Karoline Frederikke Franziska Stephanie Amalia Cecilia was born on 5 August 1833 at Schönbrunn Palace and was the only surviving child of Gustav, former Crown Prince of Sweden, and Louise Amelie of Baden.
Carola’s grandfather, Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden, was deposed by the Coup of 1809 and the royal House of Vasa was forced into exile. Attempts had been made to restore Gustav to the position of Crown Prince of Sweden but they were unsuccessful and Gustav served as an officer to the Habsburgs of Austria. In 1829, Emperor Francis II gave Gustav the title of Prince of Vasa and he married his first cousin, Louise Amelie of Baden, on 9 November 1830. Carola’s older brother, Louis, born in 1830, died soon after his birth and Carola’s parents divorced in 1843.
Carola was considered one of the most beautiful princesses of her time and she received numerous marriage proposals, including from Napoléon III, Emperor of the French. The marriage did not go ahead as Carola’s father was against the marriage, believing the French Empire was far too unstable. On 18 June 1853, Carola married Albert, Crown Prince of Saxony, but the marriage remained childless.
As Crown Princess of Saxony, Carola took a great interest in social issues and she often visited hospitals in the area, earning reputation as a good samaritan. In 1867, Carola founded the Albert commission, which contributed to the medical care of the German army during the war of 1870-71 and she was later decorated with the Order of Louise and the Order of Sidonia.
In 1873, Albert succeeded his father, becoming Albert I, and Carola became queen. In 1884, Carola was instrumental in engineering peace between the House of Vasa, the former ruling house of Sweden, and the House of Bernadotte, the new ruling house. As a result, her grandfather’s remains were taken to Stockholm and interred in the royal crypt. Four years later, Carola and Albert made their first official state visit to Sweden.
House (birth): House of Vasa
House (marriage): House of Holstein-Gottorp
Father: Gustav, former Crown Prince of Sweden
Mother: Louise Amelie of Baden
Born: 05 Aug 1833
Died: 15 Dec 1907
Spouse: Albert I of Saxony
Princess of Vasa
05 Aug 1833 – 18 Jun 1853
Crown Princess of Saxony
18 Jun 1853 – 29 Oct 1873
Queen Consort of Saxony
29 Oct 1873 – 19 Jun 1902
Dowager Queen of Saxony
19 Jun 1902 – 15 Dec 1907