Parents: Christian August, prince of Eutin, and Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach
Date of Birth: 12 February 1710
Royal House: Oldenburg-Holstein-Gottorp
Spouse: Louisa Ulrika, daughter of Frederick William I, king in Prussia, and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover
Reign: 1751 – 1771
Predecessor: Frederick I
Summary: Adolf Frederick came to the throne in a time when the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, controlled the government. His father was the prince-bishop of Lubeck and ruled the Holstein-Gottorp during the Great Northern War. Despite a fair descent from many German families as well as the British royal house, Adolf Frederick was not meant to rule. He was elected heir to the throne by a faction of the Riksdag so that negotiations with Russia would go smoother. Elizabeth of Russia accepted his nephew as her heir in return and the two countries made peace in the Treaty of Turku.
As king, Adolf Frederick served as the figurehead of a parliamentary government. He was not content to stay a passive entity in his own kingdom, but he had little power or ability to break out of his shell. Twice he attempted to leave his estates in order to arrange a coup d'etat, and both times he failed. His wife, Louisa Ulrika, was the fiery daughter of the Prussian king and encouraged him in his efforts to assert himself. He almost lost the throne during his first attempt. His son, Gustav, supported his second coup attempt and succeeded in overthrowing the senate, but could not rally enough support to reinstate absolute rule. The king was a portly and unhealthy man and his death was famous for its extravagance. His final meal consisted of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, kippers, champaign and fourteen servings of his favorite dessert, semla, served in a bowl of hot milk. Today he is remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as "the king who ate himself to death."
Date of Death: 12 February 1771
Successor: Gustav III
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