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Désirée Clary

Désirée Clary

Queen of Sweden and Norway

Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary, one-time fiancée of Napoleon Bonaparte, was a Frenchwoman who became Queen of Sweden and Norway as the consort of King Charles XIV John, a former French General. She officially changed her name there to Desideria, a Latin version of her original name. Désirée herself, however, did not like the name Desideria and never used it.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Désirée Clary.


1777 Birth Born on November 8, 1777.


1789 11 Years Old Désirée received the convent schooling usually given to daughters of the upper classes in pre-revolutionary France, but, during the Revolution of 1789, convents were closed and Désirée returned to live with her parents. … Read More
1795 17 Years Old 1 More Event
Désirée was presented to Napoleon Bonaparte, to whom she became engaged on 21 April 1795; but upon becoming involved with Joséphine de Beauharnais, whom he married on 9 March 1796, Bonaparte broke off his engagement with Désirée.
1797 19 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1797, she went to live with her sister Julie and her brother-in-law Joseph, who was the French ambassador to Rome. … Read More


1799 21 Years Old In 1799, she gave birth to their only child, a son, Oscar, but the couple lived more or less separate lives afterward. … Read More
1804 26 Years Old 1 More Event
She had a place in the ceremony of the Coronation of Napoleon in 1804. … Read More
1806 28 Years Old When her spouse was made Prince of Pontecorvo in 1806, Désirée worriedly asked if she would be forced to leave Paris, but was happy when she was assured that she would not.
1807 29 Years Old In 1807, she visited Bernadotte in Spandau. … Read More


1810 32 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1810, Bernadotte was elected heir to the throne of Sweden. … Read More
1811 33 Years Old She left Sweden in 1811 under the name of "Countess of Gotland", officially because of her health, and returned to Paris. … Read More
1814 36 Years Old When Napoleon was defeated in 1814, her house was a refuge for her sister Julie. … Read More
1816 38 Years Old She was ridiculed by the court of Louis XVIII of France as an upstart, but had her own little court where she held receptions. In 1816, she made plans to return to Sweden, but she wished to bring her sister, Julie; her husband thought this unwise, as Julie was a member of the Bonaparte family and her presence might be taken as a sign that he sided with the deposed Napoleon, and in the end, this came to nothing. … Read More


1818 40 Years Old In 1818, her husband became king of Sweden; but she remained in Paris, officially for health reasons, which was discussed in the papers in Paris and by her visitors. … Read More
1822 44 Years Old 1 More Event
Désirée held receptions in Paris as the queen of Sweden on Thursdays and Sundays, though she still used the title of countess. She fell in love with the French minister, the duc de Richelieu, and followed him on his travels until his death in 1822.
1823 45 Years Old In 1823, Désirée returned to Sweden together with her son's bride, Josephine of Leuchtenberg; the visit was initially to be but a short one. … Read More
1825 47 Years Old There is nothing to indicate that she ever had any political influence. She spent her summers at Rosersberg Palace, and often visited Swedish spas, such as Ramlösa spa. She visited Norway a couple of times, the first time in 1825. … Read More
1826 48 Years Old Otherwise, they met only on formal occasions: because she was always late at dinner, he stopped having his meals with her after 1826: and as her consort also preferred to have his meals alone, it was not uncommon for the nobles of the court to sit alone at the dinner table, without the royal couple present. … Read More


1853 75 Years Old In 1853, she wished to return to Paris, but her fear of sea travel made it impossible. … Read More
1860 83 Years Old …  Désirée died in Stockholm on 17 December 1860. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Désirée_Clary.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.