Swedish Monarch. King of Sweden and Norway. Born the second son of King Adolph Frederick and Queen Louise Ulrica. In 1772, upon his brother's ascension to the throne, he assisted with the strike against the Riksdag and was created Duke of Sudermania (Södermanland). During the Russo-Swedish War of 1788 he served as admiral of the fleet, distinguishing himself at the battles of Hogland in 1788 and Eyland in 1789. In 1792, after the assassination of his brother, Gustav III, he became regent for his nephew, 13 year old King Gustav IV Adolph. When the king came of age in 1798 the regent retired. Gustav Adolph's unsuccessful policy during the Napoleonic Wars resulted in his deposition in March 1809, and Carl was easily persuaded to succeed. He had been generally suspected of complicity, or at least of advance knowledge of his charismatic brother's murder 17 years before. The prematurely aged Carl accepted a new constitution that limited the monarch's power, and he signed treaties with Denmark, France, and the momentous treaty ceding Finland, which had been almost half of his kingdom for over 600 years, to Russia. The Riksdag provided for the childless king's succession by naming as Crown Prince his distant Oldenburg cousin Duke Carl August, but that heir died in 1810. After this event and a new election, the king adopted one of French Emperor Napoleon I's marshals, Prince Jean Baptiste Jules (Bernadotte) of Ponte-Corvo, to succeed him, leaving the government in his hands. In 1814, a new Union of Sweden and Norway made Carl king of Norway as Carl II. In all, he ruled eight years in name only and upon his death he was succeeded by his adopted son Bernadotte who took the name King Carl XIV John. King Carl XIII has been considered one of Sweden's least admirable kings, which makes his monumental statue, in the middle of the big Royal Park of Stockholm, a bit of an anomaly.
Bio by: Count Demitz