Charles XV

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Charles XV & IV
(m. 1850; died 1871)
Carl Ludvig Eugen
FatherOscar I
MotherJosephine of Leuchtenberg
ReligionChurch of Sweden
SignatureCharles XV & IV's signature

Charles XV or Carl (Carl Ludvig Eugen;

King of Sweden and Norway, there often referred to as Charles IV, from 8 July 1859 until his death in 1872. Charles was the third Swedish monarch from the House of Bernadotte. He was the first one to be born in Sweden, and the first to be raised from birth in the Lutheran


An equestrian portrait of Charles XV, painted by Carl Fredrik Kiörboe, circa 1860
Statue of Charles XV in Stockholm
International Exposition (1867) in Paris, France

Early life

He was born in

Charles XIV John of Sweden. During his childhood he was placed in the care of the royal governess, Countess Christina Ulrika Taube.[1]
When he was just 15, he was given his first officer's commission in 1841 by his grandfather the king.

Crown Prince

The aging King Charles XIV John would suffer a stroke on his 81st birthday in 1844, dying little more than a month later. His successor would be his son, Charles's father Oscar, who ascended the throne as King Oscar I of Sweden. Upon his father's accession to the throne in 1844, the youth Charles was made a chancellor of the universities of

Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. On 11 February 1846, he was made an honorary member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.[2]

The Crown Prince was

Charles XIII of Sweden

On 19 June 1850, he married in Stockholm

Louise, was warm and close.[4]


Photograph of Charles XV in coronation robes

As Crown Prince, Charles's brusque manner had 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 municipal 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".

Princess Eugenie became the first woman who was declared mature.[5]

Though known as King Charles XV in Sweden (and also on contemporary Norwegian coins[6]), 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.[7]

Charles, like his father Oscar I, 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.[3] On behalf of Charles, Dirk de Graeff van Polsbroek, Dutch diplomat in Japan, concluded a "Vänskaps-, handels- och sjöfartstraktat" ("Friendship, Trade and Maritime Treaty") between Sweden-Norway and Japan on 11 November 1868 (see the Treaty of Yokohama). The treaty opened Hakodate, Yokohama, Nagasaki, Kobe and Osaka to trade for Swedish and Norwegian traders (Article 3). The treaty also gave Sweden-Norway the opportunity to send consuls to the newly opened ports, where they were given the right to exercise jurisdiction over Swedes and Norwegians (consular jurisdiction).[8] Charles died in Malmö on 18 September 1872.[9]

Coronation medal for Charles and Louise 1860

Charles XV attained some eminence as a painter[3] and as a poet. He was followed on the thrones of both Norway and Sweden by his brother Oscar II.

In 1872, Charles XV had controversial plans to enter a non-morganatic marriage with the Polish countess Maria Beatrix Krasińska through the assistance of Ohan Demirgian, plans that aroused opposition both in the Royal house and Government and which were interrupted only by his death.[10]

Charles's popularity often had him referred to colloquially as "Kron-Kalle" (Crown-Charlie).[11]


By his wife, Louise of the Netherlands, Charles had two children, a son who died in infancy and a daughter who married the King of Denmark. The early death of Charles's only legitimate son meant that he was succeeded on the thrones of Sweden and Norway by his younger brother Oscar II.

Name Birth Death Notes
Louise Josephine Eugenie 31 October 1851 21 March 1926 married, 1869,
Haakon VII of Norway
Carl Oscar Vilhelm Frederik 14 December 1852 13 March 1854 died in infancy of pneumonia.

Charles also sired an illegitimate son, Carl Johan Bolander, (4 February 1854 – 28 July 1903), the father of Bishop Nils Bolander,[12] and daughter, Ellen Svensson Hammar (28 October 1865 – 1931), and it has been widely rumored that Charles had many more extramarital children.[13]

A few weeks before Charles's death, his daughter Louise (then Crown Princess of Denmark) gave birth to her second son, Prince Carl of Denmark. In 1905, Prince Carl ascended to the throne of Norway with the regnal name Haakon VII, thus becoming Charles's successor in that country.[14]

No subsequent king of Sweden to this day is Charles's descendant. However, his descendants are on the thrones of Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium and Norway.


National decorations[15]
Foreign decorations[15]


Prince of Sweden and Norway,
Duke of Scania (1826–1844)

Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway,
Duke of Scania (1844–1859)

King Charles XV of Sweden
and Norway

Monogram of King Charles XV
of Sweden



  1. ^ Gustaf Elgenstierna, Den introducerade svenska adelns ättartavlor. 1925–36.
  2. ^ Lars Roar Langslet. "Karl 4, Konge (1826–1872)". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBain, Robert Nisbet (1911). "Charles XV.". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 5 (11th ed.). p. 932.
  4. ^ "Karl 4, Konge (1826–1872)". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Erik Opsahl. "Karl 4 – 1826–72". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  6. ^ Example
  7. ^ Article Karl in Nordisk familjebok
  8. ^ Sweden, Japan, and the Long Second World War: 1931–1945, by Pascal Lottaz, Ingemar Ottosson
  9. ^ Cronholm, Neander N. (1902). A History of Sweden from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. ch 41 pp 289–99
  10. ^ Ohan Demirgian, urn:sbl:17456, Svenskt biografiskt lexikon (art av Carl-Gustaf Thomasson.), hämtad 2014-12-13.
  11. ^ "Karl XV 1859–1872".
  12. SELIBR 7755088
  13. .
  14. ^ Ole Kristian Grimnes. "Haakon 7". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Sveriges och Norges Statskalender (in Swedish), 1872, p. 459, retrieved 2018-01-06 – via
  16. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1872) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1872 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1872] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in Danish). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. pp. 1, 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-09. Retrieved 1 May 2020 – via da:DIS Danmark.
  17. ^ "Liste des Membres de l'Ordre de Léopold", Almanach Royal Officiel (in French), 1850, p. 33 – via Archives de Bruxelles
  18. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Caballeros de la insigne orden del toisón de oro", Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1864, p. 155, retrieved 10 December 2019
  20. ^ Cibrario, Luigi (1869). Notizia storica del nobilissimo ordine supremo della santissima Annunziata. Sunto degli statuti, catalogo dei cavalieri (in Italian). Eredi Botta. p. 118. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  21. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für das Herzogthum Anhalt (1867), "Herzoglicher Haus-Orden Albrecht des Bären" p. 18
  22. ^ Bayern (1867). Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Königreichs Bayern: 1867. Landesamt. p. 8.
  23. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtums Sachsen-Altenburg (1869), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 21
  24. ^ Staat Hannover (1858). Hof- und Staatshandbuch für das Königreich Hannover: 1858. Berenberg. p. 70.
  25. ^ "Seccion IV: Ordenes del Imperio", Almanaque imperial para el año 1866 (in Spanish), 1866, p. 243, retrieved 29 April 2020
  26. ^ Staats- und Adreß-Handbuch des Herzogthums Nassau: 1859. Schellenberg. 1859. p. 7.
  27. ^ Liste der Ritter des Königlich Preußischen Hohen Ordens vom Schwarzen Adler (1851), "Von Seiner Majestät dem Könige Friedrich Wilhelm IV. ernannte Ritter" p. 23

External links

Karl XV/IV
Born: 3 May 1826 Died: 18 September 1872
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Sweden and Norway
Succeeded by
Oscar II
Swedish royalty
New creation Duke of Skåne
Title next held by
Gustav Adolf
Political offices
Preceded by
Prime Minister of Norway

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Prime Minister of Norway