Portrait of Adolph Frederick (1710-1771), King of Sweden. Found in the collection of Nationalmuseum Stockholm. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images).
Lavish banquets were commonplace for European royals. But no one enjoyed it quite as much as King Adolf Frederick of Sweden.
Fredrick’s life was overall uneventful and not publicized. His death, however was another story. It all started during the fettisdag, also known as Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is observed immediately prior Lent and is generally celebrated with extravagant parties and gorging on excessive feasts (for the royals, anyways).
King Adolf Frederick of Sweden’s rise to the throne
Frederick ascended the throne in a rather unorthodox way. His aunt, Empress Elizabeth of Russia, was hot off a victory during the Russo-Swedish War. She agreed to place much of Finland under Swedish rule along with a few other concessions on the condition that her nephew, Adolf Frederick, was to succeed the throne. This was after King Frederick I of Sweden died.
Though he was technically king, he was essentially just a figurehead. The parliament had more authority and powers than he had, he was didn’t have to make an important, kingly decisions.
Death by cream-filled buns
In line with his unconventional life, the way he left this world was also pretty out of the ordinary. It appears that he had overeaten during the fettisdag, which then resulted in complications with his digestive tract.
His last meal consisted of foods rich in fat and carbohydrates. He ate some lobsters along with a caviar, fish, and sauerkraut among other dishes. He also drank a lot of champagne. However, it was semla that possibly caused him his life. King Adolf Frederick ate 14 servings of this cream-filled bun.
At the time, this particular dish was only served on special occasions and it is possible that the royal was ceasing the moment by binge eating them. The sweet buns would ultimately do him in.