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Sigrida Świętosława - The Story of Polish Princess Print E-mail
Written by Ewa Michałowska - Walkiewicz   
The History of Poles on the Old Continent has always been difficult and confused. This also refers to polish princess Świętosława, which British called ”The one who gave us English king”. Let us examine, therefore, the history of this colorful character.

Świętosława, was born between 960 and 972 AD and died after 1016 AD. She was daughter of Mieszko I and his wife Dobrawa. She was a sister of the first king of Poland, Bolesław Chrobry. Some historical sources call her Storråda.

Origin of Świętosława

Świętosława is a controversial character, jest postacią kontrowersyjną, which appears in different Nordic sagas, and also in English historical records. There are no informations about her childhood and education. Some sources tell us, that she was raised with her brothers, so most likely she had propensity to war and weapons.

Marriage with Eric

Between  980 a 984, her father, the ruler of Poland Mieszko I, gave Świętosława in marriage for Eric the Victorious, king of Sweden.  This marriage was only the political threat against Denmark. It also consolidated the authority of  Mieszko I in Western Pomerania. Świętosława, was soon obliged to change her name because, Swedes could not pronounce her Polish one. Her new name was Sigrida. Polish queen on the Swedish Throne quickly widowed, which took place in about 995 AD.

The Swedish-Danish Alliance

As quickly as Świętosława became widow,  she got married again. The Alliance of Sweden and Denmark was sealed by marriage of   Świętosława and king of  Denmark Svein Forkbeard, who had returned from exile. This marriage was concluded in 996. At least five children were born from this union including two following Danish kings: Harald II Svensson, Kanut II the Great and daughters Estrid and Świętosława.

Świętosława on exile

When Svein, banished his wife about the year 1002, she found shelter at her brother’s court, king of Poland Bolesław Chrobry. Svein in 1013 became the king of  England. After his death, sons of  Świętosława;  Harald and Kanut came to Poland to asking mother to return to Denmark. Świętosława, quickly agreed to the proposal.

Intrigues and death

Kanut in the year 1016, conquered England, and his mother accompanied him during his expedition.. Her further fate is unknown, maybe it is because she  was already dead.

Proud and self-confident

Storråda, was the nordic name of Świętosława. It means a person who is strong in words, proud and filled with self-confidence. Sigrida got that name after burning alive the king of Vestfold Harald Grenske, to warn other kings before offering her political marriage, devoided of feelings.

That Polish princess went down in history of several nations, as incredibly strong person, before whom men trembled.

Ewa Michałowska - Walkiewicz