Changing of the guard
Don’t miss the changing of the guard at the palace. Smart dress uniforms, German-style Pickelhaube helmet and handsome guards.
For the Royal Apartments we took a guided tour. The guide gave us the basics of the reigning House of Bernadotte, a brief history of the palace and of the upmost basics of the constitution of Sweden. Oddly, she was Finnish and sometimes I felt she lacked enthusiasm.
Anyway, after the tour we had enough time to see the rooms and halls at our own speed, with an audioguide. The palace displays many portraits and medals and outfits of the royals.
With every ‘audioguide stop’ you get elaborate information. The audioguide doesn’t work with numbers you have to dial, but with a tap system. Comparable to the one at ABBA The Museum.
Tre Konor brings under the current palace and into the old one. It’s not spectacular, certainly if you have visited medieval castles before.
Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities
Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities is peculiar. It’s more an art collector’s exhibit. No-one goes there.
Unsurprisingly, you can’t take photos in the Treasury, but you do get to see the crown jewels, which is nice. All gold and blue.
The Riddarholmskyrkan on Riddarholm Island is the church where most Swedish kings and queens are buried.
Coats of arms of knights of the Order of the Seraphim are hung on the walls of the church. When a knight of the Order dies, his coat of arms is hung in the church and when the funeral takes place the church’s bells are rung without pause from 12PM tot 1PM.
As a Belgian, I was on the lookout for Belgian coat of arms. I found Leopold II‘s, Leopold III‘s and Baudouin‘s. King Albert II is still alive. His coat of arms were displayed at the palace, As were those of Queen Paola.
The angelic and blond guide Gabriel gave us a brief and bloody history of the kings of Sweden. I loved the way he didn’t sugarcoat the struggles and intrigues. The tour is definitely an added value.