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Könets krona. Representationer av svenska drottningar från stormaktsenvälde till medborgarsamhälle

Doctoral thesis
Authors Avigail Rotbain
Date of public defense 2019-08-30
ISBN 978-91-7833-511-4
Publisher Göteborgs universitet
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Language sv
Keywords queens, monarchy, representation, Sweden, early modern, 19th century, rulership, household, poetry, motherhood, wifehood
Subject categories History


Representations of the monarchy have been the subject of many previous studies. These studies have almost exclusively focused on kings, based on the fact that kings wielded formal political power and have thus been perceived as the sole subjects of the monarchy. However, during the early modern period, the king and queen were understood to share a common rulership with complementary roles. In this structure, both a king and queen were necessary to create the royal equilibrium between traditionally masculine and feminine characteristics, and to be able to present an example of an ideal marriage. The purpose of this thesis is to explain how the representations of queens was constructed and negotiated and to analyze continuity and change in that representation. This is accomplished through a study of Occasion poetry of four Swedish queens from the late 17th century to the late 19th century. As previous research has indicated, the large dividing line in the role of the monarchy in society and its representation is between the ancien régime and the constitutional monarchies. However, it is noteworthy that the representation of the queens during the 17th and 18th century seems to have been largely unaffected by the changing political contexts. Instead, there is a great continuity in the representation of the queens even though the monarchy’s position differs a lot. What primarily creates change in the representation of the queen is not the political context, instead there are two other important factors that create the larger variations in the representation. The first factor is the queen's individual circumstances. Each queen, despite many common themes, also has her own clear theme or story which creates a distinct image for the individual queen. The second factor are greater social changes, such as secularization and mediatization, that go beyond or lie outside of specific political shifts. In the representation of the queen, a meaning is created regardless of the monarchy’s statutory power, and this can explain the strong continuity that does not seem to be affected by major political fluctuations: the monarchial system is anchored beyond the political context.

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