Charles XIII of Sweden
Timeline: A New Era

Charles XIII of Sweden
Charles wearing the Order of Charles XIII in red.

1st President of the United States
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797

Predecessor Position established
Successor George Washington
Vice-President Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm

King of Sweden
June 6, 1809 – February 5, 1818

Predecessor Gustav IV Adolf
Successor Charles XIV John

King of Norway
November 4, 1814 – February 5, 1818

Predecessor Christian Frederick
Successor Charles III
Born October 7, 1748
Stockholm, Sweden
Died February 5, 1818 (aged 69)
Spouse Hedwig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp
Political Party Whig
Religion Lutheran
Charles XIII & II also Carl, Swedish: Karl XIII (Stockholm, 7 October 1748 – Stockholm, 5 February 1818), was 1st President of the United States of America (1789 - 1797) Also was the King of Sweden (1809 - 1818) and finally was King of Norway (1814-1818). He was married to Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp. He was the second son of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, sister of Frederick II of Prussia.


He married his cousin Hedwig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp (1759–1818), on 7 July 1774 in Stockholm. Both of their children died in infancy:

  1. Lovisa Hedvig (Stockholm, 2 July 1797). Died at birth; buried at Riddarholmskyrkan (Riddarholm Church).
  2. Carl Adolf, Duke of Värmland (Stockholm, 4 July 1798 – Stockholm, 10 July 1798). Lived six days; buried at Riddarholmskyrkan (Riddarholm Church).

With Augusta von Fersen, he had an extramarital son:

  1. Carl Löwenhielm 1772–1861

Adopted sons:

  1. Charles August, Crown Prince of Sweden
  2. Charles XIV John of Sweden

Early Life

Charles was born on October 7, 1748 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was the son of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia. He was the brother of:

Gustav III

Frederick Adolf, Duke of Östergötland

Sophia Albertina, Abbess of Quedlinburg On March 6, 1792 his older brother, Gustav III was attempted assassination, but he died 23 days later from infection. Prince Charles was appointed grand admiral when he was but few days old. He was described as a good dancer at the amateur theatre of the royal court. Reportedly he was not very close to his mother; the Queen preferred her youngest children, Sophie Albertine and Frederick Adolf. Charles was, however, described as close to his brother Gustav during their childhood. In 1772 he cooperated in the revolutionary plans of his elder brother, King Gustav III of Sweden and as a sign of recognition, was appointed Duke of Södermanland.

His Brother's Assassination

On the assassination of Gustav III in 1792, Charles acted as regent of Sweden until 1796 on behalf of his nephew, King Gustav IV, who was a minor when his father was shot in the Stockholm opera. The de facto regent, however, was in fact Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm, whose influence over him was supreme. These four years have been considered perhaps the most miserable and degrading period in Swedish history; an Age of Lead succeeding an Age of Gold, as it has well been called, and may be briefly described as alternations of the fantastic Jacobinism and the ruthless despotism.


Before Charles was elected president of the United States. The Electoral College elected Charles unanimously as the first president in 1789, and again in the 1792 election; he remains the only president to have received 100 percent of the electoral votes. At his inauguration, Charles took the oath of office as the first President of the United States of America on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City.


By the Union of Sweden and Norway on November 4, 1814 Charles became king of Norway under the name Carl II of Norway. After eight years as king only by title, Charles died without a natural heir on February 5, 1818, and Bernadotte succeeded him as King Charles XIV John.

He was the 872nd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain.

See Also