viernes, 21 de agosto de 2015

August 21: Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a French Marshal, was elected Crown Prince of Sweden in 1810.

Portrait of Charles Jean Baptiste Bernadotte (1763-1844) after a Painting by Francois Joseph Kinson. The plebeian soldier made general by the anti-monarchy French Revolution, became later a traitor to Napoleon and his French Army, to finally being adopted as “King” by the Swedes. He initiated the current “Swedish dynasty” (and the saying “To play the Swede”)

Bernadotte was very popular in Sweden, due to the chivalry with which he had treated the Swedish prisoners during the late war with Denmark. The matter was decided by one of the Swedish couriers, Baron Karl Otto Mörner, who on his own initiative, offered the succession to the Swedish crown to Bernadotte, in 1810.

Marshal Bernadotte who became King Charles XIV John of Sweden in 1818. He did not use Bernadotte in Sweden but founded the royal dynasty there by that name. He was elected King of Sweden partly because a large part of the Swedish Army, in view of future complications with Russia, were in favour of electing a soldier, and partly because Bernadotte was also very popular in Sweden, owing to the kindness he had shown to the Swedish prisoners during the recent war with Denmark.

Charles XIII of Sweden was prematurely decrepit, and his heirs did not survive their rightful to succeed their father or not even a choosen Danish prince who also died that same year of 1810. Accordingly, Count Carl Otto Mörner took his own initiative and decided to travel to France and get a new foster child king, which in this case was the Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, military Marshal of Napoleon Bonaparte. The candidacy of Bernadotte was winning adepts among Swedish aristocracy and was finally elected as the new crown prince on August 21, 1810.

Karl XIV Johan, king of Sweden and Norway, painted by Fredric Westin.

Bernadotte communicated the offering of Mörner to Napoleon, who treated the whole thing as nonsense. Bernadotte informed Mörner that he would not reject the honor of being chosen for the Swedish throne. Although the Swedish government, amazed at the blatant actions of Mörner arrested him upon returning to Sweden. Nevertheless, the candidacy of Bernadotte was winning followers gradually, and on August 21, 1810, he was elected "Crown Prince".

King of Sweden and Norway. Equestrian in Stockholm depicting Charles XIV John.

Bernadotte took the name of Charles XIV John of Sweden and also of Norway when he himself defeated the Danes as the Commander-in-Chief of the Northern Army against Napoleonic Wars.

Statue in Norrköping erected in 1846.

Denmark-Norway was allied to Napoleon, whereas, Sweden was a member of the Sixth Coalition against France.The French-born Jean Baptiste Bernadotte ruled Sweden and Norway as King Charles XIV John, from 1818 to 1844.