Christina was born in Stockholm on December 8, 1626 to Maria Eleanor of Brandenburg and King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, the “Lion of the North”, who ordered that she be raised as a boy. When her father was killed at the battle of Lützen she became Queen of Sweden at only six years old. As she grew up she quickly displayed an independent streak and a very active mind. Educated as a boy and taking her coronation oath as a king rather than a queen, as per the wishes of her father, Christina was often referred to at court as the Girl King. She had an interest in a variety of subjects and loved long discussions with educated people on any subject which caught her interest. She also loved ballet, opera, theater and riding horses which necessitated wearing more masculine styles of clothing.
Christina’s gender ambiguity did not end with her style of dress. Some historians assert she maintained both heterosexual and homosexual relationships during the course of her life or was asexual depending on which source is consulted. According to Veronica Buckley, Christina was a “dabbler” who was, “…painted a lesbian, a prostitute, a hermaphrodite, and an atheist” by her contemporaries, though “in that tumultuous age, it is hard to determine which was the most damning label.” Christina declared at the end of her life she was, “neither Male nor Hermaphrodite, as some People in the World have pass’d me for”. Regardless of labels, it seems clear Christina did at least challenge traditional ideas of gender and sexuality.
In 1649 Queen Christina had named her cousin, Charles X Gustav, as her heir though he had no role in government at all so long as she was on the throne before abdicating her throne and converted to Roman Catholicism, against the laws of her country, in 1654. She spent her later years in Rome, becoming a leader of the theatrical and musical life there. As a queen without a country, she protected many artists and projects. She is one of the few women buried in the Vatican grotto.
history meme - [8/9 kings or queens] - Queen Christina of Sweden
She is only one of only two women that have their pictures up in the main church of St Peter and Paul in the Vatican.