Among my contributions to the coverage of the Swedish royal wedding in the Norwegian media is an article today in Aftenposten, Norway’s largest newspaper, titled “Victoria’s heritage” (external link), which deals with the development of the Swedish monarchy during the past two centuries or so.
As mentioned on several occasions before the Bernadottes celebrate the bicentenary of their arrival in Sweden this year. It was the Bernadottes who brought dynastic stability to Sweden – following the end of the Kalmar Union in 1523 four dynasties had sat on the throne of Sweden and it was quite rare for a king to be succeeded by a grown son on his death. Between 1718 and 1810 there were seven elections for monarch or crown prince and the years around 1800 saw three coup d’états, the assassination of one king and a marshal of the realm being lynched by a mob at a royal funeral.
The survival of the Bernadottes, the only remaining Napoleonic dynasty and long considered parvenus by other dynasties, has happened against most odds and in my article I chart the political and constitutional developments of the Swedish monarchy during the reign of the Bernadottes and take a closer look at some of the key events of its history – events which have led to the current powerless state of the King of Sweden, a situation which will be one of the challenges facing Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel in their future roles.
The photo shows the statue in Oslo of the founder of the Bernadotte dynasty, Carl XIV Johan, a few days ago.