No matter whether foreigner or local, everybody was on central city street Karl Johan, but only few know who was really the first king of “independent” Norway.
Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte (1763 – 1844) , French guy, started his career being a regular soldier in France. Officerships were not given to non noble people, but there are those who appear in a right place at right time. One of them was the first king of Sweden and Norway. He made brilliant career during French Revolution and even got to know closely Napoleon. After Napoleon became emperor of France, he honored Jean Bernadotte with marshal rank. Let skip numerous facts and details of his life and just try to answer how could marshal of France become the king of the not close to France country? In one of the battles there were around 1000 Swedish soldiers captured by french troops. Very rare at that days good attitude towards prisoners of war was perceived with cordial liking by Swedish and made Bernadotte very famous in Sweden. When childless king Karl XIII started to think about his successor, the State Board unanimously voted for the candidature of Jean Bernadotte. In August 1810 he was elected Crown Prince of Sweden, but entered the throne only in 1818 under the name of Karl XIV Johan.
Involuntary, one may recall the words of Lenin, written in 1917 that “every cook can govern the state”. Did he know that there was already a similar precedent?