Who was Charlotte Amalie?

Charlotte Amalie is the name of the capital of the US Virgin Islands, named after Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel. It ranks as the largest city in the Virgin Islands Archipelago, and is noteworthy for its Danish colonial architecture. The city, in addition to the islands, was purchased by the United States from Danish in 1917.

Early life

Charlotte Amalie was born in Kassel on April 27, 1650. She belonged to the house of Hesse-Kassel with her father William VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel and her mother Hedwig Sophia of Brandenburg. Charlotte Amalie received an excellent education in the disciplines of geography, philosophy, French and Italian. She grew up in a reformist family and her mother was politically inclined to Brandenburg.


Queen Sophie Amalie of Denmark chose Charlotte Amalie as the future wife of Crown Prince Christian. The queen wanted a daughter-in-law who could easily control. The crown prince met her in 1665 when he arrived in Hesse to meet her. Negotiations soon began mainly due to religious problems. In June 25, 1667, Charlotte Amalie was married to the prince who came to the throne in 1670 becoming Christian V, and became the queen of Denmark. He had eight children, including Fredrick IV who reigned as king of Denmark and Norway from 1699 to 1730.


As a queen, Charlotte Amalie is famous for several things. His refusal to convert to the Lutheran Church, for which her husband was the head, was met with some resistance. The queen did not adhere to the provisions of the Lutheran Church, but rather, she continued to observe the Reformed faith. He financed the construction of a reformed church in Copenhagen and acquired some rights for his fellow believers in Denmark. The Lutheran clergy opposed his coronation as a queen because of his faith. Charlotte Amalie did not have a cordial relationship with her mother-in-law, and their conflicts were mainly due to labeling issues.


When King Charles XII of Sweden organized an invasion of Zeeland in 1700, Queen Amalia was at the forefront of the Copenhagen defense. He spoke with the citizens of the city, effectively strengthening their determination and negotiating for their access to the canons. The queen organized the defense of the city, and as a result was praised as a heroine. Queen Charlotte Amalie was a skilful administrator of her properties, and settled in Charlottenborg’s palace, which she had purchased after her husband’s death. The villa was converted to the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 1754.

The city

Before the Danish West Indies, the city now known as Charlotte Amalie was called Taphus, which is Danish for breweries or the brewery since the city was home to many breweries. The city was renamed Amalienborg in 1691 which translates into English Charlotte Amalie in honor of the Queen of Denmark and Norway. The city was known as St. Thomas from 1921 to 1936, after which it was renamed Charlotte Amalie. The city is inhabited by an estimated population of 18.481 and enjoys a thriving tourism industry.

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