For the exhibition, simply entited “Images of Christina”, the curators have delved into the archives to retell the story of a princess who decided to wear trousers, go to Rome, abandon the Protestant faith, and ultimately, her throne.
The body of the Swedish queen was exhumed in 1965 in Rome to check if the woman in breaches was biologically female (she was), but as the museum has noted, the search for her true identity has been reborn due to academic discourse surrounding gender and queer perspectives.
The controversial 17th century royal has repulsed and beguiled historians for centuries, with questions of gender, power and religion all mixing together in her less than orthodox life.
“Few people have been so dicussed as her and the images of the Swedish 1600s queen are often contradictory,” the curators at the Livruskammaren museum in Stockholm noted in a statement issued ahead of the capital’s Pride Week.
Working in conjunction with the Vatican Library, the exhibition about Sweden’s “Queer Queen” includes many of her belongings, some more than a 1,000 years old. Documents pertaining to her decision to abdicate are also presented.