Following the Finnish War in 1809 Sweden suffered the traumatic loss of Finland, which had constituted the eastern half of the Swedish realm. The agony and resentment towards King Gustav IV Adolf precipitated a coup d'état and Gustav Adolf's uncle, the childless Charles XIII replaced him. This was merely a temporary solution and in 1810 the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates chose the Marshal of France, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte as heir apparent to the Swedish throne.
Bernadotte, who was born in the town of Pau, in the province of Béarn, France, had through the tumultuous French Revolution risen to become not only one of Napoleon's generals, but also a Marshal of France and Prince of Ponte Corvo, a town in northern Italy. As the Crown Prince of Sweden he assumed the name Charles (Karl Johan), acted officially as regent for the remainder of Charles XIII's reign and secured a union between Sweden and Norway in 1814. Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte reigned as King Charles XIV of Sweden and Carl III Johan of Norway from February 5, 1818 until his death on March 8, 1844.
The coat of arms of the House of Bernadotte combines the coat of arms of the House of Vasa, (left, with the hint of a French-like tricolour in the background) and the coat of arms of Bernadotte as the Prince of Ponte Corvo (right). It is visible as an inescutcheon in the Greater Coats of Arms of the Realm.
Preceded by the:|
House of Palatinate
|List of Swedish monarchs
List of Norwegian monarchs