Statue of King Karl Johan, Slottsparken, Karl Johans Gate, Oslo, Norway

Statue of King Karl Johan, Slottsparken, Karl Johans Gate, Oslo, Norway

Here is something that came as a surprise to me: the man on horseback in the statue was French. Karl Johan was a soldier who had fought with Napoleon who was invited to be King of Sweden when his predecessor died without leaving any heir. The new dynasty proved durable and still exists in Sweden today. Norway was in union with Sweden at the time and had to wait until 1905 to become completely independent in its own right, inviting a Danish prince to become King of Norway. The trend of inviting outsiders to become monarchs started in Britain and clearly continued elsewhere too.

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