Charles XV of Sweden

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Charles XV & IV also Carl (Carl Ludvig Eugen); Swedish and Norwegian: Karl (3 May 1826 – 18 September 1872) was King of Sweden (Charles XV) and Norway (Charles IV) from 1859 until his death.

Though known as King Charles XV in Sweden, 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.[1]



He was born in Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, and dubbed Duke of Skåne at birth. He was the eldest son of King Oscar I and Josephine of Leuchtenberg. He was given his first officer's commission in 1841 by his grandfather, Charles XIV John. After his father's accession to the throne in 1844, he was made a chancellor of the universities of Uppsala and Lund, and in 1853 chancellor of Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. On February 11, 1846, he was made an honorary member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The Crown Prince was Viceroy of Norway briefly in 1856 and 1857. He became Regent on 25 September 1857, and king on the death of his father on 8 July 1859. As grandson of Augusta of Bavaria, he was a descendant of Gustav I of Sweden and Charles IX of Sweden, whose blood returned to the throne after being lost in 1818 when Charles XIII of Sweden died.

On 19 June 1850 he married in Stockholm Louise of the Netherlands, niece of William II of the Netherlands through her father and niece of William I of Prussia, German Emperor, through her mother. The couple were personally quite dissimilar; Princess Louise was in love with her husband, whereas he preferred other women. His well-known mistresses included the countess Josephine Sparre, Wilhelmine Schröder and the actresses Hanna Styrell and Elise Hwasser, the latter the most celebrated actress in Sweden during his reign, and the Crown Prince neglected his shy wife. On the other hand, his relationship to his only daughter, Louise, was warm and close.

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