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The New International Encyclopædia/Margaret (Queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden)

MAR′GARET (1353-1412). Queen of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. She was the second daughter of Valdemar IV., King of Denmark, and the wife of Haakon VI., King of Norway, whom she married in 1363. On the death of her father without direct male heirs, the Danish nobles, after an interregnum, offered the crown in 1376 to Margaret and her husband in trust for their infant son Olaf. By the death of Haakon in 1380 Margaret became sole guardian of the young Prince, who died in 1387. Such was the skill with which she had conducted the Government during her sole regency that the estates of both kingdoms concurred in electing her as their joint sovereign. With the concurrence of her subjects, she nominated her grand-nephew, Eric of Pomerania, her successor; and although, owing to Eric's infancy at the time, and his subsequent incapacity, the real power rested in the hands of Margaret, she contented herself from that time with the title of “Margaret, by the grace of God, daughter of Valdemar, King of Denmark.” At the moment that Margaret was cementing the union of Norway and Denmark, the condition of affairs in Sweden opened the way for a further extension of her power. The Swedish King, Albert of Mecklenburg, had so thoroughly alienated the affections of his subjects that the nobles, declaring the throne vacant, offered to acknowledge Margaret as their ruler. The Queen lost no time in sending an army into Sweden to support her pretensions, and defeated the King's German troops at Falköping in 1389, where Albert fell into her hands. The King remained in prison till 1395, during which time Margaret continued the work of subjugating Sweden. In 1397 she effected the so-called Union of Kalmar, by which the crowns of the three Scandinavian kingdoms were henceforth to remain united. Eric, who was in his sixteenth year, was invested with the triple dignity. Margaret continued to exert great influence in the Government. She died toward the close of 1412, while she was attempting to bring about peace between Eric and the Duke of Holstein. Consult Otté, Scandinavian History (London, 1874).