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Information about reign: Karl XII (King Charles XII)

CountrySweden
From5 April 1697
To29 November 1718
Personal InformationKing Charles XII of Sweden (1682 - 1718)
Description

Charles XII, also Carl (Swedish: Karl XII), Latinized to Carolus Rex, was the King of Sweden from 1697 to 1718. He belonged to the House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, a branch line of the House of Wittelsbach. Charles was the only surviving son of Charles XI and Ulrika Eleonora the Elder. He assumed power, after a seven-month caretaker government, at the age of fifteen.

Charles was an exceptionally skilled military leader and tactician as well as an able politician, credited with introducing important tax and legal reforms. As for his famous reluctance towards peace efforts, he is quoted by Voltaire as saying upon the outbreak of the war; "I have resolved never to start an unjust war but never to end a legitimate one except by defeating my enemies". With the war consuming more than half his life and nearly all his reign, he never married and fathered no children. He was succeeded by his sister Ulrika Eleonora, who in turn was coerced to hand over all substantial powers to the Riksdag of the Estates and opted to surrender the throne to her husband, who became King Frederick I of Sweden.

The royal style of King Charles XII was "Charles, by the Grace of God King of Sweden, the Goths and the Vends, Grand Prince of Finland, Duke of Scania, Estonia, Livonia and Karelia, Lord of Ingria, Duke of Bremen, Verden and Pomerania, Prince of Rügen and Lord of Wismar, and also Count Palatine by the Rhine, Duke in Bavaria, Count of Zweibrücken–Kleeburg, as well as Duke of Jülich, Cleve and Berg, Count of Veldenz, Spanheim and Ravensberg and Lord of Ravenstein".

The fact that Charles was crowned as Charles XII does not mean that he was the 12th king of Sweden by that name. Swedish kings Erik XIV (1560–1568) and Charles IX (1604–1611) gave themselves numerals after studying a mythological history of Sweden. He was actually the 6th King Charles.