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Estrid Svendsdatter (Estrith, Astrith) , born before 1010, died after 1057, was a Danish princess, daughter of Sweyn Forkbeard and Sigrid StorrĂ¥da and sister of Cnut the Great. By Ulf Jarl[1], she was the mother of Sweyn II of Denmark (Svend Estridsen), and Beorn Estrithson[2]. The dynasty that ruled Denmark in 1047-1412 was named after her. She was known in Denmark as Dronning Estrid, (Queen Estrid), despite the fact thst she was neither married to a King nor a queen regnant.


Estrid was born before 1010. In 1014, her father died. She was reportedly married briefly to an unnamed Russian Prince, who died following the Russian war after the death of grand prince Vladmir in 1015. After her brother's elevation to the throne of England, he made an agreement with Duke Richard of Normandie that Estrid was to marry Richard's son Robert. It is not known wether this marriage ever took place. Ralph Glaber in his Historiarum libri quinque[3][4] reported that an unnamed sister of Cnut married Robert I, Duke of Normandy, but Adam of Bremen reports a marriage of Estrid (calling her Margaret) to Richard II of Normandy, indicating that after he went to Jerusalem she married Ulf, yet although Richard never went to Jerusalem Robert did.[5]. Norman sources do not mention such a marriage for either duke, and historians have disagree whether it was a short-lived marriage, a betrothal, or a result of confusion.

Her brother Cnut then arranged a marriage for her with Ulf Jarl. In 1026, Ulf was killed by the order of Cnut. It is possible that the murder took place with her consent. She did not loose her brother's trust, and was granted large lands by him. She gave her son an education by the curch, made donations to the curch and is believed to have founded the first curch made of stone in Denmark. She supported her sons's struggle to gain dominance over Denmark. In 1047, her son became king in Denmark due to his descendance from his mother. He thereby took the name Sven Estridssen, which means "Sweyn, Son of Estrid", and his dynasty was named after her. Estrid herself was granted the honorary title of Queen and became known as "Queen Estrid", despite the fact that she was not a monarch nor the spouse of one.

The date of her death is unknown, but it can be no earlier than 1057, as Bishop William of Roskilde (in office 1057-73), officiated at her funeral.


  1. ^ King Cnut: Emperor of the North
  2. ^ Ann Williams, Alfred P. Smyth, D. P. Kirby, A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales (1991), p. 231.
  3. ^ M. K. Lawson, Cnut: England's Viking King (2004), p. 105.
  4. ^ CdB Guided Tours Roman and Norman Notes
  5. ^ Pauline Stafford, Queen Emma and Queen Edith (1997), p. 23; cf. p. 235.




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