Ulvhild

Ulvhild

Queen Ulvhild, also mentioned with name Ulvhild Haakonardottir and Ulfhild Håkansdotter, (1090s-1148), was a medieval Scandinavian queen, queen consort of Sweden two times (1120-25 and 1134-48) and queen consort of Denmark one time (1130-34), married to King Inge II of Sweden, King Niels of Denmark and king Sverker I of Sweden. She is mentioned as a femme fatale of high-medieval Scandinavia.

Biography

Ulvhild was certainly from Norway. Legends (sagas) mention her as daughter of Norwegian magnate Haakon Finnsson, of the Thjotta family. It is amost certain that her mother was not queen Margaret Fredkulla, and the name of her mother has not been preserved to later centuries.

Young Ulvhild was firstly married to king Inge II of Sweden. They appear not to have had children. Afterwards, Ulvhild has been accused of poisoning king Inge. Already this created her reputation as dangerous woman.

After the death of king Inge, Ulvhild moved to Denmark. This was to have an asylum: she seems to have had relatives and allies in Denmark (she did not settle to Norway), whereas problems in Sweden. She is said to have married king Niels of Denmark after the death of his first queen Margaret Fredkulla of Sweden in 1130. After four years as queen of Denmark, Ulvhild became a widow and mowed back to Sweden where she, queen dowager of both Sweden and Denmark, married King Sverker I of Sweden. Some sources say that she returned to Sweden and married Sverker already in 1130; No objections was made against the third marriage or against the legitimacy of her children, which had been taken as proof that she was not married to Niels, but only his mistress, while if she was married to him, the church would not have allowed her marriage to Sverker in 1130, when Niels was still alive. In reality, she likely married Niels in 1130, when his first wife died, and married Sverker in 1134, when Niels had died, which would meet no objection from the church.

King Sverker was is said to be from modest and lowly family. The marriage was to him a means to enhance legitimacy, Ulvhild having been queen of Sweden already once. Were Ulvhild -against all researched probability- a daughter of Margaret Fredkulla, herself daughter of king Inge I of Sweden, the marriage would have served Sverker yet better; Sverker seems not to have attempted to marry any known descendant of Sweden's earlier kings, he instead married two widows of such kings.

After a decade or so, queen Ulvhild deceased, and Sverker married secondly Rikissa of Poland, widow of Magnus, king of Gothenland, Sverker's earlier rival and opponent.

Children and family

Ulvhild was married three times; to King Inge II of Sweden in ca 1120, to King Niles of Denmark in 1130, and to King Sverker I of Sweden in 1134. She had at least two surviving sons and two surviving daughters, all born of her third marriage with Sverker:

  • Princess Helena of Sweden, (d. after 1157), queen consort of Denmark, in 1156 married to king Canute V of Denmark, Rikissa's son. Later nun in Vreta Abbey.
  • Prince Jon Sverkersson of sWeden, (d. before 1156), mentioned as jarl, but killed by peasants during last years of his father Sverker.
  • King Charles VII of Sweden, (d.1167), who after his father's murder held (parts of) Gothenland, was possibly called jarl and certainly held as his father's heir and dynastical successor, but ultimately succeeded to the throne of Sweden after their dynasty's rival Eric IX, as king Charles VII of Sweden.
  • Princess Ingegerd Sverkersdotter of sweden, Abbess of Vreta Abbey

If really a descendant of king Sverker I were father of Ingrid Ylva, then it is fully possible that he was also a son of Ulvhild.

References

  • http://runeberg.org/nf/index.htm
  • Lars O. Lagerqvist "Sverige och dess regenter under 1.000 år",("Sweden and its rulers during 1000 years").. Albert Bonniers Förlag AB. ISBN 91-0-075007-7.

Sucession

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