A day at the Royal Palaces of Stockholm

Stockholm_coronation

A visit to the Royal Palaces (Kungliga slotten) is a highlight of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

As Steve and I had a over half a day to fill between disembarking the Serenade of the Seas and boarding our Brussels Airlines flight home, we decided to visit the palaces.

In plural, because we did the whole package: the Royal Apartments, the Museum Three Crowns (Tre Kronor), Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, the Treasury and Riddarholm Church (Riddarholmskyrkan).

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.

Stockholm_changingoftheguards

Royal Apartments

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.

Stockholm_CarlXVIGustaf_Sonia

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 Kronor

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.

The Treasury

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.

Stockholm_crown

Knights’ Church

The Riddarholmskyrkan on Riddarholm Island is the church where most Swedish kings and queens are buried.

Stockholm_Riddarholm

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.

Stockholm_COA

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.

Stockholm_guard

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