The Palace as a Historical Stage — talks during 2011
Princess Sofia Albertina. Photo: The Royal Court
One popular feature of the Royal Palace of Stockholm's public activities is the series of informative and entertaining talks held in the Karl XV Hall, at which experts talk about the royal cultural heritage.
When the tickets were released, several of the talks sold out. More tickets are now being released, and extra sessions are being added for some of the talks. Carin Bergström is a senior lecturer in history and the Director of the Royal Collections at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. She will begin this year's series of talks with a talk about Princess Sofia Albertina.
Carin, you'll be kicking off this year's series of talks by talking about Princess Sofia Albertina. Why did you choose her as a subject?
My talk will be based on a book I've just written, which will be published in the autumn. It's called "Independent Princess: Sophia Albertina, 1753-1829".
The reason why I'm interested in Princess Sofia Albertina is that she is relatively unknown, and what has been written about her is fairly uninteresting, not to mention derogatory. Not only was she the sister of King Gustav III and the aunt of King Gustav IV Adolf, she was also an extremely capable woman who even controlled her own little realm in Germany for a while. By researching the Princess and her era, I've also learnt about how the Swedish Court operated in older times, which has been useful in my day-to-day work as Director of the Royal Collections.
How long has the Royal Palace of Stockholm been arranging these talks?
The series of talks first began in 2004, and has continued to grow over the years.
Are there any other talks in the programme that you're particularly interested in?
I'm most interested in the talks that deal with subjects that I don't know much about, such as Cecilia Hagen's "My aunt and Princess Eugénie", Tom Bergroth's "200 years of the Royal Order of King Carl XIII" and Bo Rappne's "Ulriksdal in my heart".
The Royal Collections department traces its roots back to the times of Vasa, and is responsible for the loose furnishings at the eleven royal palaces. In all, it looks after around 250,000 individual items, which are owned by the Swedish state and placed at the disposal of The King. The department operates an extensive range of guided tours, and also includes the Treasury, the Bernadotte Library and the Tre Kronor Museum.
The Karl XV Hall was originally part of Sofia Magdalena's apartments, which were taken over by Crown Prince Karl (XV) in the mid-19th century. The Crown Prince commissioned his artist friend Fredrik W. Scholander to renovate the dining room in the Gothic Revival style, decorating the walls with oak panels and Spanish gilt leather wallpaper from the late 17th century, featuring motifs from Swedish history.