Elisabeth von Eyben
- witness to a Royal drama

Elisabeth von Eyben lived 1736-1780 and witnessed dramatic events while working for the Danish Royal family. Elisabeth was employed at the Court as a personal maid for Queen Caroline Mathilde - who had an affair with the German doctor J.F.Struensee. He was the personal doctor for King Christian VII himself - but Struensee managed to get total control of the young and naive King and to position himself as actual leader of the Kingdom of Denmark.
After some years this became intolerable for both military and noble people to witness and in January 1772 it came to a major coup d'etat which was followed by a trial that convicted Struensee to a violent death.

Elisabeth was very close to the Queen, who had opened her young and lonely heart to her maid and told about her feelings towards the King - and towards the German doctor. Elisabeth's testimonial later became an important part of the trial and would probably have ensured a conviction of Struensee - if he had not already confessed everything while sitting in jail.


200 years later these events where the focus of a lecture in "Hofteateret", the Theather Museum in Copenhagen - the place where Caroline Mathilde and Struensee danced their last dance together.
The music from this last dance was recreated for the first time and played in the very ballroom by three of Denmarks' finest classical musicians, Kim Sjøgren, Anders Öberg and Hans Gammeltoft-Hansen.
Listen to "The Last Dance"
by clicking the play-button (1:22 min)

The whole evening in Hofteateret was dedicated to the events in 1772. Professor, dr.jur. William Edler von Eyben - my father - described the events from a law point of view in front of 200 members of the Copenhagen Law Discussion Club.


Click here to listen to the questions to Elisabeth and her answers!

These audio clips are excerpts from a recording of the whole evening which is available on a double-set CD. You can get a copy of this material if you send me an e-mail.


Hofteateret now has established a website which is certainly worth a visit!

Denmarks Radio has broadcast a whole series on Struensee and on these pages you will find nore information about the historical events.