Author Topic: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family  (Read 108056 times)

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Alicky1872

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Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« on: January 11, 2005, 03:50:07 PM »
I would like to know more about the adolesence of "Aunt Swan", Frederick VIII's wife Louise. What kind of relationship did she have with her parents? In her younger days, she looked so soft and pretty, I'm wondering what turned her into such a cold and strict parent and adult.

(I heard that she demanded that her daughters wear floor length skirts, even when fashions had changed. So, the girls had special skirts made with a false bottom that they'd rip off as soon as they were out of Louise's sight!)

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2005, 04:28:43 PM »
She intrigues me as well! To begin with, what were her birth and death dates?  And what a great anecdote about her daughters! Sounds very much like something I did when I was a teenager.

Aunt Swan sounds like such a lovely name, until you remember that swans, despite their graceful appearance, can actually be quite snappish.

Offline Martyn

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2005, 04:39:13 PM »
Quote
She intrigues me as well! To begin with, what were her birth and death dates?  And what a great anecdote about her daughters! Sounds very much like something I did when I was a teenager.

Aunt Swan sounds like such a lovely name, until you remember that swans, despite their graceful appearance, can actually be quite snappish.


I can't imagine what their skirts looked like with false hems that were detachable!  They must have been very untidy.
Wasn't she called Swan because of her lovely long neck and elegant figure?  I don't think that she was terribly popular within the family.  I think that I have a photo of her somewhere that shows her in an appropriate pose; I will try to dig it out.....
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2005, 04:50:40 PM »
I was thinking that maybe the skirts were flounced?

bluetoria

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2005, 04:56:22 PM »
She was born in Stockholm 31 October 1851. When she was young QV  wrote 'She is not plain and promises to be nice looking & is very well brought up.' But later Frederick Ponsonby described her as, "One of the ugliest women I have ever seenm but reputed to be charming. As the French minister said, 'Ce n'est pas permis, d'etre ssi laide.'
Queen Mary said, "She is a good soul but a little queer in the head and very difficult to get on with as she is so stiff." While Nicky thought she 'looks more hideous than ever, her hair in a straight grey line hanging over her eyes, some teeth fallen out and oh! simply awful the poor thing."
Poor thing indeed!
She died at the Amelionborg on 20 March 1926

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2005, 05:14:42 PM »
Thank you, Bluetoria! Perhaps someone can scan in a photo?!

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2005, 06:13:13 PM »
She wasn't an unattractive child but not an attractive adult and quite frightening as an elderly woman. She seemed to have no chin. From what I've read of her she was not a very good mother nor a very popular member of the family. It was largely because of her (and, granted, the growing number of relatives) that the gatherings at Denmark ceased after she became Queen. Her primary attraction for Frederick seems to have been her large dowry as the only daughter of the King of Sweden. I'll have to scan some of the elderly pictures but here are some I have:

« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 02:29:37 AM by Svetabel »
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Offline Dandywell

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2005, 06:16:11 PM »
She looks like a confused duck.
She stepped away from me and she moved through the fair,
And fondly I watched her move here and move there,
Then she went her way homeward with one star awake,
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

Offline Martyn

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2005, 04:26:29 AM »
I see what you mean.  Yes, not the loveliest of princesses but I am sure that the hefty dowry was a big incentive to take her as a bride, particularly for the impecunious Danish.
Janet, I had assumed that the hem length issue must have arisen after about 1914, as it was only then that skirts started to become appreciably shorter.  I imagine that flounces on their skirts would have amde them look quite dowdy - still in their mother's presence it probably paid off!
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2005, 07:27:32 AM »
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She looks like a confused duck.

She looks like a frightened duck in some photoes! :) Really ...she had a very severe look!

Alicky1872

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2005, 07:29:14 AM »
I'm not really a fan of hers, but part of me does feel sorry for her. How could she compete with her beautiful and graceful sisters in law? She probably felt so intimidated by them. Maybe that made her shut off so to speak, and become odd old "Aunt Swan", who claimed to be psychic and was always forcasting family tragedies. (Can't imagine that made her too popular!)

There are two stories about how her nickname came about. 1) She was called Aunt Swan first by her Greek nephews, because of her pious, "holier than thou" attitude. (Swans do kind of look like that, don't they?)

2) Because of her long neck

Alicky1872

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2005, 07:36:15 AM »
As I stated earlier, she probably felt intimidated by her sisters in law. Lovely as they were, I can kind of imagine Alexandra and Dagmar being quite "cliquey." Maybe Thyra wasn't like that, because this picture is the only one I've ever seen of Aunt Swan looking even remotely happy around one of her sisters in law!


Louise and Thyra

Offline Martyn

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2005, 07:39:17 AM »
Not a bad point Alicky.  Am I correct in saying that the children of Christian and Louise all shared quite a strong bond - well less so with Frederik perhaps.  It may have been quite hard to penetrate this tight-knit bunch of siblings, who all seemed to share a sense of humour that wasn't always appreciated by others (I'm thinking of Bertie's boredoom at the family's antics when they got together at Bernstorff).  Just a thought....
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Alicky1872

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2005, 07:57:44 AM »
Oh yes, they were very very close. I don't think Swan's temperament suited the Danish family. She was very serious, and we all know about the Dane's sense of humor! ;) They probably felt right away that she "wasn't one of us." No one knows the circumstances, I mean maybe they really tried to get along with her and include her, and maybe they didn't. I've had bad experiences with my husband's family, and being made to feel like I didn't belong, so I sort of sympathise with Louise. I wonder how she got along with Queen Olga. Olga seems like such a sweetheart, I can imagine her at least trying to accept Louise.

You know how when you think of the Danish gatherings, you usually think of them all joking around..especially the Greek brothers. Notice you never hear any funny stories about Frederick and Louise's children. Maybe that's because in her mind she had to be "better" than her inlaws, and she wouldn't let herself or her children "lower themselves to their childish levels, because they were better that that." When you feel like you're not accepted, you try to rationilize things in your head, maybe that's how Louise felt.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Frederick VIII, Queen Lovisa (Swan) and their family
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2005, 11:55:37 AM »
Here's what John van der Kiste says about her:
'...the pious, humourless and increasingly eccentic Queen Louise, certainly had none of the charm, or ease of personality, of her predecessor. Her in-laws referred to her behind her back as 'the Swan' or 'Aunt Swan', because of her long neck and swaying body. With her austere, if not forbidding presence, over the years she had become such a religious bigot that she would have nothing to do with Copenhagen society. With her husband's 'frivolous' relations she was equally ill at ease. ...Jusserand declared bluntly that 'Ce n'est pas permis d'etre si laide'. Ponsonby likewise though Queen Louise was one of the ugliest women he had ever seen...'
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 02:33:55 PM by grandduchessella »
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