Category: queen christina of sweden

DECEMBER 26: Queen Christina is released (1933…

Based on the
real life lesbian queen of Sweden and starring lesbian starlet Greta Garbo, the
film Queen Christina was first released on this day in 1933.

Despite the
actual documented history of Queen Christina’s life, the story of the Queen
film follows the queen as she falls in love with a fictional male
Spanish envoy. Stressed out by the demands of the throne and the continued insistence
that she marry her cousin, Karl Gustav, this fictionalized version of Christina
disguises herself in men’s clothing and sneaks out of her castle to enjoy life
as an everyday commoner. When an unexpected snow storm leaves her stranded at
an inn, she is forced to share a bed with an occupant of the inn, a diplomat
sent from Spain named Antonio. Christina eventually reveals herself to be a
woman and the two fall in love.

Despite the
erasure of Christina’s lesbianism, the 1933 film became a touchstone for
lesbian culture for its depiction of a masculine woman protagonist and the
iconic scene where Christina shares a “friendly kiss” with her lady in waiting
and real life lover, Ebba Sparre. The film The Girl King that was released in 2015 recently restored the lesbian aspects of Queen Christina’s true story.


DECEMBER 8: Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-16…

The legendary lesbian Queen of
Sweden, Queen Christina, was born on this day in 1626. She reigned on the
throne from the time she was 6-years-old and was known as one of the most
well-educated woman of the 17th century.

14-year-old Queen Christina painted by the royal court portraitist Jacob Henry Elbfas (x).

Christina was born on December 8,
1626 at the royal castle of Tre Kronor in Stockholm. King Gustav II Adolph and
his wife Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg had birthed two daughters previously,
but both had died in infancy and Christian was to be the only surviving legitimate
heir to the throne. She and her father were very close throughout her childhood
and King Gustav was known to have admired her greatly despite Christina being a
girl child. When Gustav died in 1632 at The Battle of Lützen, 6-year-old
Christina was sworn in as King of Sweden in February of 1633; however, her
mother ruled on her behalf until she was 18. Although she was informally called
Queen Christina, her formal title in the Riksdag was King due to her masculine

Due to her status as “girl-king,” Christina
was educated to the same caliber as a noble young man; this awarded her a
reputation as one of the most highly educated women in Europe during her day. Christina
was also known for her masculine clothing and her relationship with a
lady-in-waiting named Ebba Sparre; Christina first met Ebba when she turned 18
and truly assumed the throne. Although she had two other flings with
ladies-in-waiting, – Jane Ruthven, who was the daughter of an exiled Scottish
general, and Louise van der Nooth, the daughter of a baron – it was Ebba who
was the love of her life. Christina used her power to keep Ebba’s husband away
from court, would often boast of her beauty to visiting diplomats, and publicly
referred to her as “la belle comtesse” (the beautiful countess) and as her “belle”
(her beauty).

Greta Garbo, portraying Christina in the 1933 film Queen Christina, shares a “friendly” kiss with Elizabeth Young who is portraying her lover Ebba Sparre.

The royal court of Sweden began putting
increasing pressure on Christina to marry and give the nation a king, an idea
which she firmly detested. Her refusal to marry resulted in growing
unpopularity for her, and on June 6, 1654, Christina formally abdicated the
throne. Once she was free from the chains of the throne and out of the public’s
eye, she moved to Holland and began dressing in traditional men’s clothing
regularly. In 1681, Christina wrote a long-awaited Autobiography, in which she discussed her androgynous identity, but
also states that she was “neither Male nor Hermaphrodite, as some People in the
World have pass’d me for.” 

After passing away at the age of 62 on April 19,
1689, Christina would eventually become known as a lesbian icon. Her icon
status became even more ubiquitous after the release of the 1933 film Queen Christina, starring none other
than fellow lesbian legend Greta Garbo, and then the 2015 film about her life
titled The Girl King.