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The Napoleonic Heritage
By Bjarne Steen Jensen
European Royal History Journal © 2000

Six years later, in 1810 Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte
was adopted by King Carl XIII of Sweden and in 1818
he succeeded his new father to the throne. Thus Desiree,
the silk merchant's daughter from Marseilles, became
Queen of Sweden. Bernadotte died in 1844 but his wife
lived till 1860. In her will she left the rubies to her
daughter-in-law, Queen Josefina - her son, King Oscar I,
having died the year before. Josefina was born a princess
of Leuchtenberg, daughter of Napoleon's stepson, Eugene
de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg and one-time
viceroy of Italy.

When in 1869 Queen Josefina's grandchild, Louisa,
married the Crown Prince of Denmark, later King
Frederic VIII, she was given the parure as a
wedding present from her grandmother. In 1876
Queen Josefina died and in her will she left
"the Danish colours for Louisa. Red and white
like the Danish flag, the Dannebrog." So Louisa
brought the ruby treasure to the Danish royal family.

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