The Swedish Modern Monarchy

Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden

On January 1, 1975, a new reform was implemented, called the 1974 Constitution Act. This Act gave the governing power to the representative of the people, the Riksdag (Parliament). Article 4 of Chapter 1 defines "the King as the Head of State" but ascribes only a limited number of the formal attributes of his position. He is entitled immunity under penal law, is no longer the Commander of the Armed Forces, and no longer holds the royal right to veto a change in government.This move from a monarchy to a parliamentary system of government highlights the King's vow for keeping the monarchy relevant with a modern Sweden.

His executive duties include:

  • Chairing meetings of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs
  • Opening the Riksdag (Parliament) every year
  • Chairing the special council meeting when a change in government happens
  • Chairing regular meetings with members of government

His representative duties include:

  • Paying visits abroad
  • Receiving foreign heads of state
  • Regular visits to industries, local and national authorities, universities, and businesses

Since 1980, Sweden has practiced the principle of full cognatic succession. This allows the first-born child to succeed the throne regardless of gender. Because of this, King Carl XVI Gustaf's first-born, Victoria, is given the title of Crown Princess. Sweden is the first country to introduce this principle of allowing the throne to pass to the eldest child instead of eldest male child. To learn more, visit the Royal Court website.

The Riksdag (Parliament) building