Christina was six years old when she was elected queen, after her father King died in battle. As the father requested, Christina was educated as a boy until she ascended the throne at the age of 18. She grew up in masculine dress, she refused to marry and she didn’t want to became mother. Apart from her political expertise, Christina is known as one of the most intellectual women of her time.She was very smart, she had a great passion for theatre and ballet, she studied under renowned foreign intellectuals.
But the most curious aspect of Christina’s personality was her sexuality. Christina had a close relationship with her ladies-in-waiting, Countess Ebba Sparre… she used to call her “Belle.” She wrote all the time about Sparre’s beauty! When Christina left Sweden she wrote other love letters to the Countess, in which she told her that she would always love her.
Christina abdicated her throne in order to practice openly Catholicism. She went to Rome, where she continued to study as a guest of the Vatican. The entry into Rome was on horseback through the gate ‘Porta Flaminia’, (today better known as Porta del Popolo) which Bernini decorated it with Christina’s arms.
In St Peter’s basilica she received the sacrament from the pope himself. She was buried within the papal grottoes, in St. Peter’s Basilca, only few women had this privilege. If you would like to discover more about Christina look our Untold History tour “Vatican Museums in a gay light”