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King Karl XIV Johan
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    (January 26, 1763-March 8, 1844)
    Born in Pau, France
    Birth name was Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte
    Fought in the Napoleonic Wars
    Named Marshall of France (1804)
    Elected heir to the Swedish throne (1810)
    Served as regent (1810-18)
    King of Sweden and Norway (1818-44)
    Known in English as King Charles XIV John
    He was stripped of his command after disobeying Napoleon's orders and retreating during the Battle of Wagram (July 6, 1809).
    He never learned to speak Swedish or Norwegian.
    He was actually only the eighth Karl to rule Sweden. (Two centuries earlier, Karl IX had taken his number based on a highly fictitious history of Sweden.)
    As a radical Jacobin during the French Revolution, he allegedly got a 'Death to Kings' tattoo.
    He rose from enlisted man to general during the French Revolution.
    He was chosen as heir to the Swedish throne because the Swedish army wanted a military man in charge, having recently lost Finland in a war with Russia.
    Despite his background, he was no puppet of France, joining the coalition against Napoleon after the French occupied Swedish Pomerania (1813).

Credit: C. Fishel

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