Napoleon and King of Sweden
|King and Queen of Sweden (2010)|
|Desirée and Bernadotte|
Desirée and Napoleon in Corsica, |
Josephine and Napoleon in Paris.
Every year in December, the King of Sweden becomes a prominent figure in the world. He invites top brains of the world to a dinner at Stockholm's City Hall, after awarding them Nobel prizes. If you are a physicist, you must have thought of going there to meet him. Click here for the map of Stockholm.
Do you know where his ancestors came from? Did you know the story has something to with Napoleon Bonaparte?
Sweden was once a strong country, in control of Norway, Finland, and
Poland. Then the country became weak. Russia became strong, and
took over Finland and Poland. Denmark took over Norway.
- However, Napoleon had to go to Paris to attend a military school.
He made a rapid advancement in Paris, and was in a position to meet
glamorous ladies belonging to the French high society.
Napoleon fell deeply in love with one the those ladies in Paris. Her name was Josephine.
- Not hearing anything from Napoleon for many years in Corsica,
Desirée went to Paris to meet her fiance. Alas she saw
Napoleon's mind went away from her. He belonged to Lady Josephine.
Desirée's heart was thoroughly broken.
Princess and Prince in Sweden,
Queen and King.
- Noting that Desirée was available, Bernadotte asked her to
marry him in 1798. In 1810, they went to Stockholm became the crown
prince and crown princess.
With his military background, the prince was able to recover Norway from the Danish occupation. As for Finland, he decided not to fight against Russians. He witnessed how Napoleon's Russian expedition ended with a disaster.
- In 1818, he became the King of Sweden and Norway. His title was
Charles XIV John of Sweden and Norway. The union of Sweden and Norway
continued until 1905. Noway is now an independent country.
Desirée and Bernadotte had a son who became King Oscar I of Sweden and Norway. He married a girl named Josephine who was the eldest granddaughter of Napoleon's Josephine. Here is a photo of the couple.
In this portrait of the Swedish royal family, there are two laddies. One is Napoleon's Desirée, and the other is the granddaughter of Napoleon's Josephine. Indeed, the present royal family consists of the two women very close to Napoleon.
- As you know, the Nobel prize was established in 1895. While the
prizes are given in Stockholm, the peace prize is given in Oslo.
Norway at that time was under Swedish domination, and the Swedish
royal family, the House of Bernadotte, wanted to be nice to
- The present royal family is still the House of Bernadotte.
The present King is called Carl XVI Gustaf. He has one son and two
daughters. According to the Swedish constitution, the first-born
child should inherit the throne. Thus, their daughter Victoria
will be the next monarch of Sweden. In addition to Victoria, she
has many other first names. One of them is Desirée.
If you are an ambitious young physicist, you should be prepared to receive a prize from her. You might study the geography of Stockholm in preparation for you future trip. Click here.
- How do I know all these? I was in Stockholm in June of 2010. While I was there, the Crown Princess was getting married. Everybody there was talking about her and her family. I listened carefully because I am interested in history.
How to recover those lost territories? This was the problem for the Swedish king. To make things worse, the king did not have a son who would inherit his throne.
After a careful study, the Swedish royal family decided to adopt a son with military background, and they invited Napoleon's general named Jean Baptiste Bernadotte.
Before departing to Stockholm in 1810, Bernadotte was married to a French woman named Desirée Clary. However, they seldom lived together because the general always had to go to battle fields. Thus, Bernadotte had to ask Desirée whether she would go with him.
Like Napoleon Bonaparte, Desirée was born in Corsica. Her father was a silk trader and a well-to-do businessman. Did she meet Napoleon? Indeed, she was Napoleon's first love. They were engaged to marry.