Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Duchess Juliane Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (4 September 1729 – 10 October 1796), (always called Juliane Marie), was queen of Denmark between 1752 and 1766, second consort of king Frederick V of Denmark
Frederick V of Denmark
Frederick V was king of Denmark and Norway from 1746, son of Christian VI of Denmark and Sophia Magdalen of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.-Early life:...

 and Norway, mother of the prince-regent Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway and herself de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 regent 1772–1784.

Early life and queen

Born as daughter of Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Duchess Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was a Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and the wife of her cousin Ferdinand Albert II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel...

, she held the rank of a Duchess of Brunkswick-Wolfenbüttel with the style Princess. She became the second consort and queen to King Frederick V of Denmark at Frederiksborg Palace
Frederiksborg Palace
Frederiksborg castle is a castle in Hillerød, Denmark. It was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV, and is now known as The Museum of National History. The current building replaced a previous castle erected by Frederick II, and is the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia...

 on 8 July 1752, one year after the death of his first consort Louise of Great Britain
Louise of Great Britain
Louise of Great Britain was the youngest surviving daughter of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach, and became queen consort of Denmark and Norway.-Early life:...

. The marriage was partly arranged as a way of stabilising her vivacious consort. As a child, she appears to have stuttered.
The marriage was arranged by Count Moltke
Adam Gottlob Moltke
Count Adam Gottlob Moltke , Danish courtier, statesman and diplomat, born at Riesenhof in Mecklenburg.-Early life:...

, who thought it best that the king remarried as soon as possible. The king, who was unwilling to remarry, was convinced after seeing her portrait. She was married on 8 July 1752 on Frederiksborg Slot and crowned the same day. The marriage was not popular among the public, as it was considered to be too soon after the death of the popular former queen. She did her best to be liked; appointed J. Schielderup Sneedorff and Guldberg for her son's tutelage, and her son thereby became the first Danish prince in generations, whose first language was Danish. She also tried to speak and write Danish herself, although never very well, but she never became a popular queen. She was careful to show loyalty toward her adulterous spouse, which did give her some sympathy. As queen, she was never involved in politics; Frederick the Great expected her to be his agent and remove Count Von Bernstorff
Count Johann Hartwig Ernst von Bernstorff
Count Johann Hartwig Ernst von Bernstorff , Danish statesman, who came of a very ancient Mecklenburg family, was the son of Joachim Engelke von Bernstorff, Chamberlain to the elector of Hanover.-Early political career:...

 from his position, but she never did.

As a queen, she lived a quiet life, and during the lifetime of the king is not believed to have had much influence. Her goal was to make her own biological son regent. She was given a very stiff upbringing, and it was difficult for her to replace the popular Queen Louise. She did not play any part in the upbringing of her stepchildren.

Queen dowager and political activity

She became more important as a Queen dowager. In 1766, she became a widow. During the period of 1766–70, she was treated with hostility by the royal couple and their respective favourites, and seldom invited to the royal table.

In 1768, she participated in the banishment of Christian's mistress Støvlet-Cathrine‎, who was believed to have influence over him. In 1770, the new king, her stepson King Christian VII of Denmark
Christian VII of Denmark
Christian VII was King of Denmark and Norway and Duke of Schleswig and Holstein from 1766 until his death. He was the son of Danish King Frederick V and his first consort Louisa, daughter of King George II of Great Britain....

, had become insane and the power had fallen in the hands of his consort Caroline Matilda of Wales
Caroline Matilda of Wales
Caroline Matilda of Great Britain was Queen of Denmark and Norway from 1766 to 1772 and a member of the British Royal Family.-Early life:...

 and her lover Johann Friedrich Struensee
Johann Friedrich Struensee
Count Johann Friedrich Struensee was a German doctor. He became royal physician to the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark and a minister in the Danish government. He rose in power to a position of “de facto” regent of the country, where he tried to carry out widespread reforms...

. They had liberal political views and issued a series of democratic laws that raised the opposition to the nobility. Juliane Marie became the centre of the opposition, and she belonged to the group participating in the coup d'état that brought down the government of Struensee by exposing his affair with the queen. She arranged for the king to sign the arrest of Struensee after she had already made the arrest, issued in the name of the king. In 1772, Struensee was executed and Queen Caroline Mathilda was exiled.
The son of Juliane Marie, Hereditary Prince Frederick
Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Denmark and Norway
Frederick , was a Hereditary Prince of Denmark and Norway. He was the surviving son of the second marriage of King Frederick V of Denmark with Juliana Maria of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel....

, was now made regent. In reality, he was the puppet of his mother, who was the real and undisputed ruler during his regency, aided by Ove Høegh-Guldberg
Ove Høegh-Guldberg
Ove Høegh-Guldberg was a Danish statesman, historian and de facto prime minister of Denmark, 1772–1784.-Biography:...

. At the revolution, she was praisingly compared to Esther
Esther , born Hadassah, is the eponymous heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther.According to the Bible, she was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus...

, Deborah
Deborah was a prophetess of Yahweh the God of the Israelites, the fourth Judge of pre-monarchic Israel, counselor, warrior, and the wife of Lapidoth according to the Book of Judges chapters 4 and 5....

, and Judith, and the king wrote a letter thanking her for having "saved" him. Her government was one of extreme conservatism. She restored the privileges of the nobility and was regarded as the hero of the aristocracy and the savior of their privileges. The opposition, on the other hand, called her a devil and the cause of all misfortune of Denmark. She is remembered for having founded a porcelain
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between and...

 factory, which was created royal factory of the state 1779.

Formally, she had no official position, but she was recognized as the new leader de facto. The first period after the revolution, she was openly present at the councils. She corresponded with Frederick the Great, who was her supporter and who referred to her as the Regent of Denmark. Juliana was given the responsibility of the upbringing of the crown prince, Frederick VI
Frederick VI of Denmark
Frederick VI reigned as King of Denmark , and as king of Norway .-Regent of Denmark:Frederick's parents were King Christian VII and Caroline Matilda of Wales...

. The crown prince greatly disliked her, because she attempted to form him to be in favor of her regency, and also because she tried to stop him from seeing his sister, who was his closest friend. In 1781, she decided on the advice of Frederick the Great that the crown prince should marry a Prussian princess.

In 30 June 1780, she gave refuge to the children of her brother, Duke Anthony Ulrich of Brunswick
Duke Anthony Ulrich of Brunswick
Anthony Ulrich , Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, was generalissimus of the Army of Russia, and husband to Anna Leopoldovna, who was regent of Russia for one year.- Biography :...

 and the Russian regent Anna Leopoldovna
Anna Leopoldovna
Anna Leopoldovna of Russia , also known as Anna Karlovna , regent of Russia for a few months during the minority of her baby son Ivan...

, the siblings of the deposed Czar Ivan VI of Russia
Ivan VI of Russia
Ivan VI Antonovich of Russia , was proclaimed Emperor of Russia in 1740, as an infant, although he never actually reigned. Within less than a year, he was overthrown by the Empress Elizabeth of Russia, Peter the Great's daughter...

, when they were released from Russian captivity: upon an agreement with Catherine the Great, she received Catherine (1741–1807), Elizabeth (1743–1782), Peter (1745–1798) and Alexei (1746–1787), who were born in captivity, and let them live the rest of their lives in comfortable house arrest in Horsens
Horsens is a Danish city in east Jutland. It is the site of the council of Horsens municipality. The city's population is 53,807 and the Horsens municipality's population is 82,835 ....

; they were not used to social life, and kept a small "court" of 40/50 people, all Danish except for the priest. The siblings were kept under the responsibility of Juliana, and on the financial support of Catherine.

In 1784, the crown prince was declared of legal majority. She handed him a document with instructions of how he should rule. Juliana advised him to always rely on her advice, and she also had the king write a statement of advice to the crown prince in which he stated that until now, three people: the King, Prince Frederick and Juliana had been one, and in the future, four people must be one. The Crown prince, however, had no intention to allow Juliana and her son to continue their rule, and in his first session with the council, he fired the government loyal to Juliana without warning and appointed his own officials, which ended all of the influence of the old regime in one blow, and the reign of Juliana and her son was thereby ended. At the following ball, however, the people involved acted as if nothing had happened, and gave the impression that no coup had taken place. She was taken with great surprise by the coup of 1784. In 1785, King Gustav III of Sweden
Gustav III of Sweden
Gustav III was King of Sweden from 1771 until his death. He was the eldest son of King Adolph Frederick and Queen Louise Ulrica of Sweden, she a sister of Frederick the Great of Prussia....

 suggested that she depose the crown prince regent, but she declined. Juliana lived the rest of her life discreetly at the court.

Titles and styles

  • 4 September 1729 – 8 July 1752 Her Serene Highness Princess Juliane Marie
  • 8 July 1752 - 14 January 1766 Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark
  • 14 January 1766 - 10 October 1796 Her Majesty The Dowager Queen of Denmark


Literature and references

  • Danske dronninger i tusind år, Steffen Heiberg, 2000
  • Gyldendal og Politikens Danmarkshistorie bind 9 (Den lange fred), 1990
  • http://www.kvinfo.dk/side/597/bio/1019/origin/170/
  • Marie Tetzlaff : Katarina den stora (1998)
  • http://runeberg.org/dbl/8/0613.html (in Danish)


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