Tyra of Denmark

Tyra of Denmark (Tyri Haraldsdatter, Thyri and Thyra) was a 10th-century Danish princess. She was the spouse of both King Olav I of Norway and of Styrbjörn Starke, crown prince of Sweden.[1]

Tyra was born to King Harald Bluetooth and his Swedish-born Queen Gyrid Olafsdottir. She was a sister of King Svein Forkbeard. She was first married to the Swedish prince and throne claimant Styrbjörn Starke (Styrbjörn the Strong), son of King Olof Björnsson. As such, she was a titular crown princess of Sweden. However Styrbjörn Starke died in the Battle of Fýrisvellir (c. 985) near Uppsala fighting with his uncle King Eric the Victorious for the throne of Sweden.[2][3]

According to Snorri Sturluson, she was next betrothed to the Wendish king Burislav, as part of a Danish-Wendic peace agreement negotiated by King Svein Forkbeard. As part of the agreement, Svein married Gunhild of Wenden who was the sister of Burislav. However, after her hunger strike, Burislav sent her back to Denmark.

She subsequently arranged to have herself married to Olaf Tryggvason, King of Norway, to the displeasure of her brother Svein. When Olaf married her, Svein refused to pay her promised dowry. Olaf subsequently set out for Wendland to seek allies for a war on Denmark. On the way Olaf was ambushed by Svein and an alliance which included Olof Skötkonung, King of Sweden, and Eirik Hákonarson, Jarl of Lade. The resulting Battle of Svolder ended in the death of the Norwegian king (c. 1000). According to legend, Queen Tyra subsequently committed suicide by starvation after receiving news of her husband's death at the battle.[4]


  1. "Tyra Haraldsdatter". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  2. Claus Krag. "Tyra Haraldsdatter, Dronning". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  3. "Styrbjörn Starke". tacitus.nu. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  4. Claus Krag. "Olav 1 Tryggvason, Konge". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved May 25, 2016.

Other sources

  • Alf Henrikson: Dansk historia (Danish history) (1989) (in Swedish)
  • Sven Rosborn: När hände vad i Nordens historia (When did what happen in the history of the Nordic countries) (1997) (in Swedish)
  • Åke Ohlmarks: FornNordiskt Lexikon (Ancient Nordic dictionary) (1994) (in Swedish)
Tyra of Denmark
Born: Unknown Died: 1000
Preceded by
Gunnhild, Mother of Kings
Queen Consort of Norway
Succeeded by
Sigrid Storråda
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