Frederick I of Sweden

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Frederick, Swedish: Fredrik I, (17 April 1676 – 25 March 1751) was a Prince consort of Sweden from 1718 to 1720, and a King of Sweden from 1720 until his death and (as Frederick I) also Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1730.

Contents

Youth

He was the son of Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, and Princess Maria Amalia of Courland.
In 1692 the young prince made his Grand Tour to the Dutch Republic, in 1695 to the Italian Peninsula and later he studied in Geneva. After this he had a military career, leading the Hessian troops as Lieutenant General in the War of Spanish Succession on the side of the Dutch.
He was defeated in 1703 in the Battle of Speyerbach, but participated the next year in the great victory in the Battle of Blenheim.
In 1706 he was again defeated by the French in the Battle of Castiglione.
Both in 1716 and 1718 he joined the campaign of Charles XII of Sweden against Norway, and was appointed Swedish Generalissimus.

Prince consort and King of Sweden

He married his second wife Princess Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden in 1715. He then also became Prince Frederick of Sweden, with the title of "Royal Highness" granted to him by the estates, and was prince consort there[1] during Ulrika Eleonora's rule as Queen regnant from 1718 until her abdication in 1720. Frederick then succeeded her on the throne, elected by the Swedish Estates. He was the only Swedish prince consort there had been to date, and thus the only king of Sweden also to have been prince consort.

Frederick I had much influence during the reign of his spouse, and was a very active and dynamic king at the beginning of his 31-year reign. But after the aristocracy had regained power during the wars with Russia, he became not so much powerless as uninterested in affairs of state. In 1723, he tried to strengthen royal authority, but after he failed, he never had much to do with politics. He did not even sign official documents; instead a stamp of his signature was used. He devoted most of his time to hunting and love affairs. His marriage to Queen Ulrika Eleonora was childless, but he had several children by his mistress Hedvig Taube.[1]

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