House of Bernadotte

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For the village in Illinois, see Bernadotte, Illinois. For the Swedish diplomat, see Folke Bernadotte.
House of Bernadotte
Greater coat of arms of Sweden.svg
Country Sweden, Norway
Titles

"By the Grace of God King of the Swedes, the Goths and the Wends"

"By the Grace of God King of Norway"
Founded 1810
Founder Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte
Final ruler
Norway:
Oscar II
Current head
Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Deposition
Norway:
1905: dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden

The House of Bernadotte, the current royal house of Sweden, has reigned since 1818. Between 1818 and 1905, it was also the royal house of Norway. Its founder, Charles XIV John of Sweden (who was born Jean Bernadotte), was adopted by Charles XIII of Sweden, who belonged to the House of Holstein-Gottorp which was becoming extinct.

History of the Royal House[edit]

Following the Finnish War in 1809, Sweden lost possession of Finland, which had constituted the eastern half of the Swedish realm for centuries. Resentment towards King Gustav IV Adolf precipitated a coup d'état. Gustav Adolf was deposed and his uncle Charles XIII was elected King in his place. However, Charles XIII was 61 years old and prematurely senile. He was also childless; one child had been stillborn and another died after less than a week. It was apparent almost as soon as Charles XIII ascended the throne that the Swedish branch of the House of Holstein-Gottorp would die with him. In 1810 the Riksdag of the Estates, the Swedish parliament, elected a Danish prince, Prince Christian August of Augustenborg, as heir to the throne. He took the name Charles August, but died later that same year.

At this time, Emperor Napoleon I of France controlled much of continental Europe, and some of his client kingdoms were headed by his brothers. The Riksdag decided to choose a king whom Napoleon would approve. On 21 August 1810, the Riksdag elected Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a Marshal of France, as heir presumptive to the Swedish throne.

Jean Bernadotte, from 1818 King Charles XIV John of Sweden (1818–1844)

Bernadotte, born in the town of Pau, in the province of Béarn, France, had risen to the rank of general during the French Revolution. In 1798 he married Désirée Clary, whose sister was married to Joseph, Napoleon's elder brother. In 1804 Napoleon promoted Bernadotte to a Marshal of France. Napoleon also granted him the title "Prince of Pontecorvo".

As the Crown Prince of Sweden he assumed the name Charles John (Swedish: Karl Johan) and acted as regent for the remainder of Charles XIII's reign. In 1813, he broke with Napoleon and led Sweden into the anti-Napoleon alliance. When Norway was awarded to Sweden by the Treaty of Kiel, Norway resisted and declared independence, triggering a brief war between Sweden and Norway. The war ended when Bernadotte persuaded Norway to enter into a personal union with Sweden. Instead of being merely a Swedish province, Norway remained an independent kingdom, though sharing a common monarch and foreign policy. Bernadotte reigned as Charles XIV John of Sweden and Charles III John of Norway from 5 February 1818 until his death on 8 March 1844.

The House of Bernadotte reigned in both countries until the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905. Prince Carl of Denmark was then elected as King Haakon VII of Norway. Carl was a grandson of King Charles XV of Sweden, and a great-great-grandson of Charles XIV.

The coat of arms of the House of Bernadotte combines the coat of arms of the House of Vasa (heraldic right) and the coat of arms of Bernadotte as the Prince of Pontecorvo (heraldic left). It is visible as an inescutcheon in the Greater Coat of Arms of the Realm.

French origins[edit]

King Charles John's first known paternal ancestor was Joandou du Poey, who was a shepherd. He married Germaine de Bernadotte in 1615 in the southern French city of Pau and began using her surname. Through her the couple owned a building there called de Bernadotte.[1]

A grandson of theirs, Jean Bernadotte (1649–1698) was a weaver.[2]

Another Jean Bernadotte (1683–1760), his son, was a tailor.[3]

His son Henri Bernadotte (1711–1780), father of the future Swedish-Norwegian king, was a local prosecutor, from a family of weavers and artisans,[4] who had once been imprisoned for debt.[5][6] This is a modest family which occupies only one floor of the house in a cross street in a popular and peripheral district of Pau.[7]

Two branches of the French Bernadotte family survive. The elder descends from Andrew (André) Bernadotte, an older granduncle of Carl John's, with descendants today in the general population of France. The younger branch divided in two, one branch descending from the king's older brother John (Jean Évangéliste) Bernadotte (1754–1813), the heads of which were French barons as of 1810 with Louvie Palace south of Pau as their seat (branch extinct with the death of Baron Henry Bernadotte in 1966), and the other branch being the Swedish Royal House.[8]

Kings of Sweden[edit]

Swedish Royalty
House of Bernadotte
Bernadotte coa.svg
Charles XIV John
Children
   Oscar I
Oscar I
Children
   Charles XV
   Prince Gustaf, Duke of Uppland
   Oscar II
   Princess Eugenie
   Prince August, Duke of Dalarna
Charles XV
Children
   Lovisa, Queen of Denmark
   Prince Carl Oscar, Duke of Södermanland
Oscar II
Children
   Gustaf V
   Prince Oscar, Duke of Gotland
   Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland
   Prince Eugen, Duke of Närke
Grandchildren
   Margaretha, Princess Axel of Denmark
   Märtha, Crown Princess of Norway
   Astrid, Queen of Belgium
   Prince Carl, Duke of Östergötland
Gustaf V
Children
   Gustaf VI Adolf
   Prince Vilhelm, Duke of Södermanland
   Prince Erik, Duke of Västmanland
Grandchildren
   Prince Lennart, Duke of Småland
Gustaf VI Adolf
Children
   Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten
   Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland
   Ingrid, Queen of Denmark
   Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland
   Prince Carl Johan, Duke of Dalarna
Grandchildren
   Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler
   Birgitta, Princess Johann Georg of Hohenzollern
   Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld
   Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson
   Carl XVI Gustaf
Carl XVI Gustaf
Children
   Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergötland
   Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland
   Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland
Grandchildren
   Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland
   Princess Leonore, Duchess of Gotland

Kings of Norway[edit]

Entire royal house[edit]

The list excludes in-laws and has persons currently alive (2014) in italics, all listed primarily as Swedish royalty unless otherwise noted.

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Ätten Bernadotte : biografiska anteckningar, [Andra tillökade uppl.], Johannes Almén, C. & E. Gernandts förlag, Stockholm 1893, p. 1
  2. ^ (in French). geneanet.org http://gw.geneanet.org/eallain?lang=fr;pz=timothe;nz=billard;ocz=0;p=jean;n=bernadotte.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ (in French). geneanet.org http://gw.geneanet.org/eallain?lang=fr;pz=timothe;nz=billard;ocz=0;p=jean;n=bernadotte;oc=1.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Bernadotte : un général de Napoléon devenu du Roi de Suède" (in French). ndf.fr. 
  5. ^ Bulletin du Musée Bernadotte volume 3-4, Pau 1958–1959, p. 57
  6. ^ "Le fabuleux destin de Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte : de Pau à Marseille" (in French). lefrancofil.com. 
  7. ^ "Victoria de Suède sur les pas de son aïeul" (in French). larepubliquedespyrenees.fr. 
  8. ^ Bulletin du Musée Bernadotte charts on ancestry
  • Jean-Marc Olivier, "Bernadotte Revisited, or The Complexity of a Long Reign (1810–1844)", in Nordic Historical Review, number 2, October 2006, pp. 127–137.

External links[edit]

House of Bernadotte
Preceded by
House of Oldenburg
(Holstein-Gottorp branch)
Ruling House of the Kingdom of Sweden
1818–present
Incumbent
Ruling House of the Kingdom of Norway
1818–1905
Succeeded by
House of Oldenburg
(Glücksburg branch)