- Charles XV of Sweden
Though known as King Charles XV in Sweden, he was actually the ninth Swedish king by that name, as his predecessor Charles IX (reigned 1604–1611) had adopted a numeral according to a fictitious history of Sweden.
He was born in Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, and dubbed Duke of Skåne at birth. He was the eldest son of King Oscar I and Josephine of Leuchtenberg. He was given his first officer's commission in 1841 by his grandfather, Charles XIV John. After his father's accession to the throne in 1844, he was made a chancellor of the universities of Uppsala and Lund, and in 1853 chancellor of Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. On February 11, 1846, he was made an honorary member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The Crown Prince was Viceroy of Norway briefly in 1856 and 1857. He became Regent on 25 September 1857, and king on the death of his father on 8 July 1859. As grandson of Augusta of Bavaria, he was a descendant of Gustav I of Sweden and Charles IX of Sweden, whose blood returned to the throne after being lost in 1818 when Charles XIII of Sweden died.
On 19 June 1850 he married in Stockholm Louise of the Netherlands, niece of William II of the Netherlands through her father and niece of William I of Prussia, German Emperor, through her mother. The couple were personally quite dissimilar; Princess Louise was in love with her husband, whereas he preferred other women. His well-known mistresses included the countess Josephine Sparre, Wilhelmine Schröder and the actresses Hanna Styrell and Elise Hwasser, the latter the most celebrated actress in Sweden during his reign, and the Crown Prince neglected his shy wife. On the other hand, his relationship to his only daughter, Louise, was warm and close.
As Crown Prince, Charles' brusque manner led many to regard his future accession with some apprehension, yet he proved to be one of the most popular of Scandinavian kings and a constitutional ruler in the best sense of the word. His reign was remarkable for its manifold and far-reaching reforms. Sweden's existing communal law (1862), ecclesiastical law (1863) and criminal law (1864) were enacted appropriately enough under the direction of a king whose motto was: Land skall med lag byggas - "With law shall the land be built". Charles also helped Louis De Geer to carry through his memorable reform of the Parliament of Sweden in 1866. He also declared the freedom of women by passing the law of legal majority for unmarried women in 1858 - his sister Princess Eugenie became the first woman who was declared mature.
Charles was an advocate of Scandinavianism and the political solidarity of the three northern kingdoms, and his friendship with Frederick VII of Denmark, it is said, led him to give half promises of help to Denmark on the eve of the war of 1864, which, in the circumstances, were perhaps misleading and unjustifiable. In view, however, of the unpreparedness of the Swedish army and the difficulties of the situation, Charles was forced to observe a strict neutrality. He died in Malmö on 18 September 1872.
Charles XV attained some eminence as a painter and as a poet. He was followed on both the thrones of Norway and Sweden by his brother Oscar II.
A few weeks before Charles' death, his daughter Louise (then the Crown Princess of Denmark) gave birth to her second son. The young Prince of Denmark became christened as grandfather Charles' namesake. In 1905 this grandson, Prince Carl of Denmark, ascended the throne of Norway, becoming thus his maternal grandfather's successor in that country, and assumed the reign name Haakon VII. The present king, Harald V of Norway, is Charles' great-great-grandson, through his father and mother.
No subsequent king of Sweden to this day is Charles' descendant. However, his descendants are or have been on the thrones of Denmark, Luxembourg, Greece, Belgium and Norway.
Name Birth Death Notes Louise Josephine Eugenie 31 October 1851 21 March 1926 married, 1869, Frederick VIII of Denmark; had issue Carl Oscar Vilhelm Frederik 14 December 1852 13 March 1854 died in infancy Carl Johan Bolander 4 February 1854 28 July 1903 father of Bishop Nils Bolander; had issue
16. Jean Bernadotte 8. Jean Henri Bernadotte 17. Marie du Pucheu 4. Charles XIV John of Sweden 18. Jean de Saint Vincent 9. Jeanne de Saint Vincent 19. Marie d'Abbadie de Sireix 2. Oscar I of Sweden 20. Joseph Clary 10. François Clary 21. Françoise Agnes Ammoric 5. Désirée Clary 22. Joseph Ignace Somis 11. Françoise Rose Somis 23. Catherine Rose Soucheiron 1. Charles XV of Sweden 24. François de Beauharnais, Marquess de La Ferté-Beauharnais 12. Alexandre, vicomte de Beauharnais 25. Marie Anne Henriette Françoise Pyvart de Chastulle 6. Eugène de Beauharnais 26. Joseph-Gaspard de Tascher de La Pagerie 13. Joséphine de Tascher de La Pagerie 27. Rose-Claire des Vergers de Sanois 3. Duchess Josephine of Leuchtenberg 28. Count Palatine Frederick Michael of Zweibrücken 14. Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria 29. Countess Palatine Maria Franziska of Sulzbach 7. Princess Augusta of Bavaria 30. Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hesse-Darmstadt 15. Princess Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt 31. Countess Marie Luise of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Heidesheim
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Karl XV/IVBorn: 3 May 1826 Died: 18 September 1872
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Regnal titles Preceded by
King of Sweden and Norway
Titles of nobility New title Duke of Skåne
VacantTitle next held byGustav Adolf Political offices Preceded by
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Swedish princes 1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generationWładysław IV Vasa, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania# · Prince Christopher# · Prince John Casimir# · John II Casimir Vasa, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania# · Prince Alexander Charles# · John Albert, Prince-Bishop of Warmia and Kraków# · Prince Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Opole# 4th generationPrince Sigismund Casimir# · Prince John Sigismund# · Charles XI 5th generation 6th generationAdolf Frederick* 7th generation 8th generation 9th generation 10th generation 11th generation 12th generation 13th generation 14th generation 15th generation*prince through adoption or election
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^lost his title due to an unequal marriage
#also prince of Poland and Lithuania
~also prince by marriage
Monarchs of Norway Fairhair dynasty · rival
rulers of other housesc. 870–985
1035–1319Harald I Fairhair · Eric Bloodaxe · Haakon I the Good · Harald II Greycloak · Haakon Sigurdsson 1 · Olaf I Tryggvason · Eiríkr Hákonarson 1 & Sveinn Hákonarson 1 & Hákon Eiríksson 1 · Sweyn Forkbeard · Olaf II the Saint · Hákon Eiríksson 1 · Canute the Great · Sveinn Álfífuson 1 · Magnus I the Good · Harald III Hardrada · Magnus II Haraldsson · Olaf III Kyrre · Haakon Magnusson & Magnus III Barefoot · Olaf Magnusson · Eystein I Magnusson · Sigurd I the Crusader · Magnus IV the Blind · Harald IV Gille · Sigurd the Noisy · Sigurd II Munn · Eystein II Haraldsson · Inge I Haraldsson the Hunchback · Haakon II Broadshoulder · Magnus Erlingsson · Sigurd Markusfostre · Olav the Unlucky · Eystein the Maiden · Sverre Sigurdsson · Jon Kuvlung · Sigurd Magnusson · Inge Magnusson · Haakon III Sverresson · Guttorm Sigurdsson · Inge II Bårdsson · Erling Stonewall · Philip Simonsson · Haakon IV Haakonsson · Haakon the Young · Magnus VI the Law-mender · Eric II Magnusson · Haakon V Magnusson
Bjelbo1319–1387 The Kalmar union1387–1448 Oldenburg1448–1814 Holstein-Gottorp
Monarchs of Sweden Munsöc.970–c.1060 Stenkilc.1060–c.1130
Sverker · Ericc.1130–1250 Bjelbo1250–1364 Mecklenburg1364–1389Albert Kalmar UnionItalics indicate
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Holstein-Gottorp1751–1818 Bernadottesince 1818
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