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Charlotte Stierneld

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Date of birth
Date of death 1825
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Biography

Christina Charlotta "Charlotte" Stierneld née Gyldenstolpe (1766-1825) was a Swedish courtier; överhovmästarinna (Mistress of the Robes) to the queen of Sweden, Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, from 1811 to 1818.

Born to count Nils Philip Gyldenstolpe and Jacquette Elisabet De Geer af Leufsta, she married diplomat baron Adolf Ludvig Stierneld in 1790. She had a long career at the royal court and served as hovfröken (maid of honour) to Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte prior to her marriage; deputy royal governess to the son of Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte, duke Charles Adolf of Värmland in 1798; statsfru (lady of the bedchamber) to the queen, Frederica of Baden, in 1800-1802; royal governess for the royal children in 1802-1807; hovmästarinna (deputy Mistress of the Robes) to the queen in 1807-1811, and finally överhovmästarinna (Mistress of the Robes) to the queen in 1811-1818.

During her tenure as maid of honour, she belonged to the favorites of duchess Charlotte and participated in the demonstration of Jeanna von Lantingshausen against the Union and Security Act of 1789. The duchess encouraged her marriage to one of the imprisoned opposition leaders, Adolf Ludvig Stierneld, who proposed to her from prison and successfully asked her to be the king for his pardon, which both she and duchess Charlotte did repeatedly with reference to his engagement. In 1790, he was released, though not because of their pleadings: they immediately married and retired from court.

She is known to be one of five women to have been a member of the Freemasons in Sweden during the 18th century: alongside Sophie von Fersen, Countess Ulrica Catharina Brahe and Hedda von Fersen, she was most likely inducted as a member of a Freemasonic adoption lodge for women at court in 1776, when Princess Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotte was initiated by her consort Duke Charles as Grand Mistress of the female lodge. In 1801, she was also inducted a member of the Yellow Rose (society) of Carl Adolf Boheman, described as a Masonic adoption lodge, alongside count Erik Ruuth, Charlotte Wahrendorff, count Magnus Fredrik Brahe, Catharina Ulrica Koskull and the mother of the queen: at this point, she was described as already a member of the Freemasons, which is interpreted to mean that she was among those women inducted in the 1776 ceremony.

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