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Charles XV of Sweden
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Charles XV of Sweden

King Charles XV of Sweden, Charles IV of Norway, Carl Ludvig Eugén (May 3, 1826 - August 19, 1872), was the eldest son of King Oscar I of Sweden and Norway, and Josephine of Leuchtenberg. On June 19, 1851 he married Louise of Orange-Nassau, daughter of Prince Frederick of the Netherlands.

Karl XV
Carl IV
ReignJuly 8, 1859 - August 19, 1872
CoronationMay 3, 1860 in Sweden
August 5, 1860 in Norway
Royal motto "Land skall med lag byggas"
("Land is built by law")
QueenLouise of Orange-Nassau
Royal HouseBernadotte
PredecessorOscar I of Sweden and Norway
SuccessorOscar II of Sweden and Norway
Date of BirthMay 3, 1826
Place of BirthRoyal Palace in Stockholm
Date of DeathSeptember 18, 1872
Place of DeathMalmö
Place of BurialRiddarholmskyrkan, Stockholm

Created Duke of Scania at birth, the Crown Prince was Prime Minister of Norway briefly in 1856 and 1857. He became regent on September 25, 1857, and king on the death of his father on July 8, 1859. As Crown Prince, Charles's brusque and downright manners had led many to regard his future accession with some apprehension, yet he proved to be one of the most popular of Scandinavian kings and a constitutional ruler in the best sense of the word. His reign was remarkable for its manifold and far-reaching reforms. Sweden's existing communal law (1862), ecclesiastical law (1863) and criminal law (1864) were enacted appropriately enough under the direction of a king whose motto was: Land skall med lag byggas - "Land shall be built upon laws". Charles also materially assisted Louis de Geer to carry through his memorable reform of the Riksdag in 1866.

Charles was a warm advocate of Scandinavianism and the political solidarity of the three northern kingdoms, and his warm friendship for Frederick VII of Denmark, it is said, led him to give half promises of help to Denmark on the eve of the war of 1864, which, in the circumstances, were perhaps misleading and unjustifiable. In view, however, of the unpreparedness of the Swedish army and the difficulties of the situation, Charles was forced to observe a strict neutrality. He died at Malmö on September 18, 1872.

Charles XV was highly gifted in many directions. He attained to some eminence as a painter, and his "Dikter" show him to have been a true poet. He was followed on the throne by his brother Oscar II.

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.


  1. Princess Louise, later Queen of Denmark (1851-1926)
  2. Prince Carl Oscar, Duke of Sudermannia (1852-1854)

After the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian union in 1905, Louise's son Prince Carl of Denmark was elected king of Norway under the name Haakon VII.

Preceded by:
Oscar I
King of Sweden Succeeded by:
Oscar II
King of Norway