Vibeke Kruse was the mistress of Christian IV. The first part of Vibeke Kruse’s life is not known. She came into the service of Kirsten Munk, the second wife of Christian IV, and later of Kirsten Munk’s mother, Ellen Marsvin.
The long suffering relationship between Christian IV and Kirsten Munk was finally severed in 1629 when the King began a love affair with Vibeke Kruse. The relationship was arranged by Ellen Marsvin, who wanted to continue her own good relations with the King.
With the King, Vibeke Kruse had a son, Ulrik Christian Gyldenløve. She had a great influence on the King and he presented her with an estate in Holstein and a house in Copenhagen. At the death of Christian IV, Vibeke Kruse, who was sick at the time, was expelled from Rosenborg by Kirsten Munk’s son-in-law, Corfitz Ulfeldt. He also tried to initiate a court case against her; that did not succeed but she died a few months later.
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.