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QUEEN LOUISE OF SWEDEN
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The Arms of Crown Princess Louise of Sweden,

The Duchess of Scania

In 1930, the Crown Prince’s mother - Queen Victoria of Sweden, formerly Princess Victoria of Baden (1862-1930) died in Rome, Italy. She had not been in good health for many years and frequently stayed away from Sweden for long periods of time.  As a result of her absence from the Swedish Court and subsequent death, Louise took on more and more duties of official hostess and became patron of the charities and organisations (including the Swedish Red Cross) traditionally held by the incumbent Queen of Sweden.

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Crown Princess

Louise of Sweden,

The Duchess of Scania

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Crown Princess Louise

& Crown Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden in 1945

A short film (narrated in Swedish) showing

King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, with Louise

on the balcony of The Royal Palace at Stockholm

following his Accession to the Throne in October 1950

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When her husband succeeded to the Throne in 1950, Louise was already 61yrs and by this time her health began to be of concern following cardiac issues, but despite this, Louise diligently carried out her duties, even when she was ill.  She disliked the attention she received as Queen, saying that "people look at me as if I were something fancy.  I do not look different today than I did yesterday!”   Louise often travelled privately and often incognito under the name 'The Countess of Gripsholm' or 'Mrs. Olsson'.  It was alleged that Louise, after almost being hit by a bus in London (because she would often jay-walk), took to carrying a small card with the words "I am The Queen of Sweden" printed on it, so that people would know who she was in case she was hit by a vehicle as she often stayed at the Hyde Park Hotel, often crossing a heavily trafficked street there to shop, which prompted her note. Louise had several Pomeranian dogs, which she would hide about her person when visiting abroad - which often caused problems when travelling through customs.  Some would say that Louise was eccentric and although she had a furious temper - she did have a kind heart, a witty sense of humour, and the ability to make fun of herself and was as much loved by the people of Sweden, as she loved and admired the dignity of the people. 

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King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
& Queen Louise (holding one of her pet dogs)

in their later years

A short film (no audio) from British Movietone

about Queen Louise's funeral
 

Mountbatten (Louise's brother) had been visiting New Zealand when he received news of his sister's death.  He had been kept in touch following Louise's last illness and had known that she was unlikely to recover consciousness after the thrombosis that had struck her a few days before her death.  He offered to cancel his tour, but King Gustaf VI Adolf insisted that he remain on his tour telling him that it would have been what Louise would have wanted.  On the day of her funeral, Mountbatten went to a local Protestant Church with his daughter Patricia to pay their respects.

The joint grave of Louise, King Gustaf VI Adolf & his first wife Margaret ​

The joint grave of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden,

Crown Princess Margaret (his first wife)

and Queen Louise (his second wife)
at the Royal Cemetery, Haga Park,

Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

Although Sweden was neutral in World War II, Louise was active in the Swedish Red Cross and had her own charity - Kronprinsessans Gåvokommitté för Neutralitetsvakten (the Crown Princess Gift Association For the Neutral Defense Forces) which provided the soldiers who guarded the borders of neutral Sweden with socks, gloves, scarves, and caps knitted by people from all over Sweden.  She also supported projects to supply candles to the poor who were without light during the War.  With members of her family on both sides of the War, Louise used these connections to good use and became a 'go-between' for messages between relatives and friends.
 

On 29th October 1950, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf succeeded (aged 67yrs) to the Throne of Sweden upon his father’s death and took the regnal name of 'King Gustaf VI Adolf' and Louise became 'Queen Consort of Sweden' and immediately started to reform many of the old-fashioned customs and protocol which had been in place during the previous reigns.  Louise had always been known for her dislike of unnecessary formality and was an early advocate of women's rights and gender equality, asserting that women were intellectual equals to men stating - "women are completely intellectually equal to men and, provided they are given sufficient education, are just as capable to deserve respect and admiration as men in this field."
 

LEFT: Louise (wearing traditional

mourning dress) with

King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden in 1950,

following his Accession to the Throne

after the death of his father -

King Gustav V of Sweden in October 1950

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Queen Louise of Sweden

wearing the Braganza Tiara -

made as a wedding gift in 1829

for Empress Amélie of Brazil

(formerly Princess Amélie of Leuchtenberg). 

The tiara is exclusively worn by

the Queen of Sweden, however the exception was when Louise wore it

(whilst still Crown Princess)

to the Coronation of King George VI in 1937

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The Arms of Queen Louise of Sweden

By the end of 1964, Louise’s health deteriorated.  On 4th March 1965, Louise was taken to St. Göran Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden where she had surgery to correct a severe circulatory disorder in the right leg as a result of changes in her aorta.  Although the surgery went well, complications developed and Louise died on 7th March 1965 aged 75yrs. Louise was buried in the Royal Cemetery at Haga Park, Solna (north of Stockholm), Sweden.  

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The funeral procession of

Queen Louise of Sweden

King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden  ​

King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden

 

King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden died on 15th September 1973 at the old hospital in Helsingborg, Scania, close to his summer residence of Sofiero Castle after a deterioration in his health.  He died eight years after Louise’s death and ten weeks short of his 91st birthday.  In a break with tradition, the late King was not buried at the Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, where most of the predecessors were buried.  He was buried in the Royal Cemetery at Haga Park, Solna, Stockholm in a shared grave with both his first and second wives - Margaret and Louise.   

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