Copyright: The Swedish Royal Court/Peter Knutson


Copyright: The Swedish Royal Court/Anna-Lena Ahlström




Royal Palace
11130 Stockholm


uploaded: 1 January 2013 / last modified: 13 January 2019

The country

The state is known as Kunungariket Sverige in its national language. This means the Kingdom of Sweden. The country is being reigned by the Bernadotte dynasty.


The current sovereign is Carl XVI Gustaf Folke Hubertus, King of Sweden. He was born at Haga Castle, Sweden, on 30 April 1946.

He is the son of Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden (1906-1947) and his wife Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1908-1972).

Carl XVI Gustaf succeeded his grandfather King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden after his death on 15 September 1973.

The inauguration took place at the Dining Room of the Royal Palace, Stockholm, Sweden, on 19 September 1973.

The King's motto is För Sverige i tiden, which means For Sweden-in our time.

The King is an Evangelical Lutheran.

Marriage and descendants

King Carl XVI Gustaf is married to Silvia Renate Sommerlath (born 1943) since 1976.

The couple has two daughters, Crown Princess Victoria (born 1977) and Princess Madeleine (born 1982), and one son, Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland (born 1979).

Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland is married to Sofia Hellqvist (born 1984) since 2015. They have two sons, Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland (born 2016) and Prince Gabriel Duke of Dalarna (born 2017).

Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland is married to Christopher O'Neill (born 1974) since 2013. They have two daughters, Princess Leonore, Duchess of Gotland (born 2014) and Princess Adrienne, Duchess of Blekinge (born 2018), and one son, Prince Nicolas, Duke of Ångermanland (born 2015).

Heir to the throne

Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergötland was born at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, on 14 July 1977.

Victoria was Crown Princess of Sweden from her birth to the birth of her brother on 13 May 1979. In accordance with the 1979 Act of Succession, which entered into force on 1 January 1980, she became the heir to the Swedish throne once again.

She is married to Daniel Westling (born 1973) since 2010. Upon their marriage he became Prince Daniel of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland. The couple has one daughter, Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland (born 2012), and one son, Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne (born 2016).


The King or Queen who occupies the throne of Sweden in accordance with the Act of Succession shall be the Head of State. Only a person who is a Swedish citizen and who has reached the age of eighteen may serve as Head of State. The Head of State may not at the same time be a minister, hold the office of Speaker or serve as a member of the Riksdag. The Head of State shall consult the Prime Minister before undertaking travel abroad. If the King or Queen who is Head of State is not in a position to perform his or her duties, the member of the Royal House in line under the order of succession and able to do so shall assume and perform the duties of Head of State in the capacity of Regent ad interim. Should the Royal House become extinct, the Riksdag elects a Regent to perform the duties of Head of State until further notice. The Riksdag elects a Deputy Regent at the same time. The same applies if the King or Queen who is Head of State dies or abdicates and the heir to the throne has not yet reached the age of eighteen. If the King or Queen who is Head of State has been prevented for six consecutive months from performing his or her duties, or has failed to perform his or her duties, the Government shall notify the matter to the Riksdag. The Riksdag decides whether the King or Queen shall be deemed to have abdicated. The Riksdag may elect a person to serve as Regent ad interim. The Speaker, or, in his or her absence, one of the Deputy Speakers, serves as Regent ad interim under a Government order when no other competent person is in a position to serve. The King or Queen who is Head of State cannot be prosecuted for his or her actions. Nor can a Regent be prosecuted for his or her actions as Head of State.

The throne is hereditary in the descendance of Karl XIV Johan Bernadotte. Until January 1st, 1980, succession took place according to male right of the first-born. After that date Princess Victoria followed her younger brother Carl Philip as heir. A dynast can't marry without permission of the King, who needs to be advised by the ministers. A dynast who doesn't ask for permission looses all rights to the throne, for himself and his descendance.


The King is Majesty, King of Sweden. The heir to the throne is Crown Prince(ss) of Sweden. All members of the royal family are Royal Highness, Prince(ss) of Sweden. All dynasts bear a ducal courtesy title.

Royal residences

The official residence of the Swedish monarch is the Royal Palace in Stockholm, where most official engagements take place. It is also the office for royals and staff. The royal family however lives in the southern wing of the Drottningholm Palace.


Sweden is already a kingdom since more than 1000 years. There are legends about a kingdom named Svea from the 9th century. The kings are all known since 980. In the beginning the kings were chosen by the nobility from their own ranks. This changed in 1523 when Gustaf I Eriksson Wasa managed to free Sweden from the Danish domination. Sweden had been united with Denmark and Norway in the Union of Kalmar since 1397. In 1544 he made Sweden a hereditary monarchy. Well-known is his grandson King Gustaf II Adolf who made of Sweden one of the most important countries of northern Europe. He was killed in the war in 1632. Heir to the throne was his daughter Christina. She became a catholic and left the country in 1654 after haven given the throne to her cousin Karl X. The next kings were originally from German houses as Bavaria, Hessen-Kassel and Holstein-Gottorp.

The last Holstein-Gottorp King Karl XIII had to agree that the French marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was made the new crown prince of Sweden. Marshal Bernadotte was born in Pau in an ordinary French family, and became a marshal under the Emperor Napoleon I of the French. He was asked to become crown prince of Sweden by the two Swedes (Mörner and Anckarsvärd) who had to bring the news of the death of the former crown prince of Sweden, Prince Christian August of Denmark, to France. Although they had no instruction to search for a new crown prince in France they asked some famous war heroes if they were interested. Bernadotte was popular because of his human behaviour during the war, the way he represented the Emperor and his talent to organize. The case was not solved yet as other Swedes more liked another Prince Christian August of Denmark as the crown prince. On August 21st 1810 Bernadotte officially was made crown prince of Sweden and in November the old King Karl XIII and his wife Queen Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta adopted Bernadotte, who afterwards was called Karl Johan. On October 20th 1810 Bernadotte arrived in Helsingborg, Sweden, without his wife Désirée (a former fiancée of Napoleon) and their son Oscar, who stayed in Paris. In December they also arrived in Sweden. Princess Désirée left the country she didn't like in June 1811 and didn't return back until 1823. Crown Prince Karl Johan became a regent for the old king in March 1811 and stayed that until the death of Karl XIII in 1818. He was proclaimed the new king on February 6th 1818 and was crowned King Karl XIV Johan on May 11th 1818 in the cathedral of Stockholm. In 1814 he had won Norway for Sweden and thus also became King of Norway.

King Karl XIV Johan died in 1844 and was followed by his only child Oscar I who died in 1859 and in 1823 had married Joséphine Princess of Leuchtenberg, daughter of Napoleon's steph son Eugène de Beauharnais. Their sons Karl XV and Oscar II followed each other as King of Sweden. Oscar II had to give up Norway, which became independent in 1905. The next king was Gustaf V who reigned between 1907 and 1950. His son Gustaf VI Adolf reigned until 1973. His eldest son Gustaf Adolf had died in an air-crash at the airport of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1947, not even one year after the birth of his son Carl Gustaf, who now became heir to the throne. In 1973 the unmarried Carl XVI Gustaf ascended the throne. In 1976 he married the commoner Silvia Sommerlath and they got three children: Victoria (1977), Carl Philip (1979) and Madeleine (1982). Carl Philip was crown prince in the year of his birth, but after a changing of the law his sister Victoria became the crown princess. Prince Bertil, uncle of the king, had always been ready to become a regent for Carl XVI Gustaf if that had been necessary. He even gave up his wedding plans with Lilian Craig, a commoner who wouldn't be accepted by the Swedish royal family. In 1976 they finally married each other after a long, long relationship.

The Kings of Sweden

Karl XIV Johan (1763-1844) 1818-1844
Oscar I (1799-1859) 1844-1859
Karl XV (1826-1872) 1859-1872
Oscar II (1829-1907) 1872-1907
Gustaf V (1858-1950) 1907-1950
Gustaf VI Adolf (1882-1973) 1950-1973
Carl XVI Gustaf (1946- ) 1973-

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