much younger than the Queen's own two surviving daughters, and one may speculate that the Queen felt like a grandmother. One such foster child of hers was Prince Christian of Lyksborg, born 1818, the future Christian IX of Denmark.
Christian of Lyksborg and his wife Louise of Hesse named their second daughter, Marie Sophie Frederikke Dagmar of Lyksborg (born 1847), in the Queen's honor as her namesake. After her death (1852), that girl became Tsarina Maria Fedorovna of Russia, preserving there the Queen's first name (Maria/Marie).
She was the 292nd Dame of the Royal Order of Queen Maria Luisa on 17 April 1834.
Her titles were:
- 1767–90 Her Serene Highness Princess Marie of Hesse-Kassel
- 1790–1808 Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Denmark and Norway
- 1808–14 Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark and Norway
- 1814–39 Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark
- 1839–52 Her Majesty The Queen Dowager of Denmark
ReferencesMarie Sophie of Hesse-KasselHouse of Hesse-KasselCadet branch of the House of HesseBorn: 28 October 1767 Died: 22 March 1852
Royal titles VacantTitle last held byCaroline Matilda of Wales Queen consort of Norway
Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp
Queen consort of Denmark
Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
Vacantvarying occupations in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1814)Title last held byCharlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Duchess consort of Saxe-Lauenburg
4th Generation 5th GenerationElisabeth, Hereditary Princess of Anhalt · Princess Marie-Polyxene · Sybille, Baroness von Vincke 6th Generationnone 7th GenerationChristina Margarethe, Mrs. van Eyck · Dorothea, Princess Friedrich zu Windisch-Grätz · Elisabeth, Countess Friedrich Carl von Oppersdorff · Princess Clarissa Alice, Mrs. Derrien 8th GenerationPrincess Mafalda, Mrs. Brachetti-Peretti · Princess Elena · Irina, Countess of Schönburg-Glauchau 9th GenerationPrincess Paulina · Princess Elena * princess and landgravine of Hesse-Kassel until 1803 Danish Royal ConsortsHenri de Laborde de Monpezat (1972–present) · Ingrid of Sweden (1947–1972) · Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1912–1947) · Louise of Sweden (1906–1912) · Louise of Hesse-Kassel (1863–1898) · Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (1839–1848) · Marie Sophie of Hesse-Kassel† (1808–1839) · Caroline Matilda of Great Britain† (1766–1775) · Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel† (1752–1766) · Louise of Great Britain† (1746–1751) · Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach† (1730–1746) · Anne Sophie Reventlow† (1721–1730) · Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow† (1699–1721) · Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel† (1670–1699) · Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1648–1670) · Anne Catherine of Brandenburg† (1597–1612) · Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow† (1572–1588) · Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg† (1534–1559) · Sophie of Pomerania†‡ (1523–1533) · Isabella of Austria†‡ (1515–1523) · Christina of Saxony†‡ (1481–1513) · Dorothea of Brandenburg†‡ (1445–1448 & 1449–1481) · Philippa of England†‡ (1406–1430) · Helvig of Schleswig (1340–1374) · Euphemia of Pomerania (1326–1330) · Ingeborg Magnusdotter of Sweden (1296–1319) · Agnes of Brandenburg (1273–1286) · Margaret Sambiria (1252–1259) · Matilda of Holstein (1250–1252) · Jutta of Saxony (1239–1250) · Eleanor of Portugal (1229–1231) · Berengaria of Portugal (1214–1221) · Dagmar of Bohemia (1205–1213) · Gertrude of Bavaria (1182–1197) · Sophia of Minsk (1157–1182) · Helena of Sweden (1156–1157) · Adela of Meissen (1152–1157) · Lutgard of Salzwedel (1144–1146) · Malmfred of Kiev† (1134–1137) · Ulvhild Håkansdotter‡ (1130–1134) · Margaret Fredkulla† (1104–1130) · Boedil Thurgotsdatter (1095–1103) · Ingegerd of Norway‡ (1086–1095) · Adela of Flanders (1080–1086) · Margareta Hasbjörnsdatter (1076–1080) · Gunnhildr Sveinsdóttir‡ (1050–1052) · Gyda of Sweden (1048–1049) · Emma of Normandy† (1017–1035) · Sigrid the Haughty†‡ · Gunhild of Wenden† · Tove of the Obotrites† (970–986) · Gyrid of Sweden (952–970) · Thyra (900–935) † also Queen of Norway · ‡ also Queen of Sweden Norwegian Royal ConsortsSonja Haraldsen (1991–present)
Maud of Wales (1905–1938) · Sophia of Nassau^ (1872–1905) · Louise of the Netherlands^ (1859–1871) · Josephine of Leuchtenberg^ (1844–1859) · Désirée Clary^ (1818–1844) · Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp^ (1814–1818) · Marie Sophie of Hesse-Kassel* (1808–1839) · Caroline Matilda of Great Britain* (1766–1775) · Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel* (1752–1766) · Louise of Great Britain* (1746–1751) · Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach* (1730–1746) · Anne Sophie Reventlow* (1721–1730) · Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow* (1699–1721) · Landgravine Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel* (1670–1699) · Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1648–1670) · Anne Catherine of Brandenburg* (1597–1612) · Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow* (1572–1588) · Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg* (1534–1559) · Sophie of Pomerania*^ (1523–1533) · Isabella of Austria*^ (1515–1523) · Christina of Saxony*^ (1481–1513) · Dorothea of Brandenburg*^ (1450–1481) · Catherine of Bjurum^ (1449–1450) · Dorothea of Brandenburg*^ (1445–1448) · Philippa of England*^ (1406–1430) · Margaret I of Denmark^ (1363–1380) · Blanche of Namur^ (1335–1343) · Euphemia of Rügen (1299–1312) · Isabel Bruce (1293–1299) · Margaret of Scotland (1281–1283) · Ingeborg of Denmark (1263–1280) · Rikissa Birgersdotter (1251–1257) · Margrét Skúladóttir (1225–1263) · Christina of Norway (1209–1213) · Margaret of Sweden (1189–1202) · Estrid Bjørnsdotter (1170–1176) · Ragna Nikolasdatter (114?–1157) · Ingrid of Sweden (1134–1136) · Christine of Denmark (1132–1133) · Malmfred of Kiev* (1116–1130) · Blathmin Ní Briain (1103) · Ingebjørg Guttormsdatter (1103–1123) · Margaret Fredkulla* (1101–1103) · Ingerid of Denmark (1067–1093) · Elisiv of Kiev (1045–1066) · Emma of Normandy* (1028–1035) · Astrid of Sweden (1019–1035) · Sigrid the Haughty*^ (1000–1014) · Tyra of Denmark (998–1000) Gunhild of Wenden* · Tove of the Obotrites* (970–986) · Gunnhild, Mother of Kings (931–934) · Gyda of Hordaland (872–930)
*also Queen of Denmark
^also Queen of Sweden
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