Christina of Denmark, Queen of Sweden

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Christina Björnsdotter of Denmark (Danish: Kirstine Björnsdatter, Swedish: Kristina Björnsdotter) ; c. 1120/25 – 1170), was a Swedish queen consort in the 12th century, married to King Eric IX of Sweden and mother of King Canute I of Sweden.


According to the Knýtlinga saga, Christina was the daughter of Björn Haraldsen Ironside, son of the Danish prince Harald Kesja, and his consort, the Swedish princess Katarina Ingesdotter, daughter of King Inge I of Sweden. She was made fatherless in 1134, when her father Prince Björn was murdered by order of his uncle, King Eric II of Denmark.

Christina was married to her cousin, Eric the Saint, at the time throne claimant of Uppland, in 1149 or 1150. Six years later, her husband became king, and she became queen of Sweden; she was the queen of Sweden for four years, from 1156 to 1160.

Queen Christina became notable for her conflict with Varnhem Abbey, Västergötland. She was in dispute with the monks about the ownership to the land upon which the convent had been founded, as she considered it as an inheritance after her relative, lady Sigrid. She is claimed to have harassed the monks : legend accuse her of sending women into the convent to dance naked before the monks.[1] This forced the monks to leave the country and seek refuge in Denmark, where they founded Vitskøl Abbey (1158), a conflict for which the pope contemplated to have her excommunicated.

Queen Christina was widowed at the murder of the King outside the cathedral in Uppsala in 1160. According to legend, she fled with her son and her followers with the crowned head of her husband in her possession. She is believed to have spent the following years in Denmark.

In 1167, her son was made King as Canute I. Queen Dowager Christina is believed to have died in the beginning of her son King Canute's reign, in about the year of in 1170, but neither the date of her birth or death is completely confirmed.


  1. Canute I of Sweden, King of Sweden 1167–1196.
  2. Filip
  3. Katarina Eriksdotter, married to Nils Blake.
  4. Margareta Eriksdotter, married in 1185 Sverre I of Norway, died in 1202.



  1. Christer Öhman (Swedish): Helgon, bönder och krigare. Berättelser ur den svenska historien (Saints, farmers and warriors. Stories from the history of Sweden)


  • Nordisk familjebok
  • Åke Ohlmarks: Alla Sveriges drottningar (All the queens of Sweden) (Swedish)
  • Spåren av kungens män (Traces after the King's men). Maja Hagerman. ISBN 91-518-2927-4 Utgiven på förlaget Rabén Prisma, 1996 (Swedish)
  • Christer Öhman: "Helgon, bönder och krigare. Berättelser ur den svenska historien" (Saints, peasants and warriors. Stories from the Swedish history) (1994).
  • Nationalencyklopedin, Bokförlaget Bra Böcker AB, Höganäs (1992)


Christina of Denmark, Queen of Sweden
Born: 1120s Died: 1170
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Rikissa of Poland
Queen consort of Sweden
Succeeded by
Brigida Haraldsdotter