A Swedish royal dynasty (1523 – 1818)

Garbo as Queen Christina with two male friends / ixozino.htw.pl

Garbo as Queen Christina with two male friends / ixozino.htw.pl

The Vasa dynasty provided monarchs for Sweden, with only two exceptions, from the beginning of the sixteenth century to just after the end of the Napoleonic Wars (q.v.). The Vasa were only minor royalty, but gained the throne with Gustav I. He it was who smashed the Danish-dominated Kalmar Union, and led Sweden through the Reformation.

Three of Gustav’s sons followed him as King – Erik XIV, John III and following deposition of John’s son Sigismund III Vasa – Charles IX. Charles’ son Gustav II Adolf became a famous soldier and statesman whose daughter Christina abdicated in 1654 in favour of her cousin Charles X Gustav. Christina was played by Greta Garbo in a Hollywood film made about the queen.

Charles son, another Charles (XI) managed to introduce absolute monarchy in the French style of that epoch, but the Swedes were having none of it, abolishing absolutism after the death of Charles XI’s childless son, who was yet another Charles (XII). This Charles’ sister Ulrika in turn abdicated, and thus produced a breach in the line witrh the accession of her husband Frederick I. His successor Adolf Frederick descended from Charles XI’s sister, but his son Gustav III had a good deal less of the Vasa blood in him. The Vasa Dynasty ended with Charles XIII, who weakly died without heirs of any kind.

The VASA Dynasty

1523 – 60 Gustav I

1560 – 69 Erik XIV

1569 – 92 John III

1592 – 1604 Sigismund

1604 – 11 Charles IX

1611 – 32 Gustav II Adolf

1632 – 54 Christina

1654 – 60 Charles X

1660 – 97 Charles XI

1697 – 1718 Charles XII

1718 – 20 Ulrika Eleanora

1720 – 51 Frederick

1551 – 71 Adolf Frederick

1771 – 92 Gustav III

1792 – 1809 Gustav IV Adolf

1809 – 1818 Charles XIII

The royal house of Sweden then became Frenchified, when the country invited Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, one of Bonaparte’s marshals to become King Charles XIV John. The present monarchs of Sweden belong to this dynasty, and those of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Belgium all descend from the marshal’s son Oscar I and his queen, Désirée Clary.

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