Royal christenings

The christenings of royal children have been seen as state ceremonies in Sweden for centuries, while other monarchies see them as private affairs. From a Swedish perspective, this is shown clearly by the magnificent silver baptismal font. It was designed in the late 17th century by the palace architect Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, and was made in Stockholm by the French silversmith François Cousinet between 1696 and 1707.

The tradition of godparents is also very old. When the Duke of Småland was christened in the Royal Chapel in 1782, gilded chairs were situated in the choir for the godparents. Godparents such as the Kings of Prussia and Denmark were not personally present at the christening, but their chairs were present and portraits of them were placed on the chairs.

By tradition, it is always the archbishop who officiates at royal christenings.

Göran Alm
former Head of the Bernadotte Library

Prince Carl (XVI) Gustaf's christening in the Royal Chapel on 7 June 1946. Photo: The Royal Court