2010-06-19

Insignia in the cathedral

The regalia


Early on the morning of the wedding, the Crown of Sweden's Heir Apparent and Prince Wilhelm's Crown are removed from their showcases in the Treasury at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. The crowns are taken to Stockholm Cathedral and placed on the special regalia tables to the left and right sides of the altar respectively. The tables are covered with blue crown covers, on which blue velvet cushions are placed.

On a third regalia table sits the Order of the Seraphim's insignia, a decoration in the form of a cross, and a grand star. The Seraphim standard stands in the chancel.

The Crown of Sweden's Heir Apparent


The Crown of Sweden's Heir Apparent (King Karl X Gustav's Crown of the Heir Apparent) was made in a great hurry when Queen Kristina was due to be crowned in 1650. It was only on 3 October 1650 — 17 days before the coronation — that the queen reminded the council that, according to tradition, the heir to the throne wore a special costume consisting of a cloak, a crown and a cap. Jürgen Dargeman only had just over a week to make a new crown for Karl (X) Gustav. 

Because time was so short, Dargeman reused the crown that had been created for Queen Kristina the Elder for King Karl IX's coronation. He applied enamel decorations from the old crown and newly-mounted stones to a newly-made plain crown ring with eight triangular points.

The velvet hat


At the coronation, the crown is not worn directly on the head — instead, it is placed over a hat of brown velvet, embroidered in gold and silver and edged with ermine.

The Crown of Sweden's Heir Apparent remains virtually unchanged to this day. The only alteration of any significance was carried out for the coronation of King Gustav III in 1772, when two of the lower sceptres were replaced with black enamelled corn sheaves, the symbol of the great Vasa dynasty. These would represent the Vasa blood that ran through King Gustav's veins, a fact that the king was keen to remind others of, but would also link the traditions of the royal power back to the Gustavian kings.

Blue cap, 1751


The hat, which is kept at the Royal Armoury, was replaced by a pale blue cap in connection with the coronation of King Adolf Fredrik in 1751.

Crown Prince Gustav (V) was the last to wear the Crown of Sweden's Heir Apparent


King Oscar II was the last king of the Bernadotte dynasty to be crowned wearing the King's Crown in 1873. On this occasion, his son, Crown Prince Gustav (V), wore the Crown of the Heir Apparent.

The last time this crown was seen at a royal ceremony was at the christening of the then heir to the throne Carl Philip on 31 August 1979. The crown was then placed on its cushion at the altar.

Since Gustav III's time as crown prince, Karl X Gustav's Crown of the Heir Apparent has been the crown of the heir to the throne. Right up until Victoria became heir to the throne, it was known as the Crown Prince Crown, but it is now known as the Crown of Sweden's Heir Apparent, regardless of whether the heir to the throne is male or female.

Prince Wilhelm's Crown


It was King Gustav III who introduced the principle that every member of the Royal Family should have use of their own crown.
 
When Prince Wilhelm (1884-1965), son of King Gustav V and younger brother of Gustaf (VI) Adolf, reached the age of 18 in 1902, the regalia were added to. The Prince was to be declared of legal age in connection with the opening of Parliament in 1903, and according to tradition had to be dressed in insignia of rank.
 

New ducal crown


Since all the older ducal crowns were being used by other male family members, a new crown had to be commissioned from the jeweller to the King, C.G. Hallberg, Stockholm. Palace architect Agi Lindegren provided a proposal, based on Prince Oscar's crown from 1844.
 
However, one key heraldic difference is that one sceptre was positioned in front on the crown ring, instead of the Vasa corn sheaf shown on the proposed design. This was because tradition dictated that a normal ducal crown should be designed in this way.
 

Pearls and precious stones


The crown is made from gold, with decoration that is partly engraved and partly in relief. The enamel work is in black and white. The crown is set with pearls, diamonds and emeralds. The insides of the sceptres are lined with blue satin. The blue satin cap is decorated with gold leaf.
 
The crown is 13.8 centimetres high, and the inner diameter of the crown ring is 17.1 x 20 centimetres.
 
The last time Prince Wilhelm wore the ducal crown was for the opening of Parliament in 1907. King Oscar II died in December that same year. He was succeeded by King Gustaf V who chose not to be crowned, whereupon the custom of wearing the royal crown came to an end.

The Order of the Seraphim


The Order of the Seraphim is Sweden's supreme order and has one rank, knight or member (ladies). The order is now only conferred upon members of the Swedish Royal Family and to foreign heads of state or people of an equivalent standing.

Cross worn on a chain or a light blue ribbon and grand star


The insignia of the order are a cross, worn on a chain or a light blue ribbon, and the grand star, worn on the left breast. The chain can be awarded to Seraphim knights as a special mark of honour.

The order also has the Seraphim medal.

Coat of arms


When a knight or a member is appointed, a coat of arms is painted on a copper plate. A selection of the coats of arms of living knights/members is displayed in the Seraphim Hall at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

Seraphim Toll


The knight/member's coat of arms is not hung up in Riddarholm Church until they die. On the day of the funeral, a Seraphim Toll rings out in the church from 12:00 until 13:00.