Princess Dresses of 941
Empress Helga’s first Fashion Showing in Constantinople took place in 940 and showed off her new line of silk and silver Princess Dresses that were tailored in her fashion houses of Kiev. She had been designing and selling in the Hraes’ northern stores for many years and she felt it was time to expand into the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern markets.
The first Fashion Showings in Constantinople were so successful that showings were included for Hraes’ Stores from Baghdad to Paris and London the following year. Female managed Hraes’ Stores soon were outperforming male managed stores in both profits and popularity as fashion trends evolved and grew and silks and spices surpassed furs and slaves in sales.
The EMPRESS HELGA’S FASHION EMPORIUM section has been added to our website to illustrate how trade and commerce was quickly overtaking conquest and plunder in the Viking Age as the new millennia approached. The sale of furs and slaves and other commodities to the Eastern Roman Empire (Rome) and to the Caliphate of Baghdad as well as Cathay and India had generated enough wealth that traders and merchants in Scandinavia and Frankia began importing products into the northern lands from Constantinople and Baghdad. And this reverse trade also took place through the riverways of Russia. Prince Ivar (Igor) ‘the Boneless’ and his son Prince Svein (Sviatoslav) ‘the Brave’ and his grandson Prince Valdamar (Vladimir) ‘the Great’ grew wealthier and wealthier from this increased trade through their land of Hraes’ (Rus’ or Russia) and they worked hard to promote the culture of Rome in the northern lands from which they originally came and Princess Helga played a large part in the success.
Princess Helga (Olga) of Kiev started out as a Hraes’ Princess of Chernigov who married Prince Ivar of Kiev and ended up as Queen Helga when her husband regained his Kingdom of Denmark as King Harde Knute. Their motto together was Art is Life and Life is Art and they lived their lives both boldly and bravely and they took the Hraes’ Trading Company, founded decades earlier by King Hraegunar ‘Lothbrok’, to new heights of wealth and power, taking the fashions and makeup of Constantinople to Paris and the chivalry of Roman knights to Rouen in Normandy.
When King Ivar ‘the Boneless’ died of plague while campaigning in the east, Queen Helga carried on raising their son, Svein ‘the Brave’ and she even married the Emperor of Rome, Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos, becoming Empress Helga, while her son trained with the newly formed Varangian Guard in Constantinople. What Ivar ‘the Boneless’ and Queen Helga accomplished through trade, Svein ‘the Brave’ built up further through conquest until the Romans finally brought him to heel and forced him to return to the west as King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark. The Roman way of war and the wealth of the Hraes’ trade allowed Sweyn to fight a decades long war with England, which he finally won in 1014, becoming the first Danish ruler of both kingdoms. His son, Valdamar ‘the Great’, as Canute ‘the Great’, became the second ruler of the two kingdoms, incredibly, as king of England first and then King of Denmark.
But both Svein and Valdamar owed so much of their success to Empress Helga and the ground she broke for them, for they may have conquered England, but she conquered the heart of Constantinople. It was her love of everything Roman that allowed her grandson, Prince Valdamar, to marry the Roman Princess Anna Porphyrogennetos (born of the purple bloodline), and allowed his offspring to rule Rus’ as the Czars (Caesars) of Russia, and their Rurikid line exists in Russia to this very day.
The Varangians Series:
Book Three, “The Saga of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Hraerikson,” reveals how Ivar the Boneless Ragnarson was actually Prince Eyfur/Ivar (Igor in Slavic) Hraerikson of Kiev and then King Harde Knute of Denmark. By comparing a twenty year lacuna in the reign of Prince Igor in the Russian Chronicles with a coinciding twenty year appearance of a King Harde Knute (Hard Knot) of Denmark in European Chronicles, Prince Ivar’s ‘death by sprung trees’, which reportedly tore his legs off, may have rather just left him a boneless and very angry young king. Loyal Danes claimed, “It was a hard knot indeed that sprung those trees,” but his conquered English subjects, not being quite as polite, just called him, “Ivar the Boneless”
Book Four, “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson,” demonstrates how Prince Svein ‘the Old’ (Slavic: Sviatoslav ‘the Brave’) of Kiev later moved to Norway and fought to become King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark. But before being forced out of Russia, he sated his battle lust by crushing the Khazars and attacking the great great grandfather of Vlad the Impaler in a bloody campaign into the Heart of Darkness of Wallachia against the Army of the Impalers and their 666 salute. The campaign was so mortifying that the fifteen thousand pounds of gold that the Emperor of Constantinople paid him to attack them seemed not nearly enough, so Prince Svein attacked the Eastern Roman Empire itself. He came so close to defeating the greatest empire in the world, that later Danish Christian Kings would call his saga, and the sagas of his kin, “The Lying Sagas of Denmark” and set out to destroy them.