Sigrid the Haughty: Pagan in Blood and Queen of Consort

Posted by Ms Elly on

Sigrid the Haughty: Pagan in Blood and Queen of Consort

In Norse sagas, Sigrid was listed among the most powerful Viking women. She was a pagan in blood refusing to get baptised no matter what. She was beautiful but she was so proud of herself that she got the name "Haughty". 

Sigrid was born between 960 and 972 AD. Her parents were Mieszko I of Poland and Doubravka of Bohemia. From her younger years, she learnt of her royal family and high rank in society. 

Even though Sigrid was brought up inside a Christianity-dominated country, she decided to follow the ancient path - pagan. Sigrid worshipped Norse gods and believed in their high power. Instead of sitting there and waiting for the Judgement Day, Sigrid lived her life to the fullest by following the ancient path. 

According to the saga, Sigrid married twice: the first time with Eric the Victorious King of Sweden and the second time with Sweyn Forkbeard King of Denmark who was the son of Harald Bluetooth. 

As a widow of Eric the Victorious, Sigrid was the queen who held a great amount of fortune. Along with her beauty, many neighbouring rulers wanted to win her hand. One of them included Olaf Tryggvason a Viking Christian King of Norway who was up to cement his power. 

Heimskringla (famous saga about Viking kings) told that when Olaf of Nowary tried to propose Sigrid, he offered many valuable things to her. But there was only one condition he wanted Sigrid to fulfil - to get baptized. As mentioned, Sigrid was a pagan in blood and her answer was a solid "No". Olaf on his rage slapped Sigrid with his glove. Much to our surprise, Sigrid didn't counter-attack Olaf. Instead, she calmly said, "This may some day be thy death". And Sigrid managed to turn the "may" into the "will". 

Sigrid the Haughty and Olaf Tryggsvason

Sigrid the Haughty and Olaf Tryggvason when Olaf hit Sigrid with his glove.

Sigrid allied with Olaf's enemies, Sweyn Forkbeard who had been feuding with Olaf. The last straw was when sister of Sweyn fled a political marriage (arranged by Sweyn) to marry Olaf. Fueling with the hatred words of Sigrid, Sweyn declared war against Olaf resulting in the Battle of Svolder in which Olaf fell. 

But this second marriage of Sigrid quickly ended when Sweyn banished her. She travelled back to her homeland and aided her brother who was Bolesław I Chrobry.

When Sweyn died soon after his crown as the King of England, Sigrid's son took the power and asked his mother back for her advice. Then she once again left her homeland for Denmark. In 1016, Cnut the Great who was allegedly son of Sigrid and Sweyn conquered England. Sigrid came to England with her son and lived there perhaps until her last days. 

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