Oscar II

King of Sweden from 1872 to 1907 and Norway from 1872 to 1905

Oscar II (21 January 1829 – 8 December 1907), baptised Oscar Fredrik,[1] was King of Sweden from 1872 until his death and King of Norway from 1872 until 1905. The third son of King Oscar I of Sweden and Josephine of Leuchtenberg, he was a descendant of Gustav I of Sweden through his mother.

Oscar II
King of Sweden
Reign18 September 1872 – 8 December 1907
Coronation12 May 1873
PredecessorCharles XV
SuccessorGustaf V
King of Norway
Reign18 September 1872 – 7 June 1905
Coronation18 July 1873
PredecessorCharles IV
SuccessorHaakon VII
Born(1829-01-21)21 January 1829
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm
Died8 December 1907(1907-12-08) (aged 78)
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm
SpouseSofia of Nassau
IssueGustaf V of Sweden
Prince Oscar, Duke of Gotland
Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland
Prince Eugén, Duke of Närke
Full name
Oscar Fredrik
HouseHouse of Bernadotte
FatherOscar I of Sweden
MotherJosephine of Leuchtenberg

Early life


When he was born on January 21, 1829 in Stockholm, Oscar Fredrik was created Duke of Östergötland. He entered the navy at the age of eleven, and was appointed junior lieutenant in July 1845. Later he studied at Uppsala University, where he distinguished himself in mathematics. On 13 December 1848, he was made an honorary member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

From 1859, when his father died, he was first in line to the Swedish throne after his oldest brother King Charles, who then had no male heirs (his son had died in infancy in 1854). His middle brother Gustaf had died in 1852.

A portrait of Oscar in 1898

He succeeded his brother Charles XV and IV on 18 September 1872, and was crowned as king of Norway in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on 18 July 1873. At the accession he adopted as his motto Brödrafolkens väl / Broderfolkenes Vel ("The Welfare of the Brother Peoples"). While the King and the Royal Court resided mostly in Sweden, Oscar made the effort of learning to be fluent in Norwegian and from the very beginning he realized the essential difficulties in the maintenance of the union between the two countries.

Later life


The political events which led up to the peaceful dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905 could hardly have been attained but for the tact and patience of the king himself. He was dethroned on 7 June 1905 by the Norwegian Parliament and renounced the Norwegian throne on 26 October.

Personal life


On 6 June 1857 he married in Wiesbaden-Biebrich, Germany, Princess Sophia Wilhelmina, youngest daughter of Duke William of Nassau.

His health declined, indeed, to permit any prince of his house to become king of Norway, but better relations between the two countries were restored before his death in Stockholm on 8 December 1907 from unknown causes.


  1. Stockholm City Archives, archive of the Court parish, birth and baptism records, volume C I:5

Other websites


  Media related to Oscar II of Sweden at Wikimedia Commons