That's wonderful Clara
when are you coming here?
For Odette, the life and story of Gustav III
Gustav was the eldest son of Adolf Fredrik and Lovisa Ulrika, sister to Fredrik II of Prussia, known as Fredrik the Great, and Gustav himself was also the cousin of Catherine the Great of Russia.
He had two younger brothers, Fredrik Adolf (1750-1803) and Karl XIII (1748-1818) and one younger sister, Sofia Albertina (1753-1829). His brother Fredrik Adolf, was called the most beautiful prince in Europe, I doubt wed agree about that today though
his brother Karl XIII would eventually become king of Sweden and adoptive father of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, he had no children of his own, but had a very intelligent wife who wrote a famous diary about her life. His mother, Lovisa Ulrika, was a rather special woman, being a good friend of Carl von Linné, she was interested in science and biology. She suffered miscarriages, and saved the fosters in jars. She was described as a beautiful, intelligent woman, the only thing that wasnt beautiful was her ear. During a thunderstorm, her mother had slapped her and the ring got stuck in the childs earring, as a result, a piece of the ear was ripped off.
The brothers, by Roslin
In 1766, he felt obliged to marry the Danish princess Sofia Magdalena (1746-1813), a princess his mother never accepted. Gustav, being a promising an intelligent man, participated in politics early on, and in 1771 he went to France for negotiations. During that visit, his father, who had been appointed king of Sweden by the Russian empress, died on February 12th 1771 in the evening, after having had his dinner. His death is very famous, since its said that he died after having eaten to many semlor (traditional Swedish cookie the king loved). Count Johan Gabriel Oxenstierna wrote its not dying in the most gloryful way
Gustav was informed about his death in Paris, while watching an opera.
At this point, Swedish politics were chaotic. After the death of Karl XII, the land was exhausted, the glory days were over and the consequences of absolutism well known. Measures were taken so that no king would ever have that much power again, the nobility, who had lost a great deal of their power after the bloodbath in Linköping and the reduction, now grew stronger. Gustavs father had no real power, when he refused to approve of the decisions that had already been made, a stamp with him signature was made and used to give his approval.
I couldn't find the stamp, although it is preserved, but here's a sample of it
In 1756, his wife Lovisa Ulrika, planned a coup detat to restore their power, and even pawned the regalia. The coup however, was discovered in time.
In 1772, Gustav did the same, but this time, the coup was successful. He wished to rule as an enlighten king, and he did many good things; he banned torture, temporarily stopped the death penalty of which he was opposing, increased the religious freedom and allowed Jews to live in Sweden, and he was the first head of state to acknowledge USA as an independent nation.
His family life was tragic, after having been cold to his wife for years, he realised that he needed an heir. Not sure how to get one, he asked his good friend Munck for advice. After the pregnancy had been announced, rumours were spread that Munck was the father, Gustavs mother believed that too. Because of her cold and brutal behavior, she was forced to ask for forgivness in public, Sofia Magdalena vowed never to see her or speak to her again, Gustav met her one more time, when she died. The rumours are captured in Sergels drawing (NSFW
) The square Sergels Torg is named after this Sergel.http://upload.wikimedia.o...h_Adolf_Fredrik_Munck.jpg
The couple had two children, but lost their youngest son due to the doctors incompetence, after that, their marriage once again deteriorated.
In 1788-90, Sweden fought a war with Russia, during which the Finnish nobility conspired against the king. As a result, Gustav had the persons from the leading nobility arrested, like Axel von Fersen the older. After the peace, he started planning a new war, to stop the revolution in France as he was a friend of the FRF.
However, during the winter 1791/92 a new conspiracy brewed among the nobility, many of them came from old, well-respected families, such as Bielke, Horn and Ribbing. The most famous one, is of course Jacob Johan Anckarström. The 16th of March 1792, the king attended a masquerade in Stockholm, despite having been warned about that a murder was planned. At the masquerade, the conspirators approached the king and surrounded him. Anckarström said "Bonjour, beau masque" before firing the gun.
The masque and the weapons Anckarström used when he shot the king and the costume worn by the king the same evening.
The king died on the 29th of March, of his injuries. Before he died, he asked that his murderer would not be executed, a wish that was not respected. However, only Anckarström was held responsible for the deed, and killed. Gustavs brother, Karl XIII, ordered the police to stop the investigation because of the amount of suspects and conspirators and their position in the society "no one can know where this will end, so I'll simply cut the thread" he said, but he himself is suspected to have known...