My dear travellers and lovers of unique trips, I hope you are well and ready to continue our adventure in the heart of Scandinavia and the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden – Stockholm. As I promised you in the previous post, in the following posts I will share with you some more detailed information about certain sights that caught my attention and that I am sure will intrigue you. Today’s post will be dedicated to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, as well as the royal complex.
If by any chance you didn’t have time to read the first travelogue about Stockholm on the Mr.M blog or you want to remind yourself of some details, take a few minutes of your time and visit the post on the following link.
Today I will share with you my impressions of the Royal Palace in Stockholm and I would like to thank the Visit Stockholm for the invitation and the amazing experience to get to know the culture and customs in the heart of Scandinavia.
Before I start my story about the Royal Palace today, I think we should get to know the members of the Swedish Royal Family better. Since 1818, the Swedish royal family has consisted of members of the Swedish royal house of Bernadotte, closely related to the King of Sweden. Today, those recognized by the government are entitled to royal titles and perform official duties and ceremonial state duties. The extended royal family consists of other close relatives who are not directly from the royal family and therefore do not officially represent the country.
The Swedish royal family, closely related to the head of state, could be identified as having existed since the 10th century AD, with more precise details added during the two or three centuries that followed. An exception is the case of Saint Bridget, who became known outside of Sweden as the Princess of Nericia, which seems to have been a noble and not a royal title, since she was not the daughter of a king. Historically confirmed monarchs are officially listed by the Swedish Royal Court.
Until the 1620s, the Swedish provinces were granted as territorial appanages to royal princes who, as their dukes, ruled semi-autonomously. Beginning with the reign of Gustavus III, and as codified in 1772, the provincial duchies existed in the royal family only as nominal non-hereditary titles, without any inherent ownership or trust in them, although several members of the royal family maintained a special public connection with and sometimes secondary residence in “his or her duchy”.
The son of the Swedish king usually held the princely title as a royal dynast (such as Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland), but on rare occasions also as a noble rank (such as Fursten Prince Friedrich William of Hessenstein), or as a courtesy to a former dynast ( such as Prince Oscar Bernadotte).
The Swedish Royal Court lists the following persons as members of the Royal House:
1) King Carl XVI Gustaf (born in 1946)
2) Queen Silvia (King’s wife, born in 1943)
3) Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergotland (King’s elder daughter, born 1977)
4) Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergotland (son-in-law of the King, born in 1973, husband of Princess Victoria)
5) Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland (granddaughter of the King, born in 2012, daughter of Princess Victoria)
6) Prince Oscar, Duke of Scone, (grandson of the King, born in 2016, son of Princess Victoria)
7) Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Vermland (the king’s only son, born in 1979)
8) Princess Sofia, Duchess of Vermland (King’s daughter-in-law, born 1984, wife of Prince Carl Philip) 9) Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland (King’s grandson, born 2016, son of Prince Carl Philip)
10) Prince Gabriel, Duke of Dalarna (king’s grandson, born 2017, son of Prince Carl Philip)
11) Prince Julian, Duke of Halland (King’s grandson, born 2021, son of Prince Carl Philip) 12) Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Halsingland and Gastricland (King’s younger daughter, born 1982) 13) Princess Leonora, Duchess of Gotland (granddaughter of the King, born in 2014, daughter of Princess Madeleine)
14) Prince Nikola, Duke of Angermanland (king’s grandson, born in 2015, son of Princess Madeleine)
15) Princess Adrienne, Duchess of Blackingham (granddaughter of the King, born in 2018, daughter of Princess Madeleine)
16) Princess Margareta, the King’s first sister, born in 1934
17) Princess Desiree, Baroness Silfverschiold (the King’s third sister, born in 1938), widow of Baron Niclas Silfverschiold.
18) Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnusson (King’s fourth sister, born in 1943), married to Consul General Tord Magnusson.
19) Marianna Bernadotte (born 1924), widow of the king’s uncle Sigvard Bernadotte.
20) Princess Birgitta, Princess of Hohenzollern (the King’s second sister, born in 1937), widow of Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern.
Now that we’ve been introduced to the royal family, it’s time to learn a little more about the royal complex.
Stockholm Palace or Royal Palace is the official residence and main royal palace of the Swedish monarch (King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia use Drottningholm Palace as their usual residence). Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen in Stockholm. It is located near the Riksdag building. The offices of the King, other members of the Swedish royal family and the Royal Court of Sweden are located here. The palace is used for representative purposes by the king while performing his duties as head of state.
This royal residence has been in the same location by Norström in the northern part of Gamla stan in Stockholm since the mid-13th century when Tre Kronor Castle was built. In modern times the name refers to a building called Kungliga Slottet. The palace was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger and was built on the same site as the medieval Tre Kronor Castle which was destroyed by fire on 7 May 1697.
Due to the costly Great Northern War that began in 1700, the construction of the palace was stopped. In 1727, construction continued six years after the end of the war. When Tessin the Younger died in 1728, the palace was completed by Carl Harlemann who also designed much of its Rococo interior. The palace was not ready for use until 1754, when King Adolf Frederik and Queen Louise Ulrika moved in, but some interior work continued until the 1770s.
No major changes have been made in the palace since its completion, only some adaptations, new interiors, modernization and remodeling for various regents and their families, coloring of facades and addition of palace museums. The palace is surrounded by Lejonbacken and Norrbro to the north, Logarden and Skeppsbron to the east, Slottsbacken and Storkirkan to the south, and the outer courtyard and Hogvaktsterrassen to the northwest.
As of 2009, the interior of the palace consists of 1,430 rooms. The palace contains apartments for royal families, representatives and ceremonies such as the State Apartments, Guest Apartments and Bernadotte Apartments. More features are the State Hall, the Royal Chapel, the Treasury with the regalia of Sweden, the Livrustkammaren and the Tre Kronor Museum in the remaining basement vaults from the former castle. The National Library of Sweden was housed in the northeast wing, Biblioteksfligeln (Library Wing), until 1878. Since 2014, it houses Bernadotte’s library. The Slottsarkivet is located in the wing of the office.
The palace houses the offices of the Royal Court of Sweden, a workplace for about 200 employees. The Royal Guard guarded the palace and the royal family since 1523. A comprehensive renovation of the facade began in 2011 to repair weather-damaged sandstone sections. The Royal Palace is owned by the Swedish state through the National Property Board of Sweden, which is responsible for the management and maintenance of the palace, while Stathallarambet (Office of the Governor of the Royal Palaces) administers the royal right to dispose of the palace. The palace belongs to the crown palaces in Sweden which are at the disposal of the King and the Royal Court of Sweden.
Artists such as Jean Eric Rehn and Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander were important to the magnificent interior of the palace during the late 18th and 19th centuries, when pilasters, columns, wall decorations and other details were added. Among those sculptors, painters and craftsmen who also contributed to the later renovations were Louis Masreliez (interior work in classicism and neoclassicism), Jean Baptiste Masreliez (interior work), Akel Magnus Fahlcrantz (Logarden wall and wrought iron fence in Logarden), Johann Niclas Bistrom (sculptures), Sven Scholander (restorations), Johan Akel Vetterlund (facade sculptures of prominent people and four allegorical groups on the Logarden wall), Julius Kronberg (paintings on the ceiling) and Kaspar Schroder (facade sculptures on the court lion mask facade).
Major changes to the facade were made during the reign of King Charles XIV John, which resulted in the repainting of the Harlemann light yellow color of the facade and in the early 20th century during the reign of King Oscar II when the decision was made to return Tessin to the original.
During the reign of King Oscar I, there was a renewed interest in the older styles and when the Vita Havet (White Sea Ballroom) was created to the design of Per Akel Nyström in 1844–1850, a compromise was made between the old and the new. Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander was the royal curator to King Charles XV and shared his taste in interior design, resulting in rooms such as the Victoriasalongen (Victoria Salon) in the exuberant revived Rococo style.
King Oscar II carried out numerous additions, improvements and modernization of the palace. Most of the empty facade niches during his reign were filled with sculptures. He gave an update on the technical installations of the palace, such as the installation of water pipes in 1873, electricity installation in 1883, telephone in 1884 and water central heating around 1900.
Since 2014, the property has been connected to district heating. The king’s interest extended to the decoration of the staircase, and he commissioned Julius Kronberg to paint the ceilings on the ceiling of the West Staircase. Author Georg Svensson wrote about King Oscar II that “his goal was to complete the construction of the palace according to Tessin’s plans in a manner worthy of this monument.”
During 1922 to 1930, Lawgarden was rebuilt from a former English park into a more open area with pools of water on either side of the promenade leading from the East Arch to Skepsbronn.
From 1956 to 1958, the Gustav III Museum of Antiquities was restored. The architect and chief intendant Ivar Tengbom was appointed for the works. The Treasury was opened in 1970, and the Tre Kronor Museum in 1999. 4 years ago, in 2018 to be exact, nearly 600 solar panels were installed on the roof of the palace and are expected to generate an annual output of 170 MWh or at least twelve percent of the palace’s annual electricity consumption.
According to data from 2014, the Royal Palace has 1,430 rooms.
Basement: There are 104 rooms in the basement, most of which were used as storerooms and prisons. The remains of the old Tre Kronor Castle are visible there. Certain parts of the basement are divided into two basement floors because of the large differences in headroom in the different parts. A royal wine cellar could be found under the west range in the late 1800s and 1900s, and is most likely still there.
The ground floor is the highest floor of the palace. The rooms there were mainly used by the court staff, and there are four portals (or arches) that form the entrances to the palace, as well as the State Hall and the Royal Chapel.
The middle floor or mezzanine has 115 rooms. Most of the rooms have retained their size since the construction of the palace, but their use has varied. The name is derived from the fact that the floor is only half as low as the other floors. The rooms were mainly used by the court staff, but there were also apartments of princes and princesses. In the mezzanine there is also a small apartment for guests, which consists of several rooms in the northern part of the western row.
The first floor has 67 rooms. The rooms have mostly kept their size since the palace was built, but their use has varied. The Bernadotte Apartments and the Hall of Pillars are located in the north row, and the east row has private rooms. King Carl XVI Gustaf and his family lived here until they moved to Drottningholm Palace in 1981.
The second floor has 57 rooms. Most of the rooms have retained their size since the construction of the palace, but their use has varied. Guest Suites, State Suites with Vita Havet Ballroom (White Sea), Cabinet Meeting Room and Prince Bertil Suite are on this floor.
The attic, has about 25 rooms, as well as the upper part and the arches that form the ceiling for the State Hall, the Royal Chapel and the southern staircase. The attic is mainly used for storage.
Within the royal complex there are several separate museums that you can visit, namely: Royal Apartments with apartments for their guests, Treasury, Three Tre Kronor Museum, Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, Royal Chapel, Royal Armory Museum. Depending on your interests you can visit the museums that you think suit you, but I can tell you that each of them is special and unique, so you should visit each of them if you have enough time.
The Royal Palace in Stockholm is the official residence of His Majesty the King and is also the site of the monarchy’s official receptions, open to the public throughout the year. This unusual combination of a royal residence, a workplace and a cultural and historical monument open to visitors all year round makes the Royal Palace in Stockholm unique among European royal residences.
The palace contains many interesting things that are worth seeing. In addition to the royal apartments, there are three museums steeped in royal history: the Treasury of Regalia, the Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) museum which depicts the medieval history of the palaces, and the Gustav III Museum of Sculpture and Antiquities. During the summer months, the Royal Chapel is also open, as well as Ridarholmen Church – the royal burial church five minutes’ walk from the palace, for which a combined ticket is available.
My dear travellers, we have come to the end of the second special post about the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden, which would not have been possible without the selfless help of the Visit Stockholm in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of Swedish culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions of this unusual experience from Sweden.
Time always flies when a person is having a good time! A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way during this global health crisis of COVID-19.
I am honoured to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank them for this incredible adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual city in Scandinavia in a completely different way.
How did you like my story about Royal Palace of Stockholm? Have you had the chance to visit the heart of Scandinavia so far?
If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT ME page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!
With love from Stockholm,
This post is sponsored by the Visit Stockholm, as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.