Monarchy of Sweden

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This article is about the history, function and symbols of the Swedish monarchy as an institution. For a list of kings and queens regnant of Sweden, see List of Swedish monarchs. For a list of Swedish princes and princesses, past and present, see Swedish Royal Family.
  • King of Sweden
  • Sveriges Konung
Greater coat of arms of Sweden.svg

King Carl XVI Gustaf at National Day 2009 Cropped.png

Style His Majesty
Heir apparent Crown Princess Victoria
First monarch Eric the Victorious
(first monarch of undisputed historicity)
Formation Unknown
Residence Stockholm Palace[1]
Drottningholm Palace[2]

Website The Royal Court of Sweden

The Monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,[3] which is a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system.[4] The Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sverige) has been a monarchy since time immemorial. Originally an elective monarchy, it became an hereditary monarchy only in the 16th century during the reign of Gustav Vasa,[5] though previouly hereditary by tradition, but not by law.

Sweden in the present day is a representative democracy in a parliamentary system based on popular sovereignty, as defined in the current Instrument of Government (one of the four Fundamental Laws of the Realm which makes up the written constitution[6]). The role of the Monarch is to be a strictly ceremonial head of state, and have no part in the formal governance of the Realm.[7][8] The Monarch and the members of Royal Family undertake a variety of official, unofficial and other representational duties within Sweden and abroad.[5]

Carl XVI Gustaf became King on 15 September 1973 on the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf.[9]


Part of a series on the
History of Sweden
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Main article: History of Sweden

Pre 16th century[edit]

kunuki, i.e. konungi, the dative case for Old Norse konungr ("king"). A runic inscription on the 11th century (U11) refers to King Håkan the Red.

Sweden has been a kingdom since prehistoric times. As early as the 1st century, Tacitus wrote that the Suiones had a king, but the order of succession up until King Eric the Victorious (died 995), is known almost exclusively through accounts in historically controversial Norse sagas (see Mythical kings of Sweden and Semi-legendary kings of Sweden).

Originally, the Swedish king had combined powers limited to that of a war chief, a judge and a priest at the Temple at Uppsala (see Germanic king). However, there are thousands of runestones commemorating commoners, but no known chronicle[clarification needed] about the Swedish kings prior to the 14th century (though a list of kings was added in the Westrogothic law), and there is a relatively small amount of runestones that are thought mention kings: Gs 11 (Emund the Old), U 11 (Haakon the Red) and U 861 (Blot-Sweyn).

About 1000 A.D., the first king known to rule both Svealand and Götaland was Olof Skötkonung, but further history for the next two centuries is obscure, with many kings whose tenures and actual influence/power is unclear. The Royal Court of Sweden, however, does count Olof's father as Sweden's first king. The power of the king was greatly strengthened by the introduction of Christianity during the 11th century, and the following centuries saw a process of consolidation of power in the hands of the king. The king was traditionally elected from a favored dynasty at the Stones of Mora, and the people had the right to elect the king as well as depose him. The ceremonial stones were destroyed around 1515.[citation needed]

In the 12th century, the consolidation of Sweden was still effected by dynastic struggles between the Erik and Sverker clans, which ended when a third clan married into the Erik clan and the House of Bjelbo was established on the throne. That dynasty formed a pre-Kalmar Union Sweden into a strong state, and finally king Magnus IV even ruled Norway and Scania. Following the Black Death,[clarification needed] the union was weakened, and Scania was retuunited with Denmark.

In 1397, after the Black Death and domestic power struggles, Queen Margaret I of Denmark united Sweden, Denmark and Norway (then including Finland and Iceland) in the Union of Kalmar with the approval of the Swedish nobility. Continual tension within each country and the union led to open conflict between the Swedes and the Danes in the 15th century. The union's final disintegration in the early 16th century led to prolonged rivalry between Denmark-Norway and Sweden (with Finlan d) for centuries to come.

16th century changes[edit]

Gustav I, portrayed here in 1542 by Jakob Binck, legally created the hereditary monarchy and organized the Swedish unitary state.

The Union of Kalmar's final disintegration in the early 16th century brought on a long-lived rivalry between Norway and Denmark on one side and Sweden (including Finland) on the other. Catholic bishops had supported the King of Denmark, Christian II, but he was overthrown in Sweden by nobleman Gustav Vasa (1493–1560), and Sweden (with Finland) was now independent again. Gustav Vasa was elected King Gustav I of Sweden by the Estates of the Realm assembled in Strängnäs in 1523.

Inspired by the teachings of Martin Luther, Gustav I used the Protestant Reformation to curb the power of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1527 he persuaded the Estates of the Realm, assembled in the city of Västerås, to confiscate church lands, which comprised 21% of the country's farmland. At the same time, he broke with the papacy and established a reformed state church: the Church of Sweden.[n 1] Throughout his reign, Gustav I suppressed both aristocratic and peasant opposition to his ecclesiastical policies and efforts at centralisation, which to some extent laid the foundation for the modern Swedish unitary state.

Legally Sweden has only been a hereditary monarchy since 1544 when the Riksdag of the Estates, through Västerås arvförening, designated the sons of King Gustav I as the heirs to the Throne. [n 2]

Tax reforms took place in 1538 and 1558, whereby multiple complex taxes on independent farmers were simplified and standardised throughout the district[clarification needed] and tax assessments per farm were adjusted to reflect ability to pay. Crown tax revenues increased, but more importantly the new system was perceived as fairer. A war with Lübeck in 1535 resulted in the expulsion of the Hanseatic traders, who previously had had a monopoly of foreign trade. With its own burghers in charge, Sweden's economic strength grew rapidly, and by 1544 Gustav controlled 60% of the farmlands in all of Sweden. Sweden now built the first modern army in Europe, supported by a sophisticated tax system and an efficient bureaucracy.[10][11]

At the death of King Gustav I in 1560, he was succeeded by his oldest son Eric XIV. His reign was marked by Sweden's entrance into the Livonian War and the Northern Seven Years' War, and combined effects of Eric's developing mental disorder and his opposition with the aristocracy, leading to the Sture Murders in 1567 and the imprisonment of his brother John (III), who was married to Catherine Jagiellon, sister of King Sigismund II of Poland.[12] In 1568 he was dethroned and succeeded by John. In domestic politics John showed clear Catholic sympathies, inspired by his queen, creating friction with the Swedish clergy and nobility. He launched the Red Book, which reintroduced several Catholic traditions, and foreign policy was affected by John's connection to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, where his elder son had been made King Sigismund III in 1587. Sigismund tried to rule Sweden from Poland, leaving Sweden under the control of a regent, his paternal uncle (Gustav I's youngest son) Charles (IX), but was unable to defend his Swedish throne against his uncle. In 1598 Sigismund and his Swedish-Polish army was defeated at the Battle of Stångebro by the forces of Charles, and he was declared deposed by the Estates in 1599.

The Lion of the North: King Gustavus Adolphus depicted at the turning point of the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) against the forces of Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly.

In 1604, the Estates finally recognized the regent and de facto ruler as King Charles IX. His short reign was one of uninterrupted warfare. The hostility of Poland and the breakup of Russia involved him in overseas contests for the possession of Livonia and Ingria, the Polish–Swedish War (1600–1611) and the Ingrian War, while his pretensions to claim Lapland brought on a war with Denmark (Kalmar War) in the last year of his reign. [n 3]

Gustavus Adolphus inherited three wars from his father when he ascended the throne. From 1612, when Count Axel Oxenstierna was appointed Lord High Chancellor, until Gustavus Adolphus's death, the two men struck a long and successful partnership. They seem to have complemented each other. With Oxenstierna's own words, his "cool" balanced the King's "heat".[13][14] The war against Denmark (Kalmar War) was concluded in 1613 with a peace that did not cost Sweden any territory, but it was forced to pay a heavy indemnity to Denmark (Treaty of Knäred).[15] The war against Russia (the Ingrian War) ended in 1617 with the Treaty of Stolbovo, which excluded Russia from the Baltic Sea. The final inherited war, the war against Poland, ended in 1629 with the Truce of Altmark, which transferred the large province Livonia to Sweden and freed the Swedish forces for the subsequent intervention in the Thirty Years' War in Germany, where Swedish forces had already established a bridgehead in 1628. Brandenburg was torn apart by a quarrel between the Protestants and the Catholics. When Gustavus Adolphus began his push into northern Germany in June–July 1630, he had just 4,000 troops. But he was soon able to consolidate the Protestant position in the north, using reinforcements from Sweden and money supplied by France at the Treaty of Bärwalde. [16] Meanwhile, a Catholic army under Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly was laying waste to Saxony. Gustavus Adolphus met Tilly's army and crushed it at the First Battle of Breitenfeld in September 1631. He then marched clear across Germany, establishing his winter quarters near the Rhine, making plans for the invasion of the rest of the Holy Roman Empire. In March 1632, Gustavus Adolphus invaded Bavaria, a staunch ally of the Emperor. He forced the withdrawal of his Catholic opponents at the Battle of Rain. In the summer of that year, he sought a political solution that would preserve the existing structure of states in Germany, while guaranteeing the security of its Protestants. But achieving these objectives depended on his continued success on the battlefield. Gustavus Adolphus was killed at the Battle of Lützen when, at a crucial point in the battle, he became separated from his troops while leading a cavalry charge into a dense smog of mist and gunpowder smoke. Queen Maria Eleonora and the king's ministers took over the government of the Realm on behalf of Gustavus Adolphus' underage daughter Christina, until she reached the age of majority. Gustavus Adolphus is often regarded by military historians as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, with innovative use of combined arms. [n 4]

The 1634 Instrument of Government altered hereditary regulations for the monarchy until 1719, when a fully written constitution, the 1719 Instrument of Government, came into force. That constitution was replaced one year later by the 1720 Instrument of Government, which limited the powers of the monarch even more than in 1719. The 1720 statute was later replaced by the 1772 Instrument of Government.

On 17 September 1809 in the Treaty of Fredrikshamn, as a result of the poorly managed Finnish war, Sweden had to surrender the eastern half of Sweden to Russia. King Gustav IV Adolf and his descendants were deposed in a coup d'etat led by dissatisfied army officers. The childless uncle of the former king was almost immediately elected King Charles XIII. The Instrument of Government of 1809 put an end to royal absolutism by dividing the legislative power between the Riksdag (primary) and the King (secondary), and vested executive power in the King when acting through the Council of State.

The present Bernadotte dynasty was established in September 1810 when the Riksdag, convened in Örebro, elected French Marshal and Prince of Ponte Corvo Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte as heir designate. This took place because Charles XIII had no legitimate heir, and a Crown Prince previously elected in January 1810, Charles August, suddenly had died of a stroke.

Although 19th century Swedish monarchs tried to defend the power and privileges they still had, the tide incrementally turned aganist that with the growth of the liberals, social democrats, and the expansion of the franchise.

Following the definite de facto breakthrough of parliamentarism in 1917, the political powers of the King were considerably reduced in practice, and he became a figurehead with only limited authority. Only during World War II, in the so-called Midsummer crisis (regarding the issue whether neutral Sweden should permit rail transports of German troops from Norway to Finland to pass through), did King Gustaf V allegedly try to intervene in the political process.

King Gustaf VI Adolf succeeded his elderly father who died in 1950, and he is generally regarded as a constitutional monarch who stayed out of politics and controversy. In 1954, a royal commission began work on whether Sweden should undergo constitutional reform to adapt the 1809 Instrument of Government to current political realities, or whether a new one should be written; ultimately the latter idea was chosen. The future role of the monarchy was settled in a manner well known within Swedish political discourse: a political compromise reached at the summer resort Torekov in 1971 (hence known as the Torekov compromise, Swedish: Torekovskompromissen) by representatives of four of the parties in the Riksdag (the Social Democrats, the Centre Party, the Liberal People's Party, and the Moderate Party, that is all the parties except the Communists). [n 5] It mandated that the monarchy would remain largely as it was but would become entirely ceremonial, without any residual political powers left.[18]

Following the double Riksdag votes required in 1973 and 1974, a new Instrument of Government went into effect and the monarch de jure became a figurehead without any formal political powers left.

Constitutional and official role[edit]

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On 1 January 1975 the Instrument of Government of 1974 (Swedish: 1974 års regeringsform), replaced the Instrument of Government of 1809 and became part of the Fundamental Laws of the Realm. It transformed the (technically) advisory Council of State (Swedish: Statsrådet) into the collegial Government (Swedish: Regeringen) in which all executive power was vested, and thus the Monarch lost all executive powers while still being retained as a ceremonial figurehead with residual executive authority over only his own court and household. Responsibility for nominating and dismissing the Prime Minister (who is actually elected by the Riksdag) was transferred to the Speaker of the Riksdag. The Prime Minister appoints and dismisses his ministers at his or her sole discretion. Bills passed in the Riksdag become law without royal assent: the Prime Minister or any other cabinet minister signs them "On Behalf of the Government" (Swedish: På regeringens vägnar). Thus, in Sweden, unlike most constitutional monarchies, the monarch is head of state but not even the nominal chief executive.[7]

In addition to the fact that the King since 1917 no longer was expected to make political decisions without ministerial advice, the reason for the change was that the new Instrument of Government was to be as descriptive as possibe of the workings of the State and clear on how decisions actually are made. Minister of Justice Lennart Geijer further remarked on the 1973 government bill that any continued pretensions of royal involvement in government decisions would be of a "fictitious nature" and "highly unsatisfactory".[19]

At the request of the Speaker, the monarch still formally opens the annual session of the Riksdag and chairs a special Cabinet Council in a session that establishes the new government following a general election or major cabinet reshuffle. In addition, the King also chairs Information councils, approximately four times a year to get information from the assembled cabinet, apart from that given by ministers in individual audiences or through other means.

The Monarch also chairs the Advisory Committee for Foreign Affairs (Swedish: Utrikesnämnden), a body which enables the Government of the day to inform, not only the head of state, but also the Speaker and representatives of the opposition parties in the Riksdag on foreign affairs issues in a confidential manner.[8]

While the Monarch is no longer the formal commander in chief (Swedish: högste befälhavare) of the Swedish Armed Forces, as he once was under the 1809 Instrument of Government (and much older custom), King Carl XVI Gustaf retains the honorary ranks of a four star admiral in the Navy and general in the Army and Air Force.[8] As part of his court the King has a military staff. His military staff is headed by a senior officer (usually a general or admiral, retired from active service) and includes active duty military officers serving as aides to the King and his family.[20]

Cultural role[edit]

The Monarch and the members of Royal Family undertake a variety of official, unofficial and other representative duties within Sweden and abroad.


Eriksgata is the name of the traditional journey of the newly elected medieval Swedish kings through the important provinces to have their election confirmed by the local Things. The actual election took place at the Stone of Mora in Uppland and participation was originally restricted to the people in Uppland, hence the need for having the election confirmed by the other parts of the Realm. The Eriksgata gradually lost its importance when representatives from other parts of Sweden began to participate in the election from the 14th century. After 1544, when the hereditary monarchy was instituted, meant that the Eriksgata from that point onwards only had little practical importance. The last king to travel the Eriksgata according to the old tradition was Charles IX (1604-1611). Later kings, up to present times, have made visits to all the Swedish provinces and called them an "Eriksgata", but those visits bear little resemblance to the medieval tradition.

Nobel Prize[edit]

A well known ceremony that the Swedish royals annually participate in is the Nobel Prize award ceremony held at the Stockholm Concert Hall (and the subsequent banquet in the Stockholm City Hall), where the Monarch hands out the Nobel Prizes on behalf of the Nobel Foundation for outstanding contributions to mankind in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Physiology or Medicine, and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.[21]

Flag days[edit]

The Royal Standard used by the Monarch.

Many of the flag days in Sweden have direct royal connections, among them; the Name days of the King (28 January), the Queen (8 August) and the Crown Princess (12 March); the birthdays of the King (30 April), the Queen (23 December) and the Crown Princess (14 July); and Gustavus Adolphus Day (Swedish: Gustav Adolfsdagen) on November 6 in memory of King Gustavus Adolphus, who was killed on that date (old style) in 1632 in the Battle of Lützen (1632).[22][23][24] [n 6] Save for the Kings’s birthday on 30 April, which coincides with Walpurgis Night, none of the other flag days mentioned above are public holidays. [n 3]


The Silver Throne, used by all Swedish monarchs following Queen Christina from 1650 and onwards.


A simplified title sometimes used in less formal circumstances was Rex Sveciae or Sveriges Konung, the King of Sweden. The traditional full title of the Swedish monarch before 1973 was:

Swedish: Med Guds Nåde Sveriges, Götes och Vendes Konung ("By the Grace of God, King of the Swedes, the Goths/Geats and the Wends")
Latin: Dei Gratia Suecorum, Gothorum et Vandalorum Rex - sometimes the first part of the Latin title was Svionum or Sveonum, all three words meaning of the Swedes, not Sweden.

Before 1818, the King of Sweden had many more titles since the times of Sweden as a great power. When the first king of the House of Bernadotte, Charles XIV John, ascended to the throne in 1818, those extra titles (except the title above) were dropped. The Instrument of Government of 1809 was also written in a more analytic and contemporary Swedish language, better defined[citation needed] by the Swedish Academy established 21 years earlier. Titles removed from the style in 1818 were:

Grand Prince of Finland, Duke of Scania, Estonia, Livonia, Karelia, Bremen, Verden, Stettin, Pomerania, Kashubia and Wendia, Prince of Rügen, Lord of Ingria and Wismar, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Jülich, Cleves and Berg.

During the reign of the House of Holstein-Gottorp (Swedish line) 1751-1818 the title of Heir to Norway (Swedish: Arvinge till Norge) was added,[26] as also other titles connected to the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp. When Norway after the Napoleonic wars was included in a personal union with Sweden, the title King of Norway also was included. In older spelling in Swedish the title was Sweriges, Norriges, Göthes och Wendes Konung.

The traditional full title first mentioned here had been in use since establishment of the hereditary monarchy in 1544. For example the title Vendes Konung "King of the Wends" started to be used then. However the title of Götes Konung "King of the Goths" dates back at least to Kings Magnus III, Erik the Saint and Charles VII (maybe even Inge the Elder in a letter from the Pope). The title King of the Swedes Svea Konung, dates back to those times as well and even further back.[citation needed] Already in the 16th century it was changed to Sveriges Konung, King of Sweden, and this short form of the title was also used frequently.

Carl XVI Gustaf at his accession chose the plain title King of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges Konung).[9] Such an innovation is inferred in his personal motto För Sverige, i tiden ("For Sweden, with the times") and also contemporarily in neighbouring countries: Queen Margrethe II of Denmark did the same in 1972, and Harald V of Norway bears no extra titles except "King of Norway".

Heirs to the throne[edit]

The customary title of the heir apparent is Crown Prince of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges Kronprins) or, if female, Crown Princess of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges Kronprinsessa), and the wife of a crown prince would also receive a corresponding title, but not the husband of a crown princess. The traditional official title, used until 1980, for other dynastic male heirs was Hereditary Prince of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges arvfurste), although the word prince (Swedish: prins) was used in constitutional legal texts such as the Act of Succession and also colloquially and informally. The title of princesses was in all cases Princess of Sweden (Swedish: Prinsessa av Sverige). Beginning in 1980, the official title of all dynasts is "Prince/Princess of Sweden" (Swedish: Prins/Prinsessa av Sverige).

Ducal titles[edit]

Main article: Duchies in Sweden

King Gustav III revived a tradition from the days of Gustav Vasa and also from medieval times by giving the dynastic male heirs to the throne ducal titles of Swedish provinces. The difference between the ducal titles from the Vasa era and those handed out as of Gustav III and until the present day is that they now are non-hereditary courtesy titles given at birth with no feudal rights attached. From 1980 they are conferred to all dynastic heirs, male as well as female. The wives share the title, as do husbands as of a new precedent established in 2010.

Symbols of the Monarchy[edit]


The Crown of Eric XIV. The last King who wore it was Oscar II. His son and successor, Gustaf V, refrained from having a coronation.[27]
Main article: Swedish Royal Regalia

Sweden's Royal Regalia are kept deep in the vaults of the Treasury chamber (Swedish: Skattkammaren), located underneath the Royal Palace in Stockholm, in a museum which has been open to the public since 1970. The Regalia is State property. Among the oldest objects in the collection are the sword of Gustav Vasa and the crown, orb, sceptre and key of King Erik XIV.

The crowns and coronets have not been worn by Swedish royals since 1907, but they are still displayed at weddings, christenings and funerals. Until 1974, the crown and sceptre were also displayed on cushions at the annual solemn opening of the Riksdag (Swedish: Riksdagens högtidliga öppnande).[27][28][29]

Royal orders of chivalry[edit]

The Royal Orders of Sweden constituting the Royal Order of Knights

The Royal orders have a historical basis, reaching back to the 1606 founding of the extinct Jehova Order. The Royal Order of Knights of Sweden were only truly codified in the 18th century, with their formal foundation in 1748 by King Frederick I. The Riksdag in 1974 significantly changed the conditions and criteria under which orders and decorations could be awarded: simply that no Swedish citizen outside the Royal Family is eligable to receive such decorations. At present, the Order of the Seraphim (Swedish: Serafimerorden) is only awarded to foreign heads of state and members of the Swedish and foreign royal families, while the Order of the Polar Star (Swedish: Nordstjärneorden) can be bestowed on any non-Swedish citizen.[30] Following the reforms, the Order of the Sword (Swedish: Svärdsorden) and the Order of Vasa (Swedish: Vasaorden) are no longer conferred: officially they have been declared as "dormant".

Since 1975, H. M. The King's Medal (Swedish: H.M. Konungens medalj) is the highest honour that can be awarded to Swedish citizens other than members of the Royal Family.

Royal residences[edit]

The Royal Palaces are the property of the Swedish State and are at the disposal of the Monarch, an arrangement that has been in place since the beginning of the 19th century.[31] There are also residences which are held privately by the Royal Family, such as Solliden Palace on the island of Öland.

The Royal Palace[edit]

Main article: Stockholm Palace
The Royal Palace in Stockholm, as seen from the tower of the Cathedral.

The Royal Palace (Kungliga slottet), also known as Stockholm Palace (Swedish: Stockholms slott), is the official residence of the King. The Royal Palace is located on Stadsholmen ("city island"), commonly known as Gamla Stan ("the old town") in the national capital city Stockholm.

The offices of the King, the other members of the Swedish Royal Family, and the offices of the Royal Court are located in the Palace. The Royal Palace is used for representative purposes and State occasions by the King.[1] The Royal Palace is guarded by Högvakten, a royal guard, consisting of regular servicemembers of the Swedish Armed Forces. The tradition of a maintaining a royal guard at the royal residence dates back to 1523. Until the mid 19th century, The royal guards who also maintained law and order in the city and provided fire-fighting services.[32]

The southern façade is facing the grand-style slope Slottsbacken; the eastern façade is bordering Skeppsbron, an impressive quay passing along the eastern waterfront of the old town; on the northern front is Lejonbacken, a system of ramps named after the Medici lions sculptures on the stone railings; and the western wings border the open space Högvaktsterrassen. The Royal Palace in Stockholm is unique among European royal residences in that large portions of it are open year round to visitors.[1]

The castle Tre Kronor, located on the site of today's palace, in a painting from 1661 by Govert Dircksz Camphuysen.

The first building on this site was a fortress with a core tower built in the 13th century by Birger Jarl to defend the entry into Lake Mälaren. The fortress gradually grew to a castle, known as Tre Kronor: named after the spire on the centre tower with the Three Crowns, which has become the Swedish national symbol.

In the late 16th century, much work was done to transform the castle into a Renaissance-style palace during the reign of John III. In 1690, it was decided to rebuild the palace in Baroque style after a design by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger. In 1692, work began on the northern row. It was complete in 1697, but much of the castle was destroyed in a disastrous fire on 7 May 1697.

Tessin rebuilt the damaged palace, and work continued for another 63 years. Half-round wings around the outer western courtyard were finished in 1734, the palace church was finished in the 1740s, and the exterior was finished in 1754. The royal family moved to the palace with the southwest, southeast, and northeast wings finished. The northwest wing was finished in 1760. In the north, the Lejonbacken ("Lion's Slope") was rebuilt from 1824 to 1830. Its name comes from the Medici lions-inspired sculptures that stand there.

Drottningholm Palace[edit]

Main article: Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site is the home residence of the King & Queen.[2]

Drottningholm Palace (Swedish: Drottningholms slott) is located at Drottningholm on the island Lovön (in Ekerö Municipality of Stockholm County), and is one of Sweden's Royal Palaces. It was originally built in the late 16th century. It has served as a residence of the Swedish royal family members for most of the 18th and 19th centuries. Apart from being the is the current home residence of Their Majesties the King and Queen, Drottningholm Palace is a popular tourist attraction.[2]

The gardens and park areas surrounding Drottningholm Palace and adjacent its buildings are one of the main attractions for the tourists that visit the palace each year. The gardens have been established in stages since the palace was first built, resulting in many different styles of parks and gardens.[33]

The Royal Domain of Drottningholm is a well-preserved milieu from the 17th and 18th centuries, inspired by French marvels such as the Chateau of Versailles, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, principally because of the Drottningholm Palace Theatre and the Chinese Pavilion at Drottningholm. It was added to the World Heritage List in 1991.[34]

Haga Palace[edit]

Main article: Haga Palace
Haga Palace is the residence of Crown Princes Victoria and her family.

Haga Palace (Swedish: Haga slott), formerly known as the Queen's Pavilion (Swedish: Drottningens paviljong), is located in the Haga Park, Solna Municipality in Metropolitan Stockholm. The palace, built in between 1802 – 1805, was modelled after ballet-master Gallodiers Italian villa at Drottningholm by architect Carl Christoffer Gjörwell on appointment by King Gustaf IV Adolf for the royal children. It has been the home or summerhouse for several members of the Swedish royal family – most notably it was the birthplace of the present King Carl XVI Gustaf – until 1966 when King Gustaf VI Adolf transferred its disposal to the Prime Minister and it was turned into a guesthouse for distinguished foreign official visitors (heads of state and heads of government etcetera).[35]

In 2009, it was announced by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt that the rights of disposal to the palace would be transferred back to the royal court to be used by Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and her husband, Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland, as a wedding gift. They moved into Haga Palace after their wedding on 19 June 2010.

Royal Family[edit]

Swedish Royal Family
Greater coat of arms of Sweden (without ermine mantling).svg

Main article: Swedish Royal Family

The Swedish Royal Family consists of two groups; firstly, those with royal titles and style (manner of address) who perform official and unofficial engagements for the nation, are the members of the Royal House (Swedish: Kungl. Huset);[36] and secondly, the extended family of the King (Swedish: kungliga familjen) which is other close relatives who are not dynasts and thus do not represent the country officially. However, there is no legislation or other formal instrument of the Swedish government which delineates the extent of membership in the Royal Family, as it is left to the sole discretion of the King.

The line of succession[edit]

The Act of Succession of 1810 designates the legitimate heirs of Charles XIV John (House of Bernadotte) as the heirs to the Swedish Throne; it also states in article 4 that the Monarch and dynastic members of the Royal House must be a Protestant Christian of the pure evangelical faith (by implication the Church of Sweden).

A rewrite of the Act, entering into force in 1980, fundamentally changed the rules of succession from agnatic primogeniture to absolute primogeniture. This allowed for the crown to pass to the eldest child regardless of gender and thus retroactively installed Princess Victoria as Crown Princess (heir apparent) over her younger brother Prince Carl Philip who had been born as Crown Prince.

In its present reading, Article 1 in the Act of Succession limits the line of succession to the throne so that only descendants of Carl XVI Gustaf may inherit the Throne.[37]

See also[edit]

The royal barge Vasaorden, last used at the 2010 royal wedding.


  1. ^ A complete Lutheran church ordinance was not presented until the Swedish Church Ordinance 1571, with a statement of faith finalized by the Uppsala Synod in 1593.
  2. ^ The powers of the king were originally regulated by a section of the written legal code called Konungabalk (English: Kings' partition) from medieval times until 1734, when a new law code of Sweden was adopted and that section was removed. The new law code of Sweden was adopted after a long period of inquiries by royal commissions since the days of Charles IX (late 16th/early 17th century)
  3. ^ a b The war against Denmark was concluded in 1613 with a peace that did not cost Sweden any territory, but it was forced to pay a heavy indemnity to Denmark (Treaty of Knäred).
  4. ^ In Chapter V of Carl von Clausewitz' On War, he lists Gustavus Adolphus as an example of an outstanding military leader, along with: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Alexander Farnese, Charles XII, Frederick the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte.
  5. ^ Also known as the Torekov Agreement (Swedish: Torekovsövernskommelsen). The participants were Valter Åman (s), Bertil Fiskesjö (c), Birger Lundström (fp) and Allan Hernelius (m).[17]
  6. ^ According to the Gregorian calendar, the king died on 16 November, but the Julian calendar ("old style") was still used in Protestant Sweden at the time and the same date is still used now.


  1. ^ a b c "The Royal Palace of Stockholm". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  2. ^ a b c "Drottningholm Palace". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  3. ^ See the Instrument of Government, Chapter 1, Article 5.
  4. ^ Parliamentary system: see the Instrument of Government, Chapter 1, Article 1.
  5. ^ a b "The Monarchy in Sweden". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  6. ^ "The Constitution". The Riksdag. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  7. ^ a b "The Head of State". Government of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  8. ^ a b c "Duties of the Monarch". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 
  9. ^ a b (Swedish) SFS (1973:702)
  10. ^ Michael Roberts, The Early Vasas: A History of Sweden 1523-1611 (1968).
  11. ^ Jan Glete, War and the State in Early Modern Europe: Spain, the Dutch Republic, and Sweden as Fiscal-Military States, 1500-1660 (2002) online edition
  12. ^ Article "Johan III", from Nordisk familjebok
  13. ^ Ericson Wolke, Lars; Larsson, Villstrand. Historiska Media, ed. Trettioåriga kriget (in Swedish). pp. 145–148. ISBN 91-85377-37-6. 
  14. ^ "Nordisk Familjebok – Axel Gustafsson Oxenstierna". Nordisk Familjebok at (in Swedish). 1914. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  15. ^ Roberts 1992, p. 33.
  16. ^ Prinz, Oliver C. (2005). Der Einfluss von Heeresverfassung und Soldatenbild auf die Entwicklung des Militärstrafrechts. Osnabrücker Schriften zur Rechtsgeschichte (in German) 7. Osnabrück: V&R unipress. pp. 40–41. ISBN 3-89971-129-7.  Referring to Kroener, Bernhard R. (1993). "Militärgeschichte des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit bis 1648. Vom Lehnskrieger zum Söldner". In Neugebauer, Karl-Volker. Grundzüge der deutschen Militärgeschichte (in German) 1. Freiburg: Rombach. p. 32. 
  17. ^ "Monarken utan formell makt efter Torekovskompromissen". Sveriges Radio (in Swedish). 23 February 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Torbjörn Bergman (1999). "Trade-offs in Swedish Constitutional design: The Monarchy Under Challenge". In Wolfgang C. Müller and Kaare Strøm, eds., Policy? Office?, or Votes? How Political Parties Make Hard Choices. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-63723-6.
  19. ^ (Swedish) Prop. 1973:90. Kungl. Maj:ts proposition med förslag till ny regeringsform och ny riksdagsordning m. m.; given Stockholms slott den 16 mars 1973. p. 172-175.
  20. ^ (Swedish) Övriga funktioner, Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved on 2013-05-12.
  21. ^ Levinovitz, pp. 21–23
  22. ^ Steve Wilson. "The genius of Sweden’s ‘Lion of the North’". Military History Online. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "In Memory of a Great Man". Spokane Daily Chronicle (scanned by Google). 4 November 1901. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "Swedish Festival Calendar". Swedish Language Training London. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "Förordning (1982:270) om allmänna flaggdagar". Swedish Code of Statutes. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  26. ^ See the preamble to the Act of Succession.
  27. ^ a b "History, The Treasury". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  28. ^ "Regal symbols". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  29. ^ "The Treasury". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  30. ^ Orders, Swedish Royal Court, date accessed 2014-10-22.
  31. ^ "Svenska folkets slott" (in Swedish). Statens fastighetsverk. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  32. ^ "About the Royal Guards". Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  33. ^ "Drottningholm Palace Park". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  34. ^ "The World Heritage". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  35. ^ "Buildings in Haga Park". Royal Court of Sweden. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  36. ^ Swedish Royal court official term: "Kungl. Huset"
  37. ^ See Act of Succession, Article 1.
This article incorporates information from this version of the equivalent article on the Swedish Wikipedia.

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