Queen of Sweden. Name variations: Desiree Clary; Bernhardine or Bernardine Eugenie Desiree. Born Bernardiné Eugénie Désirée Clary on November 9, 1777, in Marseille, France; died on December 17, 1860, in Stockholm, Sweden; buried in Stockholm; daughter of François Clary (a prosperous merchant of Marseille); sister of Julie Clary Bonaparte (1771–1845); married Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte also known as Karl XIV Johan or Charles XIV John (1763–1844), king of Sweden (r. 1818–1844), on August 17, 1798; children: Oscar I (1799–1859), king of Sweden (r. 1844–1859, who married Josephine Beauharnais [1807–1876]).
Queen Désirée was born Bernardiné Eugénie Désirée Clary on November 9, 1777, in Marseille, France, the daughter of François Clary, a prosperous merchant of Marseille. Before Désirée turned 20, she was pursued by Napoleon Bonaparte who wanted to marry her. Désirée's sister Julie Clary Bonaparte had married Joseph Bonaparte, however, and their father felt that one Bonaparte in the family was enough. Désirée was forced to turn down Napoleon's proposal (the film Desiree, starring Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons , was based on the incident).
In 1798, Désirée married the French soldier Jean Bernadotte who would rise from the ranks to become one of Napoleon's marshals and later be placed on the throne of Sweden by Napoleon and crowned Charles XIV John. Charles XIV and Désirée began the Bernadotte line that continued through the 20th century. Though Désirée visited Sweden in 1810 and 1811, she did not live there until 1823. She was queen of Sweden from 1818 to 1844.