February 12, 2008

February 12 | King Adolf Frederick

May 14, 1710 - February 12, 1771: Age 60

The King (or Queen) of Sweden has never had much power. In ancient times, monarchs were elected, but their position largely ceremonial. With the advent of Christianity in the 11th century the monarch gained more power, and since the 1500s the monarchy became inherited, but King Adolf Frederick, who reigned from 1751 until his death, was still largely a figurehead. In fact he was elected from among a number of candidates, since the previous king had no direct legitimate heir.

By all accounts he was a nice man who loved family life, was kind to his servants, and made snuff boxes for a hobby. His other hoby was eating. In those days of unheated palaces people ate prodigiously, but even by the standards of the day Adolf Frederick's last meal was impressive: lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, kippers, and champagne, topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: buns served in a bowl of hot milk. He died that day of digestive troubles, and he is now known to posterity as the king who ate himself to death.

He's not the only one in this blog who ate himself to death: for the other, see November 11.
Source: Wikipedia

No comments: