The King, The Crown Princess and Princess Estelle visit the Bernadotte Library

On Monday 21 January, The King, The Crown Princess and Princess Estelle visited the Bernadotte Library. The library, which is in the Royal Palace of Stockholm, includes more than one hundred thousand books that have belonged to the kings and queens of the Bernadotte dynasty. The library room was completed in 1796, and was originally intended to be Sweden's national library.

When Nicodemus Tessin the Younger was commissioned to design a new palace following the fire of 1697, his design included a library. However, it was not Tessin's plan that was eventually used – a later architect's design was used instead: that of Carl Johan Cronstedt.

Building the library was a long process. In the early 1700s the plan was to paint the library in white and gold, but by the time it was completed at the end of the 18th century tastes and style had changed, and unpainted oak was chosen instead.

The collections grew quickly due to the legal requirement to hold copies of published books, and the character of the library changed from a private royal library into a Swedish national library. As a result, the premises at the palace soon became too small. The library therefore moved to new premises on Humlegården in 1877, but retained the name The Royal Library.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the private royal book collections were returned to the palace's library wing. The shelving was reorganised in the 1950s, giving a clearer picture of what had been included in the various royal book collections.

Today, the collections consist of books that belonged to monarchs from King Karl XIV Johan and Queen Desideria, up until King Gustaf VI Adolf and Queen Louise.

The most extensive collection at the Bernadotte Library is the collection of photographs, numbering around 800,000 in total. Here, The King shows an album of photographs from his time as crown prince.

The most extensive collection at the Bernadotte Library is the collection of photographs, numbering around 800,000 in total. Here, The King shows an album of photographs from his time as crown prince. Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

Archive images: In 1962, King Gustaf VI Adolf opened Sydhamnen in Helsingborg and the then crown prince visited Karlskrona.

Archive images: In 1962, King Gustaf VI Adolf opened Sydhamnen in Helsingborg and the then crown prince visited Karlskrona. Photo: The Bernadotte Library's archive

The Crown Princess and Princess Estelle look at the personal photographs of Queen Victoria (1862-1930).

The Crown Princess and Princess Estelle look at the personal photographs of Queen Victoria (1862-1930). Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

Queen Victoria was a keen photographer, attracting both national and international attention for her pictures of Egypt during the early 1890s.

Queen Victoria was a keen photographer, attracting both national and international attention for her pictures of Egypt during the early 1890s. Photo: The Bernadotte Library's image archive

Palace Librarian Arvid Jakobsson gave a tour of the Bernadotte Library.

Palace Librarian Arvid Jakobsson gave a tour of the Bernadotte Library. Photo: Sara Friberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

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