Born in 1767, Marie Sophie Frederikke of Hesse-Cassel married Frederik VI of Denmark and Norway in 1790. She was the daughter of Landgrave Carl, a German family with close links the royal families of both Denmark and England. Little else is known about her and as so many women of her time she remains an adjunct to her husband's history.
The marriage took place despite objections from the government and the royal advisers. They had eight children but only two daughters survived, and therefore, King Frederic was eventually succeeded by his cousin.
Marie Sophie led a quiet life, remaining frail after delivering eight children. She acted as regent in 1814-1815 while her husband played a part in the Congress of Vienna where Europe’s new boundaries were drawn after the Napoléonic Wars. The Royal couple could often be seen with the two Princesses Caroline and Wilhelmine as they sailed on the canals of Frederiksberg Garden, increasing the popularity of the Royal family with the Danish people as they were seen to become symbols of urban bourgeois family life.
When the Prince Regent, Crown Prince Frederik, came of age he staged a coup at his first meeting of council, dissolving cabinet and appointing four new ministers. He abolished serfdom and the slave trade in the Danish West Indies, greater tolerance of Jews all before he became King. He started his reign with all the zeal of a political reformer.
Although he had ruled as regent from 1784, when his father had major psychological problems including suspected schizophrenia, he did not reign in his own right until 1808. Even though Frederik was a reformist, he created a new law of censorship following his disappointment at being passed over to the throne of Sweden in 1810. He was autocratic and Denmark was reduced to a small state and forced to fall in line with the wishes of the larger powers. In 1807 Denmark had abandoned its policy of neutrality and entered into an alliance with France during the Napoléonic wars and by 1814 Denmark was bankrupt and forced to cede Norway to Sweden. Frederik ruled until 1839. Marie Sophie died in 1852.
The Rose- Königin von Dänemark
Syn. Queen of Denmark, Reine de Dänemark, Naissance de Vénus
r.alba x unknown damask, possibly a seedling of Great Maidens Blush
This rose has a perfection of form which is unequalled and ranks high amongst many superbly beautiful old roses.
Dark blue green foliage with elegant leaves surround blooms fully laden with double, bright rosy pink petals. The cupped, quartered blooms, which appear in great clusters, are so heavy they weight the canes down. The somewhat stubby carmine buds open to a flattish flower which pales as it ages. It is packed full of petals of a colour which is unequalled in any other old rose and also has an exquisite fragrance. It is a very thorny shrub with unequal red hooked thorns, shorter growing than most albas and sits well in the front of a border.
The dark blue green foliage, caused some controversy when it was introduced in 1826. It generated some heated argument between the creator Booth and a Professor Lehmann, director of the public gardens in Hamburg, who claimed that the rose had been released much earlier than the one claimed by Booth. As he was unable to prove his claim and Booth was able to disprove it, the rose remains attributed to Booth. That the raiser went to so much trouble to prove himself is a measure of how important he felt the rose was. History has proved him right as it is a rose which no self respecting rosarian should be without.
Koenigin is an alternative spelling of Königin