Princess Leonora Christina was the daughter of Christian IV and Kirsten Munk. In 1636 she was married to Corfitz Ulfeldt.
Leonora Christina was a favourite of Christian IV but, soon after his death in 1648, she and Corfitz Ulfeldt came into conflict with Frederik III and, not least, with Queen Sophie Amalie. The couple fled to Sweden in 1651 and took part in conspiracies against the Danish government. In 1659 they had to flee from Sweden to Denmark, and in 1660 they were held captive at Hammershus Castle, Bornholm. Frederik III had them released the year after but when Ulfeldt was charged with high treason in 1663, Leonora Christina was arrested in England and handed over to Denmark. Until the death of Sophie Amalie she was imprisoned in the Blue Tower at the Castle of Copenhagen. She spent the rest of her life in a foundation for nobleladies in Maribo, Lolland.
Leonora Christina was highly intelligent and a talented writer. Her autobiographical Memory of Woe (Jammers Minde), which was partly written during her imprisonment in the Blue Tower, is one of the great autobiographies of Danish literature.
Corfitz Ulfeldt married Christian IV’s daughter Leonora Christina in 1636. He became the governor of Copenhagen Castle in 1637, ‘rigshofmester’ (the highest standing civil servant) in 1643, and quickly became the privy council’s leading figure. His relationship with Christian IV soured towards the end of the king’s reign. The situation only got worse once Frederik III had ascended the throne, and in 1651 Ulfeldt fled together with Leonora Christina. He entered Swedish service and was one of the chief negotiators on the Swedish side in 1658, when Scania, Halland, and Blekinge were ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde. Ulfeldt was arrested by the Swedes in 1659, accused of treason. He and Leonora Christina succeeded in fleeing back to Denmark, where they were held captive at Hammershus castle until the king released them on strict conditions. Ulfeldt soon went abroad again; he offered the Danish throne to the Elector of Brandenburg, and in 1663 he was accused of high treason. A doll of Corfitz was ‘executed’ and a monument of infamy erected in Copenhagen. He died on the run in a boat on the Rhine.