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The consorts of 1952: Queen Louise of Sweden

When Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne, she had the support of the man she called her “strength and stay” in Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. In our special Jubilee series, we look at the other consorts of Europe in 1952.

Queen Louise of Sweden

An aunt of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Lady Louise Mountbatten would become the second wife of the Swedish Crown Prince, later King Gustaf VI Adolf.

Born Princess Louise of Battenburg, a daughter of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine and Prince Louis of Battenburg, Louise was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. During the First World War, her family was required to drop their German surnames and titles, and she became Lady Louise Mountbatten.

In 1923, the Crown Prince of Sweden travelled to the United Kingdom and began to court her (his first wife, Crown Princess Margareta, had been Louise’s mother’s cousin—Princess Margaret of Connaught—before her death of sepsis in 1920). She accepted his proposal and would become Crown Princess Louise of Sweden.

During her time as Crown Princess, Louise was effectively the first lady of Sweden as her mother-in-law had passed away. She lent her support to many charitable organisations like the Swedish Red Cross, children’s homes and hospitals, and arts and cultural organisations.

When her husband ascended to the Swedish throne, Louise used her position as queen consort to reform the court and highlight a more egalitarian society. She would do away with formal court presentations and replace them with ladies’ lunches, which allowed career women a chance to highlight their lives and work at the royal palace.

But most of all, Louise became an impassioned Swedish transplant and supported the country, its citizens, and its practices very vocally. She never fully believed that she should be held above anyone else, and routinely carried around a card on her person that read “I am the Queen of Sweden” in case she was ever hit by an automobile and needed people to identify her.

Queen Louise died on 7 March 1965 after a serious illness. Her husband, King Gustaf VI Adolf, passed away less than a decade later.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.