Charles John; Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte) , 1763 - 1844, king of Sweden and Norway (1818 - 44),
French Revolutionary general. Bernadotte rose from the ranks, served brilliantly under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian campaign (1796 - 97), was French ambassador at Vienna (1798), and was minister of war (1799). He had a prominent part in the victory of Austerlitz in 1805. Napoleon made him marshal of the empire (1804) and prince of Ponte Corvo (1806). However, his relations with the emperor were cool. While commanding in N Germany he negotiated with the Swedes, who were impressed by his generous conduct. In 1809, Gustavus IV of Sweden abdicated and was succeeded by his aged and childless uncle, Charles XIII.
In need of both a suitable successor to Charles and an alliance with Napoleon, Sweden turned to Bernadotte. After receiving the support of Napoleon and joining the Lutheran Church the marshal accepted. He was elected crown prince by the Riksdag and adopted (1810) by Charles XIII as Charles John. The infirmity of the old king and the dissensions in the council of state put the reins of government in the hands of the crown prince. He favored the acquisition of Norway from Denmark rather than the reconquest of Finland from Russia, and thus he threw in his lot with Russia and England against Napoleon and Denmark. His Swedish contingent played an important part in the defeat of Napoleon at the battle of Leipzig (1813), and in 1814, having marched his army into Denmark, he forced the Danes to cede Norway in the Treaty of Kiel. Norway, which had declared its independence, was subdued, and by a majority vote of the Norwegian Storting (1814) the country was united with Sweden under a single king. The Congress of Vienna confirmed the union but restored the town of Ponte Corvo to the pope. He succeeded to the throne in 1818 as Charles XIV. He maintained peace throughout his reign, which was marked by internal improvements, notably the completion of the Göta Canal and a reform of the school system. However, his increasing opposition to the liberals made him unpopular by the end of his reign. The founder of the present Swedish dynasty, he was succeeded by his son, Oscar I.
Desideria (Désirée Clary)
Desideria was the daughter to the merchant Francois Clary and Rose somis. 1794 Desideria got engaged with Napoleon Bonarparte. Two years later the engagement was broken by Napoleon and Desideria became fiance to general Duphot (Something which she later on denied!. Duphot got killed in a street fight and on the summer 1798 Désirée got married to Jean Baptiset Bernadotte. After a brilliant career (as well in the army as in the civilian life) Bernadotte was brought to Sweden to become king.
Désirée became crownprincess. In 1811, 9:th Jan. she arrived to Sweden, but as she disliked the cold weather in Sweden she soon returned to France.
She became queen of Sweden in 1818, ut she didn't go to Sweden until 1823. She was crowned 1829 and became a widow in 1844. She lived her last year of her life in a withdrawn and isolated way. Many times she stried to get back to Paris. In 1853 she came as far as Karlskrona, where she regretted her decision and went back to Stockholm. In 1860, 17:th of Dec. she died 83 years old at Stockholms Castle after a visit to the opera.
more info about Marshal Bernadotte, some things are the same as the first post...
Bernadotte, Marshal of the Empire (1804), and king of Sweden and Norway (1818-1844), existed well before Bonaparte. He was one of the generals who could claim to be a rival to the future Emperor. Lastly, he was the only one of Napoleon's close relations to obtain success strictly on his own. He is the ancestor of several monarchs today, not only in Sweden, but also in Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium and Denmark.
The son of a Pau tailor made an astonishing rise to power. At a young age, Bernadotte first enlisted in the royal armies and then in the revolutionary armies. General by 1794, he left the Army of the Rhine to lend his support to Bonaparte in Italy in 1797. He was asked to take the enemy flags to the Directory. After a brief mission as ambassador to Vienna, he became minister of War under the Directory, from July to September 1799.
Bernadotte would never be an unwavering Bonaparte supporter. He refused to take part in the 18-Brumaire coup d'état, and thus earned the reputation of being a radical Jacobin. As commander of the Army of the West, his name was linked to what was called the "butter pot" conspiracy (since the anti-Bonaparte leaflets circulated in these pots). Then he married Désirée Clary, Bonaparte's ex-fiancée, thus becoming brother-in-law to Joseph Bonaparte, married to Julie Clary since 1794.
Nonetheless, he was named marshal in 1804 and prince of Pontecorvo two years later, even though he played a minor role in major battles. During the two simultaneous battles at Auerstädt and Jena, he was apparently long in bringing up reinforcements. Napoleon did not hold this against him, probably because of the Emperor's past relationship with Désirée Clary.
While pursuing the remains of the Prussian army after the battle, Bernadotte made contacts with Swedes taken prisoner at Lübeck. This proved to be an important step, since on August 21, 1810, undoubtedly because of the relations he had formed with the prisoners, he was elected crown prince of Sweden by the Öretro States General. The Swedes hoped to have a ruler who would have Napoleon's approval. The Emperor did not support Bernadotte but did not oppose him either. The new prince himself "became" completely Swedish: he renounced Catholicism and took the affairs of the kingdom to heart.
Some wondered if he would become a traitor. In 1812, he drew closer to Russia and entered a coalition against France in 1813. His army beat Oudinot at Grossberen and Ney at Dennewitz. Though he may have coveted the French throne as it was said he did not obtain it; however the Treaty of Kiel on January 14, 1814 granted him the throne of Norway. On February 5, 1818, he took the name Charles XIV, King of Sweden and Norway. The dynasty he founded still reigns in Sweden.
After reading his story, I still don't get why Charles XIII wanted to hand his country and dynasty to another person who was completely unrelated to him. Why didn't he hand it to one of his relatives? Even the name of the dynasty had to change to Bernadotte. It looks like the old Charles XIII did that for the sake of the continuity of the Swedish Monachy rather than anything else. Don't think another monarch of his time would've done it. It was really a great sacrafice. What was the name of the dynasty before Bernadotte?
An interesting book on that king and esp. his wife is "Desirée" by Annemarie Selinko...
Whatever comes, she said, cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumpf to be one all the time when no one knows it. (F.Hogdson Burnett)
Desiree is a most compelling book.
It spans the life of a ordinary woman destined to effect the lives of two of the most influential men of the 19th century.
The story begins in Marseilles, when Desiree is but a teenage provincial girl. She then meets both Napoleon and Jean-Baptist Bernadot.
Napoleon as we know is destined to become Emperor of the French and rule most of Europe; Bernadot an officer in the army and a veteran of the revolution rises to an unexpected level!
That both these powerful men should fall in love with the same woman makes the book appealing to those who seek a good romantic novel.
Annemarie Selinko paints a detailed portrait of the Napoleonic times, the politics and intrigue that beset them.
For those who love historical drama I feel sure they will not be disappointed and will feel drawn into this highly enjoyable classic.
I thought we could use a thread like this to write about members of the Swedish Royal Family, or foreign royals connected to it, whom are no longer alive today. Instead of starting a new thread for all of them - why not gather them here, as we won't receive much news about them anyway...
You are all welcome to post request if you want to read about any particular royal, and I might find time to get something written.