Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
Rosenborg Castle, København, Denmark
Caroline Amalie wasn’t very popular while she was married to King Christian VIII Of Denmark. And it perhaps wasn’t her fault. Her father was the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, which is today the northernmost of Germany’s 16 federal states. But in the 1840s, Denmark claimed ownership of Schleswig-Holstein – at the time a duchy ruled by Caroline Amalie’s brother. And people in Denmark suspected Caroline Amalie of conspiring with her brother against Danish interests. But despite the rumour, there’s nothing to suggest Caroline Amalie did any conspiring at all. So it’s only fair that today she’s remembered for her philanthropy and for using her privileged position to help those less fortunate, especially women. She founded poor houses in Copenhagen and Odense, and in 1836, she set up the Woman’s Care Association for sick women and children. Because of all her charity work, people in Denmark started called her ‘The Poor Children’s Mother’. And even after Christian VIII died in 1848, she carried on her good deeds, becoming protector of Denmark’s Women’s Charitable Society. She outlived her husband for thirty years and saw two kings come to power after him. By the time she died in 1881 at the age of 84, people had forgotten the rumours of conspiracy from forty years before, and she was remembered for the things that matter.