Considering that Gustav IV Adolf was forced to resign and driven to exile during a coup d'etat in 1809 and that the later Bernadotte family got into power after the death of Charles XIII, the brother of the king.

Who would be the Swedish king if the royal family had not been forced into exile by illegal means in 1809? Considering Sweden had primogeniture until 1980. I write illegal here since the coup was not issued by the Swedish parliament and thus can be viewed as such

Princess Sofia Wilhelmina (21 May 1801 – 1865). She married Grand Duke Leopold of Baden, and their granddaughter Victoria of Baden married the Bernadotte king Gustaf V of Sweden. (The present King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is thus Gustav IV's heir.) Source

According to Wikipedia. However, it does not list all her children. If some child of hers or her sisters younger or older would be male, these children would hold a stronger claim than the present king. According to the laws before the coup by the army officers.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – MCW
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 8:38

2 Answers 2


You might be interested in this thread in Historum, tracing the heirs of various individual kings and dynasties of Sweden.


And in post number 12 on page two the heirs of the Holstein-Gottorp kings of Sweden including King Gustaf IV Adolf are traced.


And according to that, the heirs of the deposed King Gustav IV Adolph and the new king eventually became united by marriage so the present King Carl XVI Gustaf is the genealogical heir of both.

The line of heirs of the Bernadotte Dynasty is traced in post # 29 on page 3:


But the supporters of both Gustav IV Adolf and Charles XIII might not like the idea of their king's heirs being mingled with and united with the heirs of the other king. So both groups might consider the desendents of the marriage to be barred from the throne for the throne for opposite reasons and the rightful heirs be those next in line.

In my post # 56 on page 6 of that thread I trace who would be the heirs of Gustaf IV Adolf and of the Bernadotte dynasty if people descended from both are excluded.


The heir of King Gustaf IV Adolf would be Maximilian, Margrave of Baden. The heir of the Bernadotte Dynasty would be either King Harald V of Norway or Carl Ludwig Bernadotte (b. 1955), Count Bernadotte of Wisborg.

  • So very interesting that someone else has taken time to do research into this I must add! Research like this was under censorship in Sweden in the 19 century for political reasons and very little is known about this among the Swedish general populace (The coup was for a long time described as necessary)
    – JKRT
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 4:27
  • You write ". Her father, Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden (1826-1907) had a next older brother, Prince Wilhelm of Baden (1829-1897), whose only son and heir was Prince Maximilian of Baden (1867-1929), who was the father of:" Since the law of the time for Sweden state male only inheritance, would not the descentands to that brother be the claimants?
    – JKRT
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 4:29
  • Considering his brother died without an heir to the Swedish branch of the house of Gottorp (He had a daughter) I think it is reasonable to assume that Maximilian, Margrave of Baden could be regarded as the strongest claimant considering the primogeniture laws that were in place until 1980
    – JKRT
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 4:38
  • I found this just now en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian,_Margrave_of_Baden This page states that he is the current head of the house of Gotttorp, so arguably he would have a stronger claim then the present king I guess if we follow the laws of the time. Since the head of the house of Baden now seem to be the heads of the male line of the house of Gottorp
    – JKRT
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 4:48
  • After some more research I also found this guy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… It might very well be so that his descendants technically would hold an even stronger claim And make the situation even trickier
    – JKRT
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 4:59


If we are to disregard the deposition of Gustaf IV Adolf, we should also disregard the new Act of Succession that specified that the male heirs of Charles XIV John would inherit, and instead go to the Act of 23 June 1743, which was the last time previously that the line of succession had been defined. It made Adolf Frederick the heir, and "after him his male direct descendants, according to the Swedish laws of succession"; these laws had been revised in 1719 to be strictly agnatic (From Nordisk Familjebok, "Tronföljd"). Thus, the heirs of the throne in the beginning of 1810 were:

  1. Prince Gustav
  2. Duke Charles, later Charles XIII.

No one else had any right to inherit. Neither of them produced any male heirs, and thus the line of succession would have ended with Gustav.

However, this reasoning makes three doubtful suppositions:

  1. That Gustav IV Adolf would have fathered no more male heirs if he had been allowed to keep his throne.
  2. That prince Gustav would not have fathered any male heirs if he knew one was needed to inherit the throne.
  3. That the succession laws would not have been changed in the face of the lack of heirs.
  • You're of course right. Fixed.
    – andejons
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 14:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.