Duties of the Monarch

Cabinet council. Photo: The Royal Court

The Kings functions and duties are defined in the 1974 Constitution Act, which also defines working procedures for the Riksdag (parliament) and Government. The 1974 enactment superseded the world's oldest constitutional law but one, second only to the Constitution of the United States.

The Kings function and duties

The tasks entrusted to The King by the 1974 Constitution Act and Riksdag (parliament) Act are as follows:

1. ”The King is the Head of State” (this provision comes in Chap. 1, Section 5 of the Constitution Act).1.

2. He heads the special cabinet council held when there is a change of government, and also the regular ”information councils” of the members of the Government.

3. He opens the Riksdag every year.

The King opens the Riksdag

The King opens the Riksdag. Photo: Pressens Bild AB

4. He chairs meetings of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs, the members of which are appointed by the Riksdag to hold consultations with the Government on foreign affairs.

5. He is the foremost representative of the Swedish defence establishment and holds supreme rank in each of the service arms, as well as being honorary commander (Colonel-in-Chief) of certain military units.

6. As Sweden's foremost representative in relation to other countries, The King receives the credentials of foreign ambassadors and signs those of Sweden's ambassadors.

Photo: Anders Wiklund, Scanpix

Photo: Anders Wiklund, Scanpix

State visits by The King to foreign countries are of great importance, as are visits by foreign Heads of State to Sweden, which are hosted by the King.

A temporary regent (Riksföreståndaren)

Whenever The King is abroad or should he be otherwise indisposed, his duties are discharged by a temporary regent, primarily a member of the Royal Family who is at least 18 years old and in line for succession to the throne.

Full cognatic succession

After having had an agnatic (male) order of succession in Sweden, it was changed into an order of full cognatic succession from 1980. The current successor to the Throne is Crown Princess Victoria.

By this principle, which Sweden is the first country to have introduced, the throne passes to the eldest child, whether male or female. Otherwise the main provisions of the 1819 Succession Act have been left unaltered.

The Crown Princess at the Nobel festivites

The Crown Princess at the Nobel festivites. Photo: Pressens Bild.

Under a Riksdag resolution passed in November 1994, members of the Royal Family come of age at 18. The Head of State cannot be proceeded against in civil causes.

His status can only be altered through a constitutional amendment, which requires two Riksdag resolutions with a parliamentary election in between.


Funding for the activities of The Head of State is allocated by the Riksdag.

The King is now liable for taxation and, like other Swedes, he and his family are entitled to vote, though by tradition this right is never exercised.