The Royal Diaries

The Girl King,
Sweden, 1638

Written by Carolyn Meyer
ISBN 0-439-24976-7

Upon discovering that their newborn infant was, in fact, female and not male as first thought, Queen Marie Eleonore wailed inconsolably. King Gustav Adolph declared, the child should be raised in a princely fashion. At age six, up on the death of her father, Kristina, was proclaimed King of Sweden, with regents assigned to council until she assumes the throne at age eighteen. And indeed, her life followed her father's plan.

August 3, 1638

Papa Matthaie arrived last evening, accompanied by Jacob Henrik Elbfas, the court painter. I feared this meant I should have to pose for another official portrait. They dress you in wretchedly uncomfortable gowns and make you stand perfectly still for hours, holding something in your hand - a large feather, or a glove, or some symbolic object. When you think you cannot bear it for another minute, the thing is finished, and you are expected to say how splendid it is!

In truth if I am not with Papa Matthiae and studying serious subject, I prefer to be outside and on horseback, if possible. Or with a fencing sword.