The Royal Barge 'Vasaorden'
The Royal Barge 'Vasaorden' on Riddarfjärden. Photo: Tobias Röstlund, Scanpix
The first Royal Barge was built in 1774 according to a design by Fredrik Henrik af Chapman. It was used for the first time for the arrival of the then Duchess Hedvig Elisabeth Charlotta in Stockholm on 17 July, 1774. A new barge, 'Vasaorden', was built following a devastating fire on 8 August 1921, according to the original drawings.
It was possible to save parts of the old Vasaorden, including a complete set of oars that are still used today.
Opening of Stockholm City Hall The new Vasaorden was used for the first time to convey King Gustaf V to the opening of Stockholm City Hall in 1923.
The Royal Barge was also used for the festivities in connection with the Swedish-born Princess Ingrid's (Queen Ingrid of Denmark) wedding in 1935, for the 80th birthday celebrations of King Gustaf V in 1938, and for celebrations to mark the 90th birthday of King Gustaf VI Adolf in 1972.
The Vasaorden was used most recently for the state visit of the Japanese Imperial Couple in 2000.
The Royal Wedding On their wedding on 19 June 1976, Sweden's new Royal Couple King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia were taken in the Vasaorden from the island of Skeppsholmen to the Logård Steps at Skeppsbron. The barge was rowed by cadets from the naval college.
The King and Queen marry on 19 June, 1976. Photo Bertil Ericson, Scanpix.
Stockholm bay thronged with Swedish and foreign warships flying their flags high. The ships saluted the Royal Couple by manning the gunwales.
During the second half of the journey, the Air Force took part in the celebrations by performing a fly over 400 metres above the barge between Skeppsholmen and the Royal Palace. Three units (Lansen from Malmslätt, Draken from Västerås and Viggen from Söderhamn) flew in formation by unit, with eight planes per unit. The planes formed the shape of a heart for the 30-second long fly over.