Sigrid the Haughty was one of three daughters who became queens of Viking kingdoms through arranged marriages. She became queen consort of Sweden during the 10th century after she married King Erik I Bluetooth who ruled from 958 to 994 AD.
Sigrid’s marriage to Eric made her a queen of two kingdoms – Denmark and Sweden!
Sigrid the Haughty was a powerful queen who ruled with an iron fist. She is described in Norse sagas as beautiful and having great charm, yet she was cruel and you couldn’t really trust her!
Fact 1 – She was Danish, Originally
According to Norse sagas, Sigrid the Haughty was born circa 920 AD in Denmark. As a child she spent time with her granduncle Harald Fairhair at his court in Norway. She probably became an influential figure there. Some scholars even believe that she married King Harald Fairhair when she was 14 years old, but this claim is disputed by others who argue that her marriage took place before or after Fairhair’s reign.
Fact 2 – She was called Haughty because she burned someone to death!
Yikes! So when Sigrid grew tired of all of these Kings proposing to her, she had one of them burned to death.
Harald Greske was a minor prince who didn’t have the status that Sigrid wanted. So when he came to visit, she locked him in a building along with another Russian prince who was too poor for Sigrid’s lifestyle. She set the building alight and stabbed anyone who tried to escape.
She hoped this would discourage other Kings from proposing. It did!
Face 3 – Her Husband Already Had A Wife
When Sigrid married King Erik II Bluetooth (958-984) of Denmark, he already had a wife named Tove who was daughter of Mieszko I – ruler of Poland and grandson of Boleslaaw I Chrobry – the first crowned Polish king. Instead of showing her unhappiness about this, Sigrid prayed for victory over the Saxons in a great battle. She wanted to be present when the enemies were defeated.
Fact 4 – She Made Her Stepsons Try To Kill Her Husband
Sigrid told her stepsons Sven and Erik to rebel against their father King Eric I Bluetooth, but he escaped and ran for his life. After escaping from his treacherous wife, Eric fled over the Baltic Sea to Slavic lands where he became ruler of several tribes that lived between the Oder and Elbe-Havel Rivers.
Fact 5 – She went into exile in Kiev
Sigrid went into exile at the court of Vladimir I – Grand Prince of Kiev (958-1015) who was also known as Volodymyr. She was a constant presence at his court until her death. He married her maybe as early as 977 AD , but the date of their marriage is disputed by different historians who argue that it took place in 980, 990 or even 1002 AD. When Vladimir I died he was succeeded by Prince Sviatopolk I (c980-1019), his eldest son by Sigrid.
Fact 6 – She came to Sweden when she was older
According to Norse sagas, in her later years Sigrid moved from Kiev to Sweden where she died probably around 1022 AD . She was buried in a mound raised over her grave on the Eastern side of Lake Mälaren at Uppsala. Her husband King Erik II Bluetooth had already been laid to rest there when he died in 994 AD .