Friday, 11 May 2018

On this date: Carl XIV Johan's Swedish coronation

200 years ago today, Carl XIV Johan was crowned King of Sweden in the Great Church in Stockholm. To the days thirty years before, he had been appointed Sergeant Major in the French army, the highest rank a non-noble could reach before the Revolution swept away noble privileges. It was said in the days of Napoléon that every soldier carried a marshal's baton in his knapsack. In Sergeant Major Bernadotte's knapsack there was not only a marshal's baton but also two royal crowns.
His Norwegian coronation took place in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 7 September 1818. You may read about his coronation and the crown jewels aquired on that occasion and how they reflect his unusual career in my book Norges krone - Kroninger, signinger og maktkamper fra sagatid til nåtid (2015).
The picture is a detail of Pehr Krafft the Younger's monumental coronation painting, which hangs in the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

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