Sophie Magdalene became Queen of Denmark in 1730. She was the daughter of Margrave Christian Heinrich of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. In 1721 she was married to Prince Christian (VI). She was the mother of Frederik V.
The Royal Couple’s life together was harmonious but Sophie Magdalene was unpopular. She was accused of creating a certain closedness around the Court and the Royal Family. Her background in a religious environment, marked by Pietism, was a strong influence on the introduction of the subdued life at the Court. Later she was criticized for never having discarded of her Germanness, even though German culture and language were dominant at the Court before her time.
Sophie Magdalene was behind the making of a new Queen’s Crown, when she refused to wear the same one that the hated Queen Anna Sophie had worn. She established the collection of Crown Jewels when she bequeathed a large part of her jewellery for that purpose. She had the Palace of Hirschholm built, where she lived after being widowed in 1746.
Queen Sophie Magdalene’s lathe designed by Diderich de Thurah, 1735-36. Turning had traditionally been a men’s hobby. In the 18th century royal women and children also learned the art, probably encouraged by the artist Lorenz Spengler who was brought to court in 1743. The lathe symbolizes Sophie Magdalene’s belief that royal dignity demanded magnificience in both great and small matters.