Bootlet Katrine was probably the first ordinary member of the public to cause a stir in Denmark, as this was usually the province of the king and the nobility. Anne Katrine Benthagen, the illegitimate daughter of Prince George of Bayern, was born on 12th August 1745. As was the custom at that time when an aristocrat had got a woman into difficulties, he arranged for Katrine’s mother to be married to a soldier in his own army, for a price.
However, the prince recognised Katrine as his daughter, and she was put in the care of a colonel in Copenhagen. Here Katrine became the playmate of the colonel’s daughter. In the meantime, the husband of Katrine’s mother was wounded in combat, and settled down as a cobbler in Copenhagen.
On the death of Prince George, the payments for Katrine’s upkeep ended, and she was sent back to her mother. Her stepfather repaired boots for the town’s officers, which Katrine delivered, and she became known as “Bootlet Katrine” among the girls at the theatre, where she took up a position as a dancer.
Hereafter Bootlet Katrine fell into a life of depravity and became a notorious woman, living with one man after another, at one point becoming the mistress of the English ambassador, in whose circle she was known as My Lady, while still called Bootlet Katrine by her former friends.
When the ambassador was recalled to London, Katrine became the mistress of King Christian VII. It is well-known that Christian VII was mad, and the country was at that time ruled by the Queen Mother, Juliane Marie, and her minister, Ove Guldberg, but as Katrine was a calming influence on the king she was tolerated.
However, there was nothing calm about the activities of the king and Katrine when they enjoyed the Copenhagen nightlife together. Old scores had to be settled, and this did not happen quietly. Katrine saw an opportunity to become the king’s morganatic wife, but this made Guldberg and the Queen mother persuade the king to banish Katrine from Denmark. She was sent to Wandsbeck near Holsten in 1768, where she stayed for some years.
The king began a grand tour of Europe, and met the German reformer J. F. Struensee, who accompanied the king to Copenhagen, where he became the de facto ruler, but when it was discovered that he had fathered a child with the young queen Caroline Matilde he was executed.
After this, Katrine was allowed to return to Denmark, but she was not allowed to live in the capital for fear that the king would come under her influence, so in 1771 she took up residence in Sorø in a house provided by the king, until she married a fisherman and settled down with him on Lolland. Katrine now became the first private person to be mentioned in the budget, when she was allocated a yearly stipend from the state. She died aged 60 on 25th August 1805, a respected lady.
Tuesday - Saturday
Lunch 12.00 – 16.00
Evening 17.30 – 21.00
Open for parties subject to booking.