Oscar II of Sweden

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King Oscar II
Image:King Oscar II of Sweden in uniform.png
Reign September 18 1872 - December 8 1907
Predecessor Charles XV
Successor Gustaf V
Spouse Sofia of Nassau
Issue Crown Prince Gustaf
Prince Oscar, Duke of Gotland
Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland
Prince Eugén, Duke of Närke
Royal House Bernadotte
Father Oscar I
Mother Josephine of Leuchtenberg
Born January 21, 1829
Died December 8, 1907
  Swedish Royalty
  House of Bernadotte

Charles XIV John
   Oscar I
Oscar I
   Charles XV
   Gustaf, Duke of Upland
   Oscar II
   Princess Eugenie
   August, Duke of Dalarna
Charles XV
   Lovisa, Queen of Denmark
   Carl Oscar, Duke of Södermanland
Oscar II
   Gustaf V
   Oscar, Duke of Gotland
   Eugén, Duke of Närke
   Carl, Duke of Västergötland
   Princess Margaretha
   Märtha, Crown Princess of Norway
   Astrid, Queen of Belgium
   Carl, Duke of Östergötland
Gustaf V
   Gustaf VI Adolf
   Wilhelm, Duke of Södermanland
   Erik, Duke of Västmanland
Gustaf VI Adolf
   Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten
   Sigvard, Duke of Uppland
   Ingrid, Queen of Denmark
   Bertil, Duke of Halland
   Carl Johan, Count af Wisborg
   Princess Margaretha
   Princess Birgitta
   Princess Désirée
   Princess Christina
   Carl XVI Gustaf
Carl XVI Gustaf
   Crown Princess Victoria
   Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland
   Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland

King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway, born Oscar Frederik in Stockholm on January 21, 1829, ruled Norway from 1872-1905 and Sweden from 1872 until his death on December 8, 1907. Third son of King Oscar I of Sweden and Josephine of Leuchtenberg, he was a descendant of Gustav I of Sweden through his mother and of Charles X of Sweden through his sister. He was also titularly the 2nd Duke of Galliera.


[edit] Early life

At his birth in Stockholm, Oscar Frederik was created Duke of Östergötland. He entered the navy at the age of eleven, and was appointed junior lieutenant in July 1845. Later he studied at Uppsala University, where he distinguished himself in mathematics. On June 6, 1857 he married Princess Sophia Wilhelmina, youngest daughter of Duke William of Nassau.

He succeeded his brother Charles XV, on September 18, 1872, and was crowned as king of Norway in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on July 18, 1873. At the accession he adopted as his motto Brödrafolkens väl ("The Welfare of the Brother Peoples"). While the King and the Royal Court resided mostly in Sweden, Oscar made the effort of learning to be fluent in Norwegian and from the very beginning he realized the essential difficulties in the maintenance of the union between the two countries. The political events which led up to the peaceful separation of Norway from Sweden in 1905 could hardly have been attained but for the tact and patience of the king himself. He declined, indeed, to permit any prince of his house to become king of Norway, but better relations between the two countries were restored before his death, which occurred at Stockholm on the December 8, 1907.

[edit] Politics

His acute intelligence and his aloofness from the dynastic considerations affecting most European sovereigns gave the king considerable weight as an arbitrator in international questions. At the request of the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States in 1889 he appointed the chief justice of Samoa, and he was again called in to arbitrate in Samoan affairs in 1899. In 1897 he was empowered to appoint a fifth arbitrator if necessary in the Venezuelan dispute, and he was called in to act as umpire in the Anglo-American arbitration treaty that was quashed by the United States Senate. He won many friends in England by his outspoken and generous support of Britain at the time of the Second Boer War (1899-1902), expressed in a declaration printed in The Times of the May 2, 1900, when continental opinion was almost universally hostile.

[edit] Science and arts

Image:Oscar II of Sweden.jpg
Portrait of Oscar II by Anders Zorn 1898

Himself a distinguished writer and musical amateur, King Oscar proved a generous friend of learning, and did much to encourage the development of education throughout his dominions. In 1858 a collection of his lyrical and narrative poems, Memorials of the Swedish Fleet, published anonymously, obtained the second prize of the Swedish Academy. His "Contributions to the Military History of Sweden in the Years 1711, 1712, 1713," originally appeared in the Annals of the Academy, and were printed separately in 1865. His works, which included his speeches, translations of Herder's Cid and Goethe's Torquato Tasso, and a play, Castle Cronberg, were collected in two volumes in 1875-1876, and a larger edition, in three volumes, appeared in 1885-1888. His Easter hymn and some other of his poems are familiar throughout the Scandinavian countries. His Memoirs of Charles XII of Sweden were translated into English in 1879. In 1881 he founded the World's first open-air museum at his summer residence near Christiania, now Oslo. In 1885 he published his Address to the Academy of Music, and a translation of one of his essays on music appeared in Literature in May of 1900. He had a valuable collection of printed and MS. music, which was readily accessible to the historical student of music.

[edit] Children

King Oscar II was married to Sophia of Nassau. Their children were:

  1. King Gustaf V (1858-1950)
  2. Prince Oscar, Duke of Gotland, later Count Oscar Bernadotte af Wisborg (1859-1953)
  3. Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland (1861-1951)
  4. Prince Eugén, Duke of Närke (1865-1947)

His eldest son, Oscar Gustaf Adolf, duke of Värmland, succeeded him as King Gustaf V of Sweden. His second son, Oscar, resigned his royal rights on his marriage in 1888 with a lady-in-waiting, Miss Ebba Munck, when he assumed the title of Prince Bernadotte and from 1892 he was known as Count Wisborg. The king's other sons were Charles, duke of Västergötland, who married Princess Ingeborg of Denmark; and Eugén, duke of Närke well known as an artist.

As King of Norway, he was after the events of 1905 succeeded by his great-nephew Prince Carl of Denmark, grandson of his late elder brother King Charles, who ascended the Norwegian throne in 1905 with reign name Haakon VII.

Harald V of Norway, the great-grandson of Oscar II (grandson of his third son duke of Västergötland), succeeded in 1991 to the throne of Norway once held by his great-grandfather, Oscar himself.

[edit] Trivia

The name and portrait of Oscar II has been used as a trademark for the King Oscar sardines as well as for gingerbread cookies (pepparkakor) and other bakery products made by Göteborgs Kex AB.

[edit] External links

Preceded by:
Charles XV
King of Sweden
Succeeded by:
Gustaf V
King of Norway
Succeeded by:
Haakon VII

[edit] References

da:Oscar 2. af Sverige de:Oskar II. (Schweden) et:Oskar II es:Óscar II eo:Oskaro la 2-a (Svedio) fr:Oscar II de Suède it:Oscar II di Svezia nl:Oscar II van Zweden ja:オスカル2世 (スウェーデン王) no:Oscar II nn:Oskar II av Sverige pl:Oskar II pt:Óscar II da Suécia fi:Oskar II sv:Oscar II

Oscar II of Sweden

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