Monday, 8 June 2015

Episode 27: Karl XII part I

Karl XII - or Charles XII - is one of Sweden's more famous kings. He has been used as an icon for many different movements and opinions, from the temperance movement in the 19th century to late 20th century skinheads. Karl probably wouldn't have liked any of it. He liked war, his dogs and his family - twp sisters and grandmother Hedvig Eleonora.

Soon after the death of Karl XI, the royal castle in Stockholm was destroyed by fire; a dramatic event that at least in hindsight was seen as a bad omen for the reign of the new king. And things soon became rather messy for Sweden when in 1700 three enemies - Denmark, Poland and Russia - declared war.

The painting from 1866 was made by Johan Fredrik Höckert. In the center the old queen Hedvig Eleonora is helped out of the burning castle by her grandchildren.