Detail of The Order of the Seraphim.

Detail of The Order of the Seraphim. Photo: The Royal Collections Dept.

Orders are a means used by the Heads of State to reward their own and foreign citizens for contributions that benefit the country.

Through a law passed by parliament in 1974 orders can no longer be conferred upon Swedish citizens.

As a rule the Head of State is Grand Master of the country´s orders and holds the highest level of orders.

In 1748 King Fredrik established the Order of the Seraphim, Order of the Sword and the Order of the Polar Star.  These three make up the Royal Order of Knights (Order of His Majesty The King).

The Order of Vasa was instituted by Gustaf III in 1772. The Order of Carl XIII was introduced in 1811 by Karl XIII.

Today the Order of Seraphim and the Order of the Polar Star are only conferred on foreign citizens or stateless persons for services to Sweden.