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Birth House of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, Pau: View within the courtyard
The House of Bernadotte, the current royal house of Sweden, has reigned since 1818. Between 1818 and 1905, it was also the royal house of Norway. The Swedish line had died with Prince Christian August of Augustenborg, died 1810. At this time, Emperor Napoleon I of France controlled much of continental Europe, and some of his client kingdoms were headed by his brothers. The Riksdag decided to choose a king whom Napoleon would approve. On 21 August 1810, the Riksdag elected Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a Marshal of France, as heir presumptive to the Swedish throne. Bernadotte, born in the town of Pau in 1763, had risen to the rank of general during the French Revolution. He was related to Napoleon through marriage. He later broke with Napoleon and reigned as King Charles XIV of Sweden and Carl III Johan of Norway from 5 February 1818 until his death on 8 March 1844. The house is a museum today.