Sophie Amalie became Queen of Denmark in 1648. She was the daughter of Duke George of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and in 1643 she was married to Frederik (III). Sophie Amalie was the mother of Christian V.
In the first part of Frederik III’s reign and later during the reign of her son Christian V from 1670, Sophie Amalie had some influence on political decisions. In the early 1650’s, she was active in the power struggle with Corfitz Ulfeldt and Leonora Christina, who had become a humiliating threat to the position of the Royal Couple. Sophie Amalie probably took part in the decision to introduce the absolute monarchy. This happened while the popularity of the Royal Couple was at its highest after the Swedish siege of Copenhagen, 1658-1660.
Sophie Amalie loved hunting and, in spite of the dire financial situation of the Kingdom, she was the centre of a sumptous Court life, with exclusive luxury items and grand parties, which shed glory on the royal power. The palace Sophie Amalienborg was built between 1669 and 1673 where Amalienborg Palace is situated presently. She mostly lived there after she was widowed.
‘Throwing Coins’ from the Coronation of Frederik III in 1648
At the coronation on 23 November 1648 in Copenhagen, the king rode in a procession from the Church of Our Lady to Copenhagen Castle. He may have been seated in the exhibited saddle, which was, however, made for his elder brother’s wedding in 1634. The magnificent saddle can be seen in the same display case as the coins. Behind the king rode people who threw these specially minted ‘largesse’ coins to the rabble. At the same time the city’s fountains flowed with wine, and portions of roast ox were handed out — all ways in which the king displayed his wealth and his ability to provide for his people. The tradition of throwing coins to the rabble isn’t particularly Danish; it is known across Europe and stems from antiquity. There is no explanation for why the coins are square rather than round. For the anointing of Christian V in 1670 they were even triangular!