The motto that Cristian VII he chose to crown himself king of Denmark and Norway was the following: “Gloria ex amore patriae” (Glory for love of the country). Despite the fact that he lived through the time of the Enlightenment and carried out various liberal reforms from absolutism, love for his country has to be nuanced.
He was always considered a weak monarch and relegated most of the decisions concerning the crown to third parties. Historians speculate on his possible schizophrenia, which would give an explanation to all the nonsense he did in beautiful Copenhagen.
Having a large number of advisers and counselors who decided for him, Cristian dedicated his days to satisfying his desires and vices. The marriage did not redirect the situation either. In 1766, at the age of 17, he married the Princess of Wales Carolina Matilde of Great Britain, sister of the king George III of the United Kingdom. Together they would have a son, Prince Federico, although from the beginning of the relationship Cristián was unfaithful to his wife.
Outside the palace, Cristian VII was dedicated to organizing all kinds of parties and orgies attended by the most prestigious prostitutes in the Danish capital. Among the many who attended his sprees, Anna Cathrine Benthagen was his favorite.
The monarch was not concerned that the fact that he had a mistress would come to light. He brought her with him to court, without fear that his wife might rebuke him. In this way, Anna Cathrine Benthagen shared Cristian’s monarchical facet when he went to court balls, and also accompanied him in orgies and in brothels. He became the trusted person of the Danish king.
His escapades were not only based on sex and infidelity. The monarch’s schizophrenia led him to be a criminal in the country that he himself ruled. As the writer Karl Shaw points out in 5 People Who Died During Sex: and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists (Three Rivers Press), the king used to beat his head against the palace walls until he bled.
He also met with his friends to perform all kinds of acts of vandalism, “occasionally vandalizing brothels.” His madness led him to have several altercations with the Copenhagen police.
Those nocturnal vandalism parties would come to an end and little by little the king disappeared from public life. His last years of life were dedicated to signing the documents presented by the Council. He died on March 13, 1808, at the age of 59.