'Świętosława' of Poland
Queen consort of Sweden
Queen consort of Denmark
SpouseEric the Victorious
Sweyn Forkbeard
IssueOlof Skötkonung
Canute the Great
Harald II of Denmark
FatherMieszko I of Poland

'Świętosława' is the name tentatively assigned to a Polish princess, the daughter of Mieszko I of Poland and sister of Boleslaw I of Poland. According to German chroniclers, this princess, whose name is not given, was married to first to Eric the Victorious of Sweden and then Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark, giving the former a son Olof and the latter sons Harald and Canute. The name retrospectively given her, Świętosława, derives from that of a likely daughter, under the assumption that this girl may have borne the same name as her mother.

The Icelandic sagas give her role as successive queen of these two monarchs to Sigrid the Haughty, daughter of Skagul Toste. This account is considered less reliable than the contemporary chroniclers by a number of scholars, according to Birgitta Fritz in Svenskt biografiskt lexikon,[1] and the historical authenticity of Sigrid is viewed skeptically. Snorre Sturlasson also mentions a Slavic princess he calls Gunhild of Wenden, daughter of king Burislav of the Wends, the ancient Slavs inhabiting the northern regions of modern Poland, and it has been suggested that Gunhild may be a somewhat confused account of the sister of the Polish king Boleslaw I, described by the chroniclers. Polish genealogist Rafał T. Prinke sees the German chroniclers as having combined the roles of two distinct wives of Sweyn Forkbeard, with the Polish princess actually being Gunhild, mother of Canute, Harold and a daughter Świętosława, while he sees Sigrid the Haughty as an authentic subsequent wife of Sweyn as widow of Eric the Victorious, being mother of Eric's son Olaf and of Sweyn's daughter Estrid. He further suggests that though Świętosława not the name of Sweyn's Polish wife, the name had a history in the family, that perhaps it was the name of the otherwise unknown wife of Miesko's father, Siemomysł.[2]

Contemporary sources[]

There is scant material in medieval chronicles to provide details regarding the marriages of Sweyn of Denmark and Eric of Sweden:



  1. ^ a b c d Birgitta Fritz (2004), "Sigrid Storråda", Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, 32
  2. ^ Rafał T. Prinke, "Identity of Mieszko I's Daughter and Her Scandinavian Relationships"(Roczniki Historyczne LXX (2004),[summary in German], Poznań – Warszawa 2004, ISBN 83-7063-429-X, pp. 81–110)