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Sweden declares “national alarm” following the theft of crown jewels

Sweden’s government, together with the Swedish police forces, have now declared a “national alarm” following the theft of royal regalia. A national alarm is, in the Nordic countries, used to alert domestic and foreign police about a situation that is particularly serious and requires extraordinary measures to be taken by the police.

At present, there are now two active “national alarms” in Sweden. Major police forces have had to be taken away from the pursuit of the stolen regalia to assist the Kalmar police to find a murderer who escaped from prison yesterday. On Wednesday, news on the stolen crowns and orb were sent out via Interpol, which made it difficult to react to the robbery.

King Karl IX’s and his queen’s funeral regalia. PHOTO: THE SWEDISH POLICE / POLISEN.

The police now fear that the royal regalia can be transported out of the country. The police have, therefore, logged the theft with Interpol, which will prompt an international search for the stolen items and the thieves.

“It’s just speculation, but this seems more like a planned crime,” said Maria Ellionor from the Swedish police’s national unit for cultural crime.

What the thieves intend to do with the items is highly unclear, as they, according to the police, are almost impossible to sell.

“Of course, there is media interest in such objects. Images appear in the media. It’s simply impossible to sell them, so you can only wonder how familiar the thieves were to these crowns and what they intend to do with them, “said a police spokesperson.

Karl IX was King of Sweden from 1604 until his death in 1611. Photo: nationalmuseum via Wikimedia Commons.

This has happened before. In 2013 thieves stole parts of the Swedish crown jewels, when the crown of Gustav Vasa’s son Johan III, was taken. Following an anonymous tip, the police found the crown jewels in a black garbage bag in a ditch. “You can only hope that something like this happens this time also,” said the Swedish police to the press.

It was on Tuesday afternoon when parts of the Swedish Royal Regalia were stolen from the Strängnäs Cathedral. It was the two royal crowns of King Karl IX and Queen Kristina as well as one royal orb that was stolen by two unidentified men. The items that were stolen were originally interred in Karl IX’s grave but were later exhumed and put on display.

Yesterday Swedish police raided two locations following the theft.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.