Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Three Queens Named Gunhild.

Dansk Biografisk Lexicon
Carl Fr. Bricka
Project Runeberg


–1000–, Sweyn Forkbeard's queen, was a daughter of the Polish duke Mstislav or Miesko. When Sweyn in Grønsund was caught by Sigvald, chief of Jomsborg, he had to promise to marry Gunhild, with whose sister Sigvald was married; their brother Boleslaus Chrobry should in return marry Sweyn's sister Thyra. Sweyn had in his marriage to Gunhild two sons Harald and Cnut (b. ab. 995); later he repudiated her; Gunhild returned to her home, and Sweyn married Sigrid Storraade. After Sweyn's death (1014) his sons fetched their mother back to Denmark.
Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.
(see my article about Swietoslawa(Gunhild) in this blog).

Gunhild, ab.1020-1038, Cnut the Great's daughter. In his marriage to Aethelred's widow, Emma of Normandy, Cnut had 2 children, Hardicanute and Gunhild. In June 1035 Cnut and emperor Conrad II arranged a marriage between Gunhild and the emperor's son king Henrik, the later Henrik III, but Cnut never saw the marriage take place, he died 12. November 1035. The marriage took place in great splendour in June 1036 in Nimwegen, where Gunhild also was crowned and took the name Kunigunde. Gunhild is described as a delicate and sensitive woman, with a body and mind like a child. In weak health she died after two years of marriage "like on the threshold of Life" 18 July 1038; she only had one child, the daughter Beatrix, who became an abbess. The legend and the folktale have wrongly referred to Gunhild a tale about a queen, who in front of her husband, who accussed her of infidelity, proved her innocence by letting a dwarf be her defender in a fight with a giant, whom he defeated.

Steindorff, Jahrbücher des deutschen Reichs unter Heinrich III.
J. Steenstrup, Normannerne III.
Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.

Gunhild, -.1050–, Sweyn Estridsen's queen. Gunhild was a daughter of the Norwegian jarl Sweyn Hakonson (+ 1016); she was first married to the Swedish king Anund Jacob. After his death (ab. 1050) she married Sweyn Estridsen, which relation awoke much indignation in the clergy; Sweyn and Gunhild were closely related, since her mother Holmfrid was a halfsister of Sweyn's mother Estrid, and Gunhild was a widow after Sweyn's cousin. On archbishop Adalbert's order Sweyn finally repudiated Gunhild, who took up residence in Vestergötland, where she lived in silence and sacrificed herself to charity and other pious deeds.

Johannes C. H. R. Steenstrup.

translation grethe bachmann  ©copyright

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