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Frederick VI was the last king of Denmark-Norway. During his reign a woman’s well preserved body was discovered in a peat bog, and Frederick claimed it was that of Queen Gunnhild. Frederick’s wikipedia article states:

After the discovery of the Haraldskær Woman in a peat bog in Jutland in the year 1835, Frederick VI ordered a royal interment in an elaborately carved sarcophagus for the Iron Age mummy, decreeing it to be the body of Queen Gunnhild. Later this identification proved incorrect, but the action suited his political agenda at the time.[17]

Unfortunately that source link is dead, and the magazine it linked to has only a short article on the bog body. Frederick’s entry in Britannica states:

Frederick, in 1834, set up four consultative provincial assemblies. This action marked the beginning of parliamentary life in Denmark.

Those assemblies were formed only a year before the body was found. Based on other biographies it sounds like the monarchy was in decline at the time of his reign. If the country was trending towards a parliamentary system, did Frederick claim the body was a queen in an attempt to strengthen the monarchy’s image? What were his political motivations for this claim?

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  • The Wiki article on Gunnhild has this explanation: "Because of the account of Gunnhild's murder contained in the Jomsviking Saga and other sources, the body was mistakenly identified as that of Gunnhild. Based upon the belief of her royal personage, King Frederick VI commanded an elaborate sarcophagus be carved to hold her body. " – Lars Bosteen May 4 '20 at 0:39
  • @LarsBosteen Why does Frederick's article make it sound like he had some other motivation, beyond "royal duties?" – user42241 May 4 '20 at 0:41
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    There's a biography of Frederick VI: Engberg, Jens: Den standhaftige tinsoldat : en biografi om Frederik 6(2009) but the pages which might elaborate on this aren't available for free viewing. – Lars Bosteen May 4 '20 at 1:11
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    @LarsBosteen Thanks I will search through that. I'm positive this answer can be found in a book once the libraries re-open! But for now I'll try to level up my google skills.. – user42241 May 4 '20 at 1:16
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    There's an article by Sanders 2009 in "Scandinavian Studies" behind a paywall. It says that the bog body and the idea that it might be the ancient queen became a news story before king Frederik VI did anything. So it may have been out of his hands. Also, with the absolute monarchy under heavy criticism and having lost Norway recently (20 years before), a Norwegian queen who came to Denmark for marriage (to bring the countries together) and was murdered by the Danish king must have been a political issue. And actually perhaps not in Frederik VI's favor. – 0range May 5 '20 at 15:50

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