They claim that life in Stockholm always runs at full speed regardless of the season, and winter is no reason for people to stay at home and warm up. It may be true if you are Swede. The moment the temperatures rise above zero, they all start Haute-couturing in short pants and T -shirts. For the southern guests like us, however, the options are to warm up indoors. The Vasa Museum, the Museum of History, the ABBA Museum and even the Swedish Royal Palace can do the job.

At the yard of the Swedish Royal Palace

The palace has several entrances to the sites to visit inside. One is the entrance to the Royal Treasury, where – as one might guess – you are greeted by the Swedish regalia. The coronation rituals were kept unchanged since Eric XIV in 1561. The regalia took a serious place in the ceremony, symbolizing the status and duties of royalty. To my surprise, they also included (I’m talking about the regalia), the official royal mantles.

Coronation mantle

This one, for example, was made for Queen Lovisa, crowned with her husband King Karl XV in 1860. You will notice that the color preferences of royal personas have not changed much since the time of the Roman Empire. In the treasury of the Swedish Royal Palace, you will also find the special chests for storing the regalia, along with heavily decorated swords, tapestries with the size of a whole wall, and a lot of precious metals. Plus, of course, the regalia themselves.

Swedish regalia

The next entrance leads to the royal apartments. Your visit begins with an introduction to the royal medals. I have to admit that I have always naively believed that medals are given to people with high merit to the state or its rule, with a predominantly military accent. And this happens to be mostly true; however, it turned out that the kings of different countries sometimes made medals just to exchange them. And the merit can be quite surprising, like the medal of gardening achievement. The meaning of the elephant medal, I admit, was completely lost on me.

One of the royal medals

There is an impressive collection of these pieces of jewelry in the Swedish Royal Palace. They stand in the company of the symbols of the Swedish Knight Order of Seraphim. This order appeared as a result of a state visit to other royal courts in Europe and the sad finding that only the Swedish king had no knights of his own. In the collection, you will find knightly armor, ceremonial necklaces, special trays for presenting the symbols of the Order, as well as interesting personal possessions of the knights, like this wooden shield for example.

Ceremonial shield of the Order of the Seraphim

The Order has its own meetings hall at the Swedish Royal Palace, right next to the Hall of the State, which is actually the hall of the Parliament. For the first time, the Swedish Parliament gathered here in 1755. The hall is impressive and ascetic -beautiful, and it holds one of the symbols of the monarchy in the country at its core – the silver throne of Queen Christina, given to her as a gift for her coronation in 1650. Now, that is what I call a royal gift.

The Hall of the State at the Swedish Royal Palace

To avoid confusion, it is appropriate to say that the part of the castle, called The Royal Apartments, does not only contain medals and meeting halls. There are actual apartments in there. Well, the apartments also have meeting halls, but this is how royalty goes. You can see, for example, the bedroom of King Gustav III, which is officially called a “state bedchamber”. The information signs will inform you that the “state bed” was placed behind a fence, where the King adopted the French custom of accepting visitors in his pajamas.

The state bedchamber

Parts of the apartments at the Swedish Royal Palace were renovated in later times. I mention it because I liked the result a lot, and I have not often seen such phenomena in other castles open to visitors. Guests have the opportunity to see the Jubilee Room of King Karl XVI Gustaf, officially opened in 2001 on the occasion of the royal 25th anniversary. The theme of the room is “Swedish summer day” and the materials used come entirely from the territory of the country.

Renovations at the Swedish Royal Palace

It remains to take a peek into the dungeons of the palace, where the Museum of the Three Crowns is housed. It bears the name of the first royal castle built on this site and destroyed in a fire in 1697. Only the dungeons in question remain of it, and the new (then) castle was built over them. Here you will find the preserved stores for wood and other materials, as well as furniture, parts of the interior and personal belongings saved from the fire. And if you’re lucky, on your way out you might catch the changing of the guard in front of the palace, and maybe even get your picture taken with them.

Museum of Three Crowns