Cecilia johansdotter of sweden

Cecilia Johansdotter
Queen consort of Sweden
Tenure 1167–1190
Spouse Canute I of Sweden

Cecilia Johansdotter of Sweden, (fl. 1193), is the traditional name of the Queen consort of King Canute I of Sweden and mother of King Eric X of Sweden.


Despite the fact that she was queen for over twenty years, the queen consort of King Canute is one of the most unknown of Swedish queens. Neither her name, her parents or her birth and death years are confirmed. Some sources guess that she was the daughter of Prince John (Johan) Sverkersson of Sweden (d. 1150), son of King Sverker I of Sweden (d. 1156).[1] The name Cecilia is not confirmed. She was to have been married to Canute about the year 1160.[1] In 1167, seven years later, her husband became King and she was made Queen of Sweden.

There is only one story that truly mentions the queen in more detail. In 1190, the queen was taken ill. It was a grave illness, and people worried that she would die. To avoid death, the queen promised on her sick bed, that if God would spare her life, she would enter a convent after her recovery to show her gratitude. Eventually, she recovered from her sickness, but did not wish to become a nun, nor did her husband wish it. They sent an appeal to Pope Clement III in Rome to ask if she could be released from her promise and continue her marital obligations. The Pope answered that the queen should honour her promise to God, and Queen Cecilia was forced to abandon her throne and enter a convent. This letter is dated to 1193.[1] The year of her death is unknown.

Cecilia Blanka

Queen Cecilia Johansdotter is used as a character in a book by author Jan Guillou in 1998, where she was used to create the fictional queen, Cecilia Blanka.


She married, around 1160, Prince Canute Eriksson of Sweden (King, 1167). The marriage was dissolved when she was obliged to enter a convent in the 1190s (see above).


  • Jon Knutsson (slain November 1205 at Älgarås)
  • Knut Knutsson (slain November 1205 at Älgarås)
  • Joar Knutsson (slain November 1205 at Älgarås)
  • Eric X of Sweden, (d. 1216), King of Sweden 1208-1216.
  • Daughter, NN Knutsdotter (possibly Sigrid, or Karin), who is said to have married either jarl Knut Birgersson (and become mother of Magnus Broka), or married Magnus Broka himself (and with Magnus had a son Knut Magnusson, or, Knut Katarinason, claimant of Swedish throne; killed in 1251). Existence of this daughter is based on unclear mentions in old saga and chronicle material, and is to an extent accepted in research literature, to explicate Knut Magnusson's hereditary claim to the throne. This daughter was by necessity born in 1170s or 1180s. She is also proposed by old romantical-looking genealogies as mother of a duke's daughter, Cecilia Knutsdotter (by necessity born near 1208 at earliest), whose parentage however is fully shrouded in mists of history.


  • Åke Ohlmarks: Alla Sveriges drottningar (All the queens of Sweden) (Swedish)
  • Herman Lindvist: Historien om alla Sveriges drottningar (History of all the queens of Sweden) (Swedish) (2006)


Cecilia Johansdotter
Died: after 1193
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Christine Stigsdotter
Queen consort of Sweden
Succeeded by
Benedikte Ebbesdotter

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