If anyone has some time to spare on Sunday I will be giving a lecture on Carl XIII, the first king of the Swedish-Norwegian union, at the Defence Museum at Akershus Fortress at 1 p.m. on Sunday (entrance is free).
Although his adopted son, the future Carl XIV Johan, was the architect of the union, Carl XIII became its first king 200 years ago this autumn. He has been overshadowed not only by Carl Johan, but also by his elder brother, Gustaf III, and his wife, the famous diarist Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta, but the story of Carl XIII is not without interest, not only for the many intrigues he was involved in, but also because his sheer existence, although physically and mentally weak, seems to have had rather significant consequences for Norway and the union.
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