Saturday, September 27, 2014
Consort Profile: Queen Victoria of Baden
Queen Victoria of Baden was not the type of royal who would be merely symbolic or keep her opinions to herself. She was very definite about maintaining friendly relations with her native Germany, was very upset about the separation of Norway from Sweden and detested the rise of trade unions and socialism in Sweden. For Queen Victoria, elected politicians were people who simply had to be tolerated and she had very strong views about keeping the politically class at a distinct distance from the Royal Family. She was a strong, strict, ‘by the book’ type of lady who did not hesitate to have members of the Royal Guard placed under arrest if they failed to salute her. When, on an official visit to Germany, she was made colonel-in-chief of a Prussian regiment (the Prussian army being famous for its iron-discipline) many thought she had missed her true calling. This caused a further drop in her popularity in Sweden after the outbreak of World War I in which Sweden was neutral but during which time Queen Victoria left no doubt that she was definitely on ‘Team Central Powers’.
The changes that came to Sweden during and after the war were very much to her disappointment but, with the fall of Imperial Germany, she lost what influence she had previously had in state affairs. Her marriage had been to strengthen ties with a regime that no longer existed and her health, which had never been robust, began a steady decline. Her last official royal duty on behalf of the Swedish monarchy was a visit to Finland and she settled for the rest of her life in the Kingdom of Italy. She did make one final visit to Sweden but it was strictly private. Queen Victoria of Baden died in Rome on April 4, 1930 at the age of only 67. Her remains to moved to Sweden and she was buried in Riddarholm Church in Stockholm.