Queen Louise of Sweden

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Today marks the Death Anniversary of Queen Louise of Sweden, who died on this day in Stockholm. Born Princess Louise of Battenberg, the younger daughter of Prince Louis and Princess Victoria of Battenberg (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and later Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven), her siblings were the 2nd Lord Milford Haven, Princess Andrew of Greece, and Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and as such she is the maternal aunt of the Duke of Edinburgh. In 1923, despite frequently declaring she would never marry a king or a widower, she accepted the proposal of a man destined to be both, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, the widower of her first cousin once removed, Princess Margaret of Connaught, who had five children, including Prince Gustaf Adolf, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, Prince Bertil, and Count Carl Johan Bernadotte. As Crown Princess Louise of Sweden, she was wildly successful, among her stepchildren, and the Swedish people, taking over as ‘First Lady’ of Sweden almost immediately after the wedding, even more so after the death of her mother-in-law in 1930. During WWII, she acted as a messenger between people who needed to communicate with royal relatives from countries who were at war with each other. Becoming Queen in 1950, she disliked the attention, but continued to carry out duties. Often staying incognito in London, she crossed the busy street to shop, keeping a note in her purse saying “I am the Queen of Sweden” in case she was hit by a car or bus. In early March 1965, Queen Louise had surgery to correct a severe circulatory disorder in the right leg as a result of changes in her aorta. Though the surgery was successful, complications developed, and she died on this day in 1965. Her husband, stepchildren, and sister were at her side.

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