Parents: Gustav II Adolf, king of Sweden, and Maria Eleanora of Brandenburg
Date of Birth: 19 December 1626
Predecessor: Gustav II Adolf
Reign: 1632 – 1654
Summary: Christina was the only surviving child of King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden. Strange astrological predictions brought hope that Christina would be the long-awaited son of the king, and indeed Christina was born hairy with a horse voice. When it was discovered that it was a girl, most of those present feared the wrath of Gustav, but the king laughed predicting "She'll be clever; she has made folds of us all!" Early in her development, Christina was dropped and throughout her life she had one shoulder higher than the other. Gustav fought hard to establish Christina as his heir when he left to fight the Catholics in the Thirty Years' War. Christina was to be raised as a prince and a boy, despite her sexual orientation. And when Gustav died in 1632, Christina became de jure queen of Sweden. Gustav had arranged for his half-sister, Catherine, to care for Christina but his wife, Maria Eleanora, dismissed the sister. Eventually, Chancellor of State Axel Oxenstierna, the regent, was forced to exile the queen mother in 1636 and recalled Catherine to act as regent.
As a child queen, Christina was taught religion, philosophy, Greek, and Latin. Oxenstierna taught her politics and discussed Tacitus. Christina eventually became fluent in Swedish, German, Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Latin, and Greek. From 1638 onwards, Christina was taught elegance and grace in addition to her traditional education. In 1644, Christina formally became the leader of Sweden. She immediately sought a peace treaty with Denmark, which profited Sweden with territories from Denmark and Norway. Christina began butting heads with Oxenstierna during the Peace Congress in Osnabrück and Münster, with both politicians sending their own diplomats. She succeeded in her mission by winning a seat for Sweden in the Holy Roman Empire's Reichstag (Parliament). In 1649, René Descartes came to Sweden and he died there a few months later. Christina was distraught over the death and embraced skepticism, abandoning any strict adherence to Protestantism. With no desire to marry and no legitimate Vasa's remaining to inherit the throne, Christina set her sights on Charles Gustav, son of John Casimir, count palatine of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg. He was descended from the Swedish monarchy through his mother, Catherine, Christina's former regent. By 1651, Christina sought to abdicate her throne to Charles Gustav. Her advisors repeatedly talked her out of it. Then, in 1652, Christina privately converted to Catholicism. In addition, Christina was becoming unpopular due to changes in temperament and her desire to promote all of those who showed her loyalty with lands and titles. She made brought Sweden to the brink of bankruptcy. The government finally relented and Christina abdicated on 5 June 1654. Soon after, she went to Denmark disguised as "Count Donha". She settled for a time in Antwerp in the Spanish Netherlands. She then travelled throughout Italy until settling in Rome. She returned to Sweden once between 1660 and 1662 but returned to Rome where died in 1689.
Date of Death: 19 April 1689
Successor: Charles X Gustav
Other Monarch Deaths:
Leo IX, pope of Rome (1054)
Gerasimus I, patriarch of Constantinople (1321)
Robert II, king of Scots (1390)