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Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg

Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg
Portrait by Jakob Binck
Queen consort of Denmark and Norway
Tenure 1534–1559
Coronation 12 August 1537
Copenhagen Cathedral
Born (1511-07-09)9 July 1511
Lauenburg Castle, Germany
Died 7 October 1571(1571-10-07) (aged 60)
Burial Roskilde Cathedral
Spouse Christian III of Denmark
Issue Anne, Electress of Saxony
Frederick II
Magnus, King of Livonia
John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
Dorothea, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg
House House of Ascania
Father Magnus I of Saxe-Lauenburg
Mother Catherine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Religion Lutheranism

Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg (9 July 1511 – 7 October 1571), consort of Christian III from 1525 and Queen consort of Denmark and Norway. She was daughter of Duke Magnus I of Saxe-Lauenburg and Catherine, daughter of Henry IV, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Her sister Catherine was the first consort of Gustav I of Sweden.


Dorothea was raised in one of the first states in Germany were the reformation was proclaimed, and was affected from Lutheranism early in life. She was married to Christian on 29 October 1525 at Lauenburg Castle. They lived at their own courts in Haderslev and Törning. She became queen in 1533, though due to the Civil War (Count's Feud) that immediately followed her husband's accession to the throne, her coronation did not take place until 1537. In 1548, she accompanied her daughter Anna to her wedding in Saxony.

Queen Dorothea was interested in politics, and although it is unclear exactly how much influence she had, she is thought to have participated in appointing and dismissing officials. She was, however, prevented from taking a formal seat in the council. She never learned to speak Danish. Her control over her ladies-in-waiting was strict. In 1540, Birgitte Gøye was freed from her engagement with her assistance, which lead to a law banning arranged engagements of minors. She was widowed in 1559.

As a widow, she lived in Kolding, and she visited her children in Germany regularly once a year. She exerted a stern discipline over her children even after they had become adults, and her acts as a guardian to them were described as strict and intense. She often protected the younger children from their reigning brother, and favoured her younger son. She is thought to have been behind the fact that her oldest son married late in his reign. She opposed the match between the king and Anne of Hardenberg.

Queen dowager Dorothea fell in love with her brother-in-law and neighbor, Sønderborg Castle, where she spent the remainder of her life.


Christian and Dorothea had the following children:

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