Monarchy of Sweden

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

King of Sweden
Sveriges Konung
Greater coat of arms of Sweden
Carl XVI Gustaf
since 15 September 1973
StyleHis Majesty
Heir apparentCrown Princess Victoria
First monarchEric the Victorious
ResidenceStockholm Palace[1]
Drottningholm Palace[2]

The monarchy of Sweden is centred on the monarchical head of state of Sweden,[3] by law a constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system.[4] There have been kings in what now is the Kingdom of Sweden for more than a millennium. Originally an elective monarchy, it became a hereditary monarchy in the 16th century during the reign of Gustav Vasa,[5] though virtually all monarchs before that belonged to a limited and small number of political families which are considered to be the royal dynasties of Sweden.

The official continuous count usually begins with the kings who ruled both Svealand and Götaland as one kingdom.[6] Sweden's monarchy is amongst the oldest in the world, with a regnal list stretching back to the tenth century, starting with Eric the Victorious; the Swedish monarchy has, for the past thousand years, undergone cycles of decline and strengthening, culminating in the modern constitutional monarchy.[7]

The Swedish monarchy has been one of the key features in the development of Swedish culture, having for centuries patronized the arts and sciences. Several of Sweden's most prestigious academies and cultural institutions are under Swedish royal protection. This historical role politically, militarily and culturally, in spite of the country's otherwise liberal leanings, has resulted in the Swedish monarchy being popular.[8] In recent years, however, some of the most serious criticism ever published has taken place about the way his monarchy has developed under the current king's fifty-year reign.[9][10][11][12]

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 Basic Laws of the Realm which makes up the written constitution[13]). The monarch and the members of the royal family undertake a variety of official, unofficial and other representational duties within Sweden and abroad.[5] The current king of Sweden is Carl XVI Gustaf, while his heir is Crown Princess Victoria.[14]

The Swedish monarch has numerous residences, primarily state-owned but some privately owned; their official residence and workplace is Stockholm Palace, while Drottningholm Palace serves as the monarchy's private residence. Other notable residences include Gripsholm Castle and Ulriksdal Palace, as well as others throughout Sweden.[15]


Pre-16th century

runic inscription of the 11th century (U11) refers to King Håkan the Red

Scandinavian peoples have had kings since prehistoric times. As early as the 1st century CE,

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

Westrogothic law), and there is a relatively small number of runestones that are thought to mention kings: Gs 11 (Emund the Old – reigned 1050–1060), U 11 (Håkan the Red – late 11th century) and U 861 (Blot-Sweyn
– reigned c. 1080).

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 remains unclear. The Royal Court of Sweden, however, does count Olof's father, Eric the Victorious, as Sweden's first king. The power of the king was greatly strengthened[why?] by the introduction of Christianity during the 11th century, and the following centuries saw a process of consolidation of power into the hands of the king. The Swedes traditionally elected a king from a favored dynasty at the Stones of Mora, and the people had the right to elect the king as well as to depose him. The ceremonial stones were destroyed around 1515.[citation needed]

In the 12th century, the consolidation of Sweden was still affected 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 pre-Kalmar Union Sweden into a strong state, and finally king Magnus IV (reigned 1319–1364) even ruled Norway (1319–1343) and Scania (1332–1360). Following the Black Death,[clarification needed] the union weakened, and Scania reunited with Denmark.

In 1397, after the Black Death and domestic power struggles, Queen Margaret I of Denmark united Sweden (then including Finland), Denmark and Norway (then including 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 Finland) for centuries to come.

16th- and 17th-century changes

Jakob Binck, legally created the hereditary monarchy and organized the Swedish unitary state

Catholic bishops had supported the

on 6 June 1523.

Inspired by the teachings of

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 on 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.[16]

At the death of King Gustav I in 1560, he was succeeded by his oldest son

Sigismund II of Poland.[17] In 1568 Eric was dethroned and succeeded by John III. In domestic politics John III showed clear Catholic sympathies, inspired by his queen, creating friction with the Swedish clergy and nobility. He reintroduced several Catholic traditions previously abolished, and his foreign policy was affected by his family connection to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, where his eldest son had been made King Sigismund III in 1587.[n 3] Following the death of his father, 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 the ambitions of his uncle. In 1598 Sigismund and his Swedish-Polish army were 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

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 4]

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 6]

As the heiress presumptive, at the age of six

Roman Catholicism

Charles XI at the Battle of Lund in 1676. Painting by David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl.

The Estates elected

Skåne, Blekinge and Bohuslän now became Swedish provinces and have remained so ever since. Charles X Gustav was not satisfied, as he wanted to crush Denmark once and for all, but the 1659 Assault on Copenhagen did not prove successful for the Swedes, largely due to the Dutch naval intervention
to the aid of the Danes.

Charles X Gustav died in

absolute monarch

Charles XI was succeeded by his son, Charles XII, who would prove to be an extremely able military commander, defeating far larger enemies with the small but highly professional Swedish army. His defeat of the Russians at Narva when just 18 years old was to be his greatest victory. However his campaigning at the head of his army during the Great Northern War would ultimately lead to catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Poltava after which he spent several years in Turkey (now Moldova). Some years later he was killed at the Siege of Fredriksten during an attempt to invade Norway. The Swedish Age of Greatness (Swedish: stormaktstiden) had ended.[n 9]

18th century to the present

Charles XII's sister,

Ulrika Eleonora, now claimed the throne over her nephew and son of her elder sister, Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (see genealogy chart above). Charles Frederick had the claim of seniority within the family, but Ulrica Eleonora claimed that her elder sister had not "acquired the consent of the Parliamentary Estates" for her marriage to his father, according to laws of succession laid down in Norrköpings arvförening. The duke's party asserted that the absolute monarchy in Sweden, which his grandfather King Charles XI had created, made that marriage clause irrelevant. When Charles Frederick was confronted with Ulrika Eleonora, he was forced by Arvid Horn to greet her as queen.[21] He asked to be granted the title Royal Highness and to be recognised as her heir, but when her husband, Frederick of Hesse, instead was given the title, he left Sweden in 1719. In 1723, he was granted the title Royal Highness in his absence, but his pro-Russian policy at that time made him impossible as heir to the Swedish throne. His marriage in 1725 to Anna, the daughter of Peter of Great, did not help his case. [21] His mother, and later Hedwig Eleonora, both supported and worked for his right to be considered heir of Sweden after his childless uncle.[21]

Ulrika Eleonora was forced by the Estates to sign the 1719 Instrument of Government, which ended the absolute monarchy and made the Riksdag of the Estates the highest organ of the state and reduced the role of monarch to a figurehead. The Age of Liberty (Swedish: frihetstiden) with its parliamentary rule, dominated by two parties – the Caps and the Hats – had begun. Ulrika Eleonora had had enough after a year on the throne and abdicated in favor of her husband, Frederick, who had little interest in the affairs of state and was elected King by the Estates as King Frederick I, resulting in the 1720 Instrument of Government
: content-wise almost identical to the one from 1719. Despite having many extra-marital affairs, Frederick I never sired a legitimate heir to the throne.

After the death/impending death of King Frederick without heirs, Charles Frederick's heir, Charles Peter Ulrich, had become untenable in Sweden, as he had been taken to Russia by his aunt

Charles X of Sweden.[22] He succeeded as King Adolf Frederick 8 years later on 25 March 1751.[23]

During his 20-year reign, Adolf Frederick was little more than a figurehead, the real power being with the Riksdag of the Estates, often distracted by party strife. Twice he endeavored to free himself from the tutelage of the estates. The first occasion was in 1756. Stimulated by his consort Louisa Ulrika of Prussia (sister of Frederick the Great), he tried to regain a portion of the attenuated prerogative through the Coup of 1756 to abolish the rule of the Riksdag of the Estates and reinstate absolute monarchy in Sweden. He nearly lost his throne in consequence. On the second occasion during the December Crisis of 1768, under the guidance of his eldest son, Gustav, he succeeded in overthrowing the "Cap" (Swedish: Mössorna) senate, but was unable to make any use of his victory.[24]

Adolf Frederick's son, King

Gustav III, was more successful in restoring royal authority. In 1772, the 1720 Instrument in Government was later replaced by the 1772 Instrument of Government in a self-coup
orchestrated by the King.

Charles John at the Battle of Leipzig (1813). Painting by Fredric Westin

On 17 September 1809 in the

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

Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte as crown prince. 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 during a military exercise.

Although the 19th century Bernadotte monarchs that would follow Charles XIV John's reign tried to defend the power and privileges they still had, the tide incrementally turned against "personal regal rule" (Swedish: personlig kungamakt) with the growth of the liberals, social democrats, and the expansion of the franchise.[25]

The daughter of

Gustav VI Adolf

When King

parliamentarism in 1917, with the appointment of the coalition government of liberals and social democrats led by professor Nils Edén, the political influence of the King was considerably reduced and an unwritten constitutional precedent was set that would remain in effect until 1975.[28][29]

Only during World War II, in the so-called Midsummer crisis (regarding the issue whether neutral Sweden should permit rail transport of German troops from Norway passing through to Finland), did Gustaf V allegedly try to intervene in the political process by threatening to abdicate.[30]


Liberal People's Party, and the Moderate Party, that is all the parties except the Communists).[n 10][31] It mandated that the monarchy would remain largely as it was but would become entirely ceremonial, without any residual political powers left.[31]

Following the required double

Instrument of Government was brought into effect. The monarch's functions and duties, as defined in the 1974 Constitution Act, include heading the special cabinet council held when there is a change of government, but no executive powers with respect to the governance of the realm are vested in him.[33][34]

Carl XVI Gustaf became king on 15 September 1973 on the death of his grandfather Gustaf VI Adolf and because of his father's early death has become the longest reigning monarch in Swedish history.[35] His King's Golden Jubilee was celebrated in 2023. Leading up to that year and including it, beginning already in 2018, some of the most serious criticism ever published took place about Carl Gustaf and the way the monarchy has developed during his reign.[36][37][38]

Constitutional and official role

When, on 1 January 1975, it replaced the

Instrument of Government of 1974 (Swedish: 1974 års regeringsform) transformed the advisory Council of State (Statsrådet) into the collegial Government (Regeringen), to which all executive power was transferred.[39][40] Responsibility for nominating and dismissing the prime minister (who, since 1975, is elected by the Riksdag) was transferred to the Speaker of the Riksdag; the prime minister appoints and dismisses the other ministers at his or her discretion.[40][41][42][n 11] Furthermore, bills passed by the Riksdag become law without royal assent: the prime minister or any other cabinet minister signs them "On Behalf of the Government" (På regeringens vägnar).[44]

Although the unwritten precedent was set in 1917, when Gustaf V had little choice but to support the idea of a parliamentary system and promised Prime Minister Nils Edén to stop seeking advice from secret advisors other than the duly appointed cabinet ministers and not to interfere in politics again;[29][45] the Torekov compromise, struck in 1971 by the four major parties at the time, provided, and continues to provide, a majority consensus in Swedish political discourse on the role of the monarchy within the constitutional framework.[31][34][46] The official motive for the radical changes which came to pass in 1975 was for it to be as descriptive as possible of the workings of the state and clear on how decisions actually are made.[44] Minister of Justice Lennart Geijer further remarked on the 1973 government bill that any continued pretensions of royal involvement in government decision making would be of a "fictitious nature" and therefore "highly unsatisfactory".[44]

Thus, the monarch lost all formal executive powers, becoming a ceremonial and representative

royal family or the employees the Royal Court enjoy similar immunity.[53]

At the request of the Speaker of the Riksdag, the monarch

Letters of Credence of foreign ambassadors sent to Sweden and signs those of Swedish ambassadors sent abroad.[33] The monarch also chairs the Cabinet Council (skifteskonselj) in a session that establishes the new government following a general election or major cabinet reshuffle and also chairs information councils (informationskonselj) approximately four times a year to get information from the assembled Government, apart from that given by ministers in individual audiences or through other means.[33][56] Formally, it is the explicit responsibility of the prime minister to keep the monarch informed on the affairs of the realm; the failure to do so following the 2004 tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean (in which many Swedes perished) gave rise to wide criticism of Prime Minister Göran Persson for his handling of the matter.[53] The monarch also chairs the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs (Utrikesnämnden), a body that 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.[33][56][57]

While the monarch is no longer the commander-in-chief (högste befälhavare) of the Swedish Armed Forces, as he once was under the 1809 Instrument of Government[31] King Carl XVI Gustaf is the foremost representative of the Swedish defence establishment and holds supreme rank in each of the service arms. He ranks as a four star admiral in the Swedish Navy and general in the Swedish Army and Air Force.[33] As part of his court, the monarch has a military staff, which is headed by a senior officer (usually a general or admiral, retired from active service) and includes active duty military officers serving as aides-de-camp to the monarch and his or her family.[58]

Cultural role

The monarch and members of the

Royal Family undertake a variety of official, unofficial and other representative duties within Sweden and abroad. The monarch and his or her family play a central role in state visits
to Sweden and conduct state visits to other nations on behalf of Sweden. Other members of the Royal Family may also represent the country abroad at lesser functions.

The royal standard used by the monarch

Many of the Swedish

Gustavus Adolphus, who was killed on that date (old style) in 1632 in the Battle of Lützen.[n 16][59][60][61] None of these flag days are public holidays, however.[n 17]

Perhaps the most globally known ceremony in which the Royal Family annually participate 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 economic sciences.[63]

Stone of Mora in Uppland and participation was originally restricted to the people of that area; hence, the need of having the election confirmed by the other parts of the realm. The Eriksgata gradually lost its importance when, as of the 14th century, representatives of other parts of Sweden began to participate in the election. After 1544, when hereditary monarchy was instituted, that meant that the Eriksgata had little practical importance. The last king to travel the Eriksgata according to the old tradition was Charles IX
, whose reign began in 1604. Later, kings, up until present times, have made visits to all the Swedish provinces and called them an Eriksgata, while those visits bear little resemblance to the medieval tradition.


The Silver Throne, used by all Swedish monarchs from Queen Christina in 1650 onward


The full title of the Swedish monarch from 1523[64][65] to 1973 was:

In Swedish: Med Guds Nåde Sveriges, Götes och Vendes Konung
: Dei Gratia Suecorum, Gothorum et Vandalorum Rex

Translated as "By the Grace of God, King of the Swedes, the Goths, and the Wends"[66] or "By the Grace of God, King of Sweden, of the Goths and Vandals".[67]

During the reign of the House of Holstein-Gottorp from 1751 to 1818, the title Heir to Norway (Arvinge till Norge) was also used,[68] as well as other titles connected to the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp. When, after the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was in personal union with Sweden, the title included King of Norway, in older Swedish spellings: Sweriges, Norriges, Göthes och Wendes Konung.

Upon his accession, Carl XVI Gustaf chose for his title simply Sveriges Konung (King of Sweden).[35]


The customary title of the

Act of Succession
and also colloquially and informally. Female dynasts are titled princess (prinsessa).

The Swedish Succession Act was altered in 1980 to allow for female succession to the throne.[69]

Ducal titles

Swedish provinces
. The difference between the ducal titles from the Vasa era and those granted by Gustav III is they now are non-hereditary courtesy titles given at birth. Since 1980, they have been conferred to all royal heirs, male and female. The wives of royal dukes have always shared their husbands' titles; the husbands of royal duchesses have done so as of 2010.

Symbols of the monarchy


The Crown of Eric XIV


King Erik XIV. The Regalia is state property and the government authority which holds it in trust is the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency.[70][71]

The last king to have been crowned was Oscar II. His son and successor, Gustaf V, abstained from having a coronation.[70] While the crowns and coronets have not been worn by Swedish royalty since 1907, they are nevertheless still displayed on royal occasions such as at weddings, christenings and funerals. Until 1974, the crown and sceptre were also displayed on cushions beside the Silver Throne at the annual solemn opening of the Riksdag (Swedish: Riksdagens högtidliga öppnande).[70][71][72]

Royal orders of chivalry

The Royal Orders of Sweden constituting the Royal Order of Knights

The Royal orders have a historical basis, dating back to the 1606 founding of the now extinct

Jehova Order. The Royal Orders of Knights of Sweden were only truly codified in the 18th century, with their formal foundation in 1748 by King Frederick I. In 1974 the Riksdag significantly changed the conditions and criteria under which orders and decorations could be awarded: that no Swedish citizen outside the Royal Family is eligible to receive such decorations. 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.[73] 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,

Royal Family

Royal residences

The Royal Palaces (including the

Royal Family, such as Solliden Palace on the island of Öland, a cottage in Storlien in the Jämtland and Villa Mirage in Sainte-Maxime in southern France (originally acquired by Prince Bertil).[76]

Royal Palace


The Royal Palace (Kungliga slottet), also known as Stockholm Palace (

Gamla Stan ("the Old Town") in the national capital city Stockholm

The offices of the king, 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 service members of the Swedish Armed Forces.[77] The tradition of having a regular unit of the Army guarding at the royal residence dates back to 1523.[77] Until the mid-19th century, the royal guards also maintained law and order in the city and provided firefighting services.[77]

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

The southern façade faces the grand style slope Slottsbacken;[clarification needed] the eastern façade borders Skeppsbron, a quay which passes along the eastern waterfront of the old town; on the northern front Lejonbacken is a system of ramps named for 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, who pay entrance fees.[1]

The first building on this site was a

Tre Kronor: named after the spire on the centre tower with Three Crowns, which have become the Swedish national symbol.[n 18] In the late 16th century, work was done to transform the castle into a Renaissance palace during the reign of John III. In 1690, it was decided that the castle be rebuilt in Baroque style in a design by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger
. In 1692, work began on the northern row. However, much of the old castle was destroyed in a disastrous fire on 7 May 1697.

Tessin rebuilt the damaged palace, and work continued for another 63 years. Semicircular 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, Lejonbacken (the "Lion's Slope") was rebuilt from 1824 to 1830.

Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the home residence of the King and Queen.[2]

Drottningholm Palace (

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 current private residence of the King and Queen, Drottningholm Palace is a popular tourist attraction.[2]

The gardens and park areas surrounding Drottningholm Palace and adjacent to 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.[78]

The royal domain of Drottningholm is a well-preserved milieu from the 17th and 18th centuries, inspired by French buildings such as the

World Heritage List in 1991.[79]

Haga Palace

Crown Princess Victoria
and her family.

Haga Palace (

heads of government et cetera).[80]

In April 2009, it was announced by Prime Minister

Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland.[81] They moved into the palace in the autumn after their wedding on 19 June 2010.[82]

Royal Family

The Swedish royal family is, according to the Royal Court, currently categorized into three groups;

  • first, those with royal titles and
    style (manner of address) who perform official and unofficial engagements for the nation, are the members of the Royal Family (Swedish: Kungafamiljen) (currently this category only includes the King, Queen and their descendants, including spouses);[83]
  • second, those with royal titles and style (manner of address) who perform no official engagements (Swedish: Kungliga Huset, usually stylized with the shortform Kungl. Huset);[83]
  • and third, the extended family of the King (Swedish: Kungliga Familjens övriga medlemmar, usually stylized with the shortform Kungl. Familjens övriga medlemmar) which is other close relatives who are not dynasts and thus do not represent the country officially.[83]

However, in any case, there is no legislation or other public document which delineates the rules of membership in either the Royal House or Royal Family, as it is left to the sole discretion of the King.

The line of succession

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


line of succession and designates the legitimate heirs to the Swedish Throne; it also states in article 4 that the Monarch and dynastic members of the Royal House must at all times be a Protestant Christian of the pure evangelical faith (by implication the Church of Sweden).[84][85]

A rewrite of the Act, entering into force in 1980, fundamentally changed the rules of succession from

Prince Carl Philip
, who had been born as crown prince a few months before.

In its present reading, Article 1 of the Act of Succession limits the potential number of claimants to the throne, so that only the descendants of Carl XVI Gustaf can inherit the Throne.[85][86] If the royal house were to be extinct, the Riksdag is not obligated to elect a new royal house, as it once was up until the constitutional reforms of the 1970s.[53]

See also


  1. 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 (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. ^ No regnal number—just Sigismund—is used when referring to Sigismund III Vasa as King of Sweden.
  4. ^ The war against Denmark was concluded in 1613 with a peace treaty, which did not cost Sweden any territory, but Sweden was nevertheless forced to pay a heavy indemnity to Denmark (Treaty of Knäred) in order to regain control of Älvsborg Fortress.
  5. ^ Meanwhile, a Catholic army under 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.
  6. Napoleon Bonaparte
  7. ^ Although the local conflict with Denmark-Norway, as part of the Thirty Years' War was settled at the Second Treaty of Brömsebro (1645), in which the Danes ceded the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland, Härjedalen and Idre & Särna as well as the Danish Baltic Sea islands of Gotland and Ösel. Sweden was furthermore exempted from the Sound Dues and received the Danish province of Halland for a period of 30 years as a guarantee of these provisions.
  8. ^ Charles Gustav was the son of John Casimir, Count Palatine of Kleeburg (1589–1652) and Princess Catherine of Sweden (1584–1638), daughter of King Charles IX.
  9. ^ Sweden ceded its Baltic provinces and parts of Finland to Russia in the 1721 Treaty of Nystad.
  10. ^ Also known as the Torekov Agreement (Swedish: Torekovsövernskommelsen). The participants were Valter Åman (s), Bertil Fiskesjö (c), Birger Lundström (fp) and Allan Hernelius (m).[32]
  11. ^ The Speaker of the Riksdag, not the Prime Minister, is considered the second highest public office in the order of precedence, below the head of state.[43]
  12. ^ Such as in the first article in which the monarch is mentioned:

    Art. 5. The King or Queen who occupies the throne of Sweden in accordance with the Act of Succession shall be the Head of State.[48]

  13. Per-Albin Hansson and Tage Erlander all made statements to the effect of being for a republic in principle whenever the issue was raised, but that it was not worth pursuing (presumably fearing an electoral backlash).[50]
    At the 1972 party congress of the Social Democrats, Prime Minister Olof Palme publicly defended the Torekov compromise, in response some members that yearned for a republic, by famously characterizing that the upcoming reforms would reduce the constitutional role of the monarchy to nothing but a "plume" (plym) and thus paving the way to abolish the monarchy with the stroke of a pen (penndrag) at some distant point in the future. Palme emphasized though that other reforms were far more important for the Social Democrats than abolishing the monarchy.[49][51] Successive leaders (and prime ministers) Ingvar Carlsson and Göran Persson have also defended the status quo.[49]
  14. Eric XIV in 1568, Sigisumnd 1599, and Gustav IV Adolf
    in 1809).
  15. ^ The Riksdag Act provision in question reads:

    Special meeting for the opening of the Riksdag session

    Art. 6. A special meeting of the Chamber for the formal opening of a Riksdag session takes place no later than the third day of the session. At the request of the Speaker, the Head of State declares the session open. If the Head of State is unable to attend, the Speaker declares the session open.
    At this meeting, the Prime Minister delivers a statement of Government policy unless there are special grounds why he or she should refrain from doing so.
    Time of meeting for the opening of the Riksdag session
    Supplementary provision 3.6.1 The formal opening of the session after an election to the Riksdag takes place at 2 p.m. on the second day of the session.
    In years in which no election to the Riksdag has been held, the formal opening takes place on the first day of the session at the same time.

    The Speaker may appoint another time for the meeting.[54]

  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Flag days are regulated by an ordinance issued by the Government of Sweden.[62] This means that the national flag is flown on all public flag poles and buildings on those dates.
  18. ^ The Stockholm City Hall, built in 1927, has a similar spire with Three Crowns on its tower.



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External links