List of Swedish monarchs

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This is a list of Swedish monarchs, that is, the Kings and ruling Queens of Sweden, including regents and viceroys of the Kalmar Union, up to the present time.

History[edit]

The earliest record of what is generally considered to be a Swedish king appears in Tacitus' work Germania, c. 100 AD (the king of the Suiones). However, due to scant and unreliable sources before the 11th century, lists of succession traditionally start in the 10th century with king Olof Skötkonung, and his father Eric the Victorious, who also were the first Swedish kings to be baptized. There are, however, lists of Swedish pagan monarchs with far older dates, but in many cases these kings appear in sources of disputed historical reliability. These records notably deal with the legendary House of Yngling, and based on the Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus, Erik Segersäll and Olof Skötkonung have often been classified as belonging to the Swedish house of Ynglings. However, according to Icelandic sources this line of kings was broken (see Ingjald and Ivar Vidfamne), and trace them back to Sigurd Ring and Ragnar Lodbrok (whom Saxo, on the other hand, considered to belong to the House of Yngling). As there is no evidence that Eric and Olof ever used the Yngling name themselves, modern historians instead refer to their family as the House of Munsö, the Old Dynasty or the House of Uppsala.

In the 16th century, Johannes Magnus constructed a mythical line of Swedish kings, beginning with Magog, the son of Japheth, to demonstrate the antiquity of the Swedish throne. On the basis of his list, Eric XIV and Charles IX adopted their high ordinals; previous monarchs with those names are traditionally numbered counting backward from Eric XIV and Charles IX. In contemporary Swedish usage, medieval kings are usually not given any ordinal at all.

Sweden has been ruled by queens regnant on three separate occasions: by Margaret (1389–1412), Christina (1632–1654) and Ulrika Eleonora (1718–1720) respectively.

In addition to the list below, the Swedish throne was also claimed by the kings of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1599 to 1660. Following his abdication Sigismund continued to claim the throne from 1599 to his death in 1632. After his death the claim was continued by his sons, Vladislaus IV (from 1632 to 1648) and John II Casimir (from 1648 to 1660).

The Swedish monarchs have been of the House of Bernadotte since 1818, based on the Swedish Act of Succession of 1810. The Constitution of 1809 assumed that the monarch would appoint his Cabinet as he saw fit, but growing calls for democratisation during the end of the 19th century made such an idea impossible to sustain. 1917 marks the end of any real political power for the Swedish monarch. The Constitution of 1974 codifies this development by removing all decision-making powers from the monarch, making it both de facto and de jure a ceremonial position. Today, it is the Government, not the King, which holds chief executive power.

In 1980, the rule of succession was changed from agnatic to absolute primogeniture, to the benefit of Princess Victoria (b. 1977), the current heir apparent.

Monarchs and Regents of Sweden[edit]

For lists of the prehistoric kings of Sweden see List of legendary kings of Sweden

House of Munsö[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Eric the Victorious (Erik Segersäll)
c. 970 – c. 995
945?, son of Björn Eriksson Sigrid the Haughty
or
'Świętosława' of Poland
Sotdöd (died in sickness) in Old Uppsala[1] c. 995, aged about 50
Olof Skötkonung
c. 995 – c. 1022
UpplandÄtt.jpg c. 980, son of Eric the Victorious Estrid of the Obotrites c. 1022, aged about 42
Anund Jacob (Anund Jakob)
c. 1022–1050
Anund Jakob.png 25 July 1008 or 1010 son of Olof Skötkonung and Estrid of the Obotrites c. 1050, aged about 40
Emund the Old (Emund den gamle)
1050–1060
Illegitimate son of Olof Skötkonung Astrid Njalsdotter 1060

House of Stenkil and contemporary[edit]

      House of Stenkil

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Stenkil (Stenkil Ragnvaldsson)
1060–1066
Probably from Västergötland, son of Ragnvald Ulfsson (according to Hervarar saga) Ingamoder Emundsdotter Sotdöd (died in sickness) in "Svitjod", 1066
Eric and Eric
1066–1067
1067, died in the fighting between each other
Halsten Stenkilsson (Halsten)
1067–1070
c. 1050 son of Stenkil 1084, aged about 34
Anund Gårdske
1070–1075
Coming from Garðaríki, (Kievan Rus'), although probably with ancestral links to Scandinavia
Håkan the Red (Håkan Röde)
1075–1079
Hovgarden runsten 2008a.JPG Levene, Västergötland, c. 1040, son of Stenkil
Inge the Elder (Inge den äldre)
1079–1084, 1087–1105
son of Stenkil and Ingamoder Emundsdotter Helena, sister of Blot-Sweyn Died in sickness, 1105. First buried in Hånger, but then moved to Varnhem Abbey
Blot-Sweyn (Blot-Sven)
1084–1087
1087, ambushed by Inge the Elder's troops
1087–1105, Inge the Elder (Inge den äldre) (second period)
Philip Halstensson (Filip Halstensson) 1105–1118 son of king Halsten Ingegerd, daughter of Harald Hardrada Assumed to be buried in Vreta Abbey with his brother Inge II
Inge the Younger (Inge den yngre)
1110–1125
IngiYoungerSwedenGrave.jpg son of king Halsten Ulvhild Håkansdotter Östergötland, 1125, Accusations has it that he was poisoned by his wife with an "evil drink". Assumed to be buried in Vreta Abbey with his brother Philip
Ragnvald Knaphövde
1125–1126
Assumed to be related in some way to the House of Stenkil 1126, killed before accepted in Västergötland by the supporters of Magnus the Strong
1126-30 Magnus I of Sweden of the House of Estrid was ruling over the West Geats, and soon-to-be King Sverker was already ruling over the East Geats.

Houses of Sverker and Eric[edit]

      House of Estrid
      House of Eric
      House of Sverker

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Sverker I the Elder (also called Clubfoot, Sverker den äldre or Klumpfot; king from 1125 in Östergötland), 1130–25 December 1156 Sverker-I-Trad.JPG of East Geatish ancestry, son of Cornube or Kol Ulvhild Håkansdotter,
Richeza of Poland
Murdered by his own coach on Christmas Day 1156 while going to church. Some appoint Magnus Henriksen to be behind the murder, buried at Alvastra Abbey
Eric (IX) the Saint (Erik den helige),
1156–18 May 1160
Eric the Saint c. 1120, some appoint him to have West Geatish roots Christina of Denmark Killed by Magnus Henriksen as he came out of the church in Uppsala, 18 May 1160, aged about 40, enshrined in Uppsala Cathedral
Magnus II,
1160–1161
son of Henry and Ingrid Ragvaldsdotter (the granddaughter of Inge the Elder) Married to his stepsister Brigida Haraldsdotter, the daughter of Harald IV (Gille) of Norway Died in the battle of Örebro against Charles VII, 1161
Charles I (Karl Sverkersson),
1161–12 April 1167
King Karl Sverkersson's seal 1130, son of Sverker I the Elder and Ulvhild Håkansdotter Christina Hvide, 1163 Killed by Canute I Ericson on Visingsö, 12 April 1167, aged about 37, buried at Alvastra Abbey
Canute I Ericson (Knut Eriksson) (1167–1173 not in Östergötland; from 1173 also in Östergötland), 1167–1195/1196 CanuteISweden.jpg before 1150, son of Eric the Saint and Kristina (probably a granddaughter of Inge the Elder) Cecilia Johansdotter Died peacefully in 1195 or 1196, buried at Varnhem Abbey
Sverker II the Younger (Sverker den yngre), 1196–31 January 1208 SweartgarIISwedenCoin.jpg born before 1167, probably already c. 1164 son of king Charles VII and queen Christine Stigsdatter of Hvide Benedicta Ebbesdotter of Hvide
Ingegerd Birgersdotter of Bjelbo daughter of Birger Brosa
Died in the Battle of Gestilren, 17 July 1210, aged about 45, buried at Alvastra Abbey
Eric (X) (Erik Knutsson),
31 January 1208–10 April 1216
Erik10.jpg 1180 son of Canute I Ericson Richeza of Denmark (the daughter of Valdemar I of Denmark) Died suddenly in fever on Näs Castle, Visingsö, 10 April 1216, aged about 36, buried at Varnhem Abbey
John I the Child (Johan Sverkersson unge), Spring 1216–10 March 1222 JohnISwedenCoin.jpg 1201 son of Sverker II Died on Visingsö, 10 March 1222, aged about 21, buried at Alvastra Abbey
Eric (XI) the Lisp and Lame (Erik läspe och halte),
Summer 1222–28 or 29 November 1229
Erik11.jpg 1216 son of king Erik X of Sweden and Richeza of Denmark Catherine of Ymseborg 2 February 1250, aged about 34, buried at Varnhem Abbey
Canute II the Tall (Knut Långe)
28 or 29 November 1229 – 1234
King Canute II's coin son of Holmger who was "nepos" (nephew?) of Canute I Ericson Helena Pedersdatter Strange 1234, buried at Sko kloster
Eric (XI) the Lisp and Lame (Erik läspe och halte),
1234–2 February 1250
Erik11.jpg 1216 son of king Erik X of Sweden and Richeza of Denmark Catherine of Ymseborg 2 February 1250, aged about 34, buried at Varnhem Abbey

House of Bjälbo[edit]

The House of Bjälbo is sometimes referred to as the House of Folkung

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Valdemar (Valdemar Birgersson)
Spring 1250–22 July 1275
ValdemarBySigsjö.jpg 1239 son of Birger jarl and Ingeborg Eriksdotter (a daughter of Eric X) Sophia of Denmark, daughter of Eric IV of Denmark Died while imprisoned by his brother Magnus at Nyköping Castle, 26 December 1302, aged about 63, buried at Vreta Abbey or Riddarholmen Church
Magnus III Barnlock (Magnus Ladulås)
22 July 1275–18 December 1290
MagnusBySigsjö.jpg 1240 son of Birger jarl and Ingeborg Eriksdotter (the daughter of Eric X) Helwig of Holstein Visingsö, 18 December 1290, aged about 50, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Birger (Birger Magnusson)
18 December 1290–March/April 1318
Limestone painting of Birger Magnusson c. 1300 1280 son of Magnus III Ladislaus and Helwig of Holstein Martha of Denmark, 1298 31 May 1321, in exile in Denmark, after murdering his brothers at Nyköping Banquet, aged about 41, buried at Ringsted, Zealand
Mats Kettilmundsson
Regent 27 June 1318–8 July 1319
(not of the House of Bjälbo)
Unknown birthyear None May 1326, in Åbo, as hövitsman of Finland
Magnus IV Ericson (Magnus Eriksson)
8 July 1319–15 February 1364
King Magnus Eriksson's seal Norway, 1316 son of Erik Magnusson (brother of Birger) and Ingeborg Håkonsdotter Blanche of Namur,1335 Drowned in a shipwreck when seeking refuge with his son in Bømlofjord, Norway, 1 December 1374, aged about 58
Eric (XII) (Erik Magnusson)
17 October 1356–20 June 1359
(rival king until 1359; joint-rule with father months before death)
Seal of king Eric 1339 son of Magnus IV Eriksson and Blanche of Namur Beatrice of Bavaria Generally believed that he and his wife died in the plague, 20 June 1359, aged about 20
Hacon (Håkan Magnusson)
15 February 1362–15 February 1364
(joint-rule with father)
Seal of king Håkan Magnusson 1340 son of Magnus IV Eriksson and Blanche of Namur Margrete Valdemarsdotter, 9 April 1363 in Copenhagen Oslo, 11 September 1380, aged about 40, buried in Oslo

House of Mecklenburg[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Albert of Sweden (Albrekt av Mecklenburg)
15 February 1364–24 February 1389
Albert of Sweden Mecklenburg, c. 1338, son of Albert II, Duke of Mecklenburg and Euphemia of Sweden Richardis of Schwerin Mecklenburg, 1 April 1412, aged about 74, buried in Mecklenburg

Monarchs during the Kalmar Union period and Regents (Riksföreståndare)[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Margaret (Margareta Valdemarsdotter)
24 February 1389–28 October 1412
Queen Margaret I Vordingborg Castle, 1353 daughter of Valdemar IV and Helvig of Sønderjylland Haakon VI of Norway Flensburg Fjord, 28 October 1412, aged about 55, buried in Roskilde Cathedral
Eric (XIII) (Erik av Pommern)
23 July 1396–24 September 1439 (deposed 1434–1435 and 1436)
Eric of Pomerania Rügenwalde, Pomerania, 1382, son of Wartislaw VII, Duke of Pomerania and Mary of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Philippa of England Rügenwalde Castle, 3 May 1459, aged about 77, buried in Rügenwalde, Pomerania
Christopher (Kristoffer av Bayern)
Autumn 1441–6 January 1448
Christopher of Bavaria Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz in Bavaria, February 26, 1418 son of Duke John of Pfalz-Neumarkt and Catherine Vratislava Dorothea of Brandenburg Helsingborg, 5 January or 6 January 1448, aged 29, buried at Roskilde Cathedral
Charles VIII (Karl Knutsson Bonde)
20 June 1448–24 February 1457, 9 August 1464–30 January 1465 and 12 November 1467–15 May 1470
Carl-II-Sweden.jpg Ekholmen Castle, 1408 or 1409 son of Knut Tordsson (Bonde) and Margareta Karlsdotter (Sparre av Tofta) Birgitta Turesdotter (Bielke) (died before he became king)
Katarina Karlsdotter
Kristina Abrahamsdotter
15 May 1470, aged about 61 or 62, buried at Riddarholmen Church
Christian I (Kristian I)
23 June 1457–23 June 1464
Christian I Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, February 1426, son of Dietrich of Oldenburg and Helvig of Schauenburg Dorothea of Brandenburg Copenhagen, 21 May 1481, aged 55, buried at Roskilde Cathedral
9 August 1464–30 January 1465 Charles II (Karl Knutsson Bonde) (second period)
12 November 1467 – 15 May 1470 Charles II (Karl Knutsson Bonde) (third period)
John II ("Hans")
6 October 1497–August 1501
Hans Aalborg Castle, 2 February 1455, son of Christian I and Dorothea of Brandenburg Christina of Saxony Aalborg Castle, 20 February 1513, aged 58, buried in Odense
Christian II the Tyrant (Kristian Tyrann)
1 November 1520–23 August 1521
King Christian II Nyborg Castle, 1 July 1481 son of Hans and Christina of Saxony Isabella of Austria Kalundborg Castle, 25 January 1559, aged 77, buried in Odense

House of Vasa[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Gustav I (Gustav Vasa)
6 June 1523 – 29 September 1560
also as regent Gustav Eriksson (Vasa), 1521–1523
Gustav-I-Sweden.jpg Rydboholm Castle or Lindholmen in Uppland, 12 May 1496 son of Erik Johansson and Cecilia Månsdotter Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg (1531–1535)
Margareta Leijonhufvud (1536–1551)
Katarina Stenbock (1552–1560)
Tre Kronor (castle), 29 September 1560, aged 64, buried in Uppsala Cathedral
Eric XIV (Erik XIV)
29 September 1560 – 29 September 1568
Eric XIV of Sweden.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 13 December 1533 son of Gustav I and Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg Karin Månsdotter Died (Poisoned) while imprisoned in Örbyhus Castle, 26 February 1577. Aged 43, buried at Västerås Cathedral
John III (Johan III)
30 September 1568 – 17 November 1592
John III of Sweden.jpg Stegeborg Castle, Östergötland, 20 December 1537 son of Gustav I and Margaret Leijonhufvud Catherine Jagellonica (1562 – 1583),
Gunilla Bielke (1585–1597)
Tre Kronor (castle), 17 November 1592, aged 54, buried at Uppsala Cathedral
Sigmund (Sigismund)
17 November 1592 – 24 July 1599
Bacciarelli - Zygmunt III.jpeg Gripsholm Castle, 20 June 1566, son of John III and Catherine Jagellonica of Poland. Anna of Austria (1592–1598),
Constance of Austria (1605–1631)
Warsaw, Poland, 30 April 1632, aged 65, buried at Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, Poland
Charles IX (Karl IX)
22 March 1604 – 30 October 1611
also as regent Duke Charles, 1599–1604
Charles IX of Sweden.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 4 October 1550 son of Gustav I and Margaret Leijonhufvud Maria of Palatinate-Simmern (1579–1589),
Christina of Holstein-Gottorp (1592–1611)
Nyköping Castle, 30 October 1611, aged 61, buried at Strängnäs Cathedral
Gustav II Adolph (Gustav II Adolf)
30 October 1611 – 6 November 1632
Gustav II of Sweden.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 9 December 1594, son of Charles IX and Christina of Holstein-Gottorp. Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg 6 November 1632, in the Battle of Lützen, Electorate of Saxony, aged 37, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Christina (Kristina)
6 November 1632 – 6 June 1654
Swedish queen Drottning Kristina portrait by Sébastien Bourdon stor.jpg Stockholm, 8 December[2] 1626, daughter of Gustavus Adolphus and Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg Unmarried Rome, 19 April 1689, aged 62, buried at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles X Gustav (Karl X Gustav)
6 June 1654 – 13 February 1660
Sébastien Bourdons-Karl X Gustav.jpg Nyköping Castle, 8 November 1622, son of John Casimir, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg and Catharina of Sweden (daughter of Charles IX) Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp Gothenburg, 13 February 1660, aged 37, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Charles XI (Karl XI)
13 February 1660 – 5 April 1697
Charles XI of Sweden (1691).jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 24 November 1655 son of Charles X and Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp Ulrike Eleonora of Denmark Tre Kronor (castle), 5 April 1697, aged 41, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Charles XII (Karl XII)
5 April 1697 – 30 November 1718
Karl XII 1706.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 17 June 1682 son of Charles XI and Ulrike Eleonora of Denmark Unmarried Fredrikshald, Norway, 30 November 1718, aged 36, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Ulrica Eleanor (Ulrika Eleonora)
5 December 1718 – 29 February 1720
UlricaEleanorQRSweden.jpg Tre Kronor (castle), 23 January 1688 daughter of Charles XI and Ulrike Eleonora of Denmark Frederick I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel Stockholm, 24 November 1741, aged 53, buried in Riddarholmen Church

House of Hesse[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Frederick (Fredrik I av Hessen)
24 March 1720 – 25 March 1751
Frederick I of Sweden.jpg Kassel, (in today's Germany), 23 April 1676 son of Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel and Princess Maria Amalia of Courland Louise Dorothea of Prussia
Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden
Stockholm, 25 March 1751, aged 74, buried in Riddarholmen Church

House of Holstein-Gottorp, a branch of the House of Oldenburg[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Adolph Frederick (Adolf Fredrik)
25 March 1751 – 12 February 1771
Adolf Frederick of Sweden.jpg Gottorp, Schleswig, (in today's Germany), 14 May 1710 son of Christian August of Holstein-Gottorp, Prince of Eutin and Albertina Frederica of Baden-Durlach Louisa Ulrika of Prussia Stockholm Palace, 12 February 1771, aged 60, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Gustav III
12 February 1771 – 29 March 1792
Gustavo-III,-Rey-de-Suecia 1777-by-Roslin.JPG Stockholm, 24 January [O.S. 13 January] 1746 son of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia Sophia Magdalena of Denmark Assassinated (shot in the back when he was on a masked ball at the opera, 16 March 1792). Died in Stockholm Palace, 29 March 1792, aged 46, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Gustav IV Adolph
29 March 1792 – 10 May 1809
with Charles, Duke of Södermanland as regent 1792–1796
Gustav IV Stockholm Palace, 1 November 1778 son of Gustav III and Sophie Magdalena Frederica of Baden St. Gallen, Switzerland, 7 February 1837, aged 58, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Charles XIII (Karl XIII)
6 June 1809 – 5 February 1818
Charles XIII of Sweden Stockholm, 7 October 1748 son of Adolf Frederick of Sweden and Louisa Ulrika of Prussia Hedwig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp Stockholm, 5 February 1818, aged 69, buried in Riddarholmen Church

House of Bernadotte[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Charles XIV John (Karl XIV Johan)
5 February 1818 – 8 March 1844
CarlXIVJohnSweden.jpg Pau, France, 26 January 1763 son of Jean Henri Bernadotte and Jeanne de Saint-Vincent Désirée Clary Stockholm Palace, 8 March 1844, aged 81, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Oscar I
8 March 1844 – 8 July 1859
OscarISweden.jpg Paris, France, 4 July 1799, son of Charles XIV John and Désirée Clary Josephine of Leuchtenberg Stockholm Palace, 8 July 1859, aged 60, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Charles XV (Karl XV)
8 July 1859 – 18 September 1872
Karl XV i mitten av 1860-talet.jpg Stockholm Palace, 3 May 1826 son of Oscar I and Josephine of Leuchtenberg Louise of the Netherlands Malmö, 18 September 1872, aged 46, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Oscar II
18 September 1872 – 8 December 1907
King Oscar II of Sweden in uniform.png Stockholm, 21 January 1829 son of Oscar I and Josephine of Leuchtenberg Sofia of Nassau Stockholm, 8 December 1907, aged 78, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Gustaf V
8 December 1907 – 29 October 1950
Gustaf V av Sverige.jpg Drottningholm Palace, 16 June 1858 son of Oscar II and Sofia of Nassau Victoria of Baden Drottningholm Palace, 29 October 1950, aged 92, buried in Riddarholmen Church
Gustaf VI Adolf
29 October 1950 – 15 September 1973
Gustaf VI Adolf av Sverige som kronprins.jpg Stockholm, 11 November 1882 son of Gustav V and Victoria of Baden Princess Margaret of Connaught
Lady Louise Mountbatten
Helsingborg, 15 September 1973, aged 90, buried at Royal Burial Ground
Carl XVI Gustaf
From 15 September 1973
Carl Gustav Haga Palace, 30 April 1946 son of Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Silvia Sommerlath Living

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lagerqvist in Sverige och dess regenter under 1000 år ISBN 91-0-075007-7 p. 23
  2. ^ Note that the birth date is December 8 in the Julian calendar, which was in effect in Sweden at the time, corresponding to December 18 in the Gregorian calendar.

See also[edit]