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King Carl XVI Gustaf attends meeting about Swedish orders of chivalry

Sara Friberg, The Royal Court of Sweden

Orders of knighthood are an important part of many monarchies, and Sweden is no exception. In most monarchies, the monarch is the head of all chivalrous orders, and on Monday, King Carl XVI Gustaf attended an important meeting associated with the nation’s orders of knighthoods.

On Monday, 18 October, an ordinary council of the order chapter was held by His Majesty at the Royal Palace. A common council of the order chapter are held once a year under the leadership of the King, who is the Grand Master of the Order of the Seraphim, the Order of the Sword, the Order of the Polar Star and the Order of Vasa.

During the meeting, it was presented which new knights and members were appointed within the Order of Seraphim. At the meeting, the number of deceased holders of the four Swedish knights’ orders, awarded before 1975, was also reported and updated. According to a Swedish parliament’s decision in 1974, Swedish orders can only be awarded to foreign citizens who have made personal contributions to Sweden or to Swedish interests.

During the meeting, the finances of the Ordinance Chapter for the previous year were also reported. At the conclusion of the meeting, the King was given new paintings of the coat of arms of recipients of the Order of the Seraphim by Coat of arms painter Leif Ericsson. The newly painted shields were the coat of arms of Tarja Halonen, former President of the Republic of Finland; Gudni Jóhannesson, the current President of the Republic of Iceland; Sergio Mattarella, the current President of the Italian Republic; and Prince Julian of Sweden, Duke of Halland.

The Royal Order of the Seraphim, the foremost order of Sweden, was created by King Frederick of Sweden in 1748 and only has one class of “knight.” In 1975 Swedish orders were reorganised with appointments of Swedish citizens to the orders ceasing and being restricted to foreigners. Additionally, the Order of the Seraphim was then also limited only to foreign heads of state, but in 1995, the law was changed to allow members of the Royal Family to receive the honour.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.