Walking around Gamla Stan, it is possible to observe a solemn changing of the guard at the western court yard of the Royal palace
(Monday-Friday 12.00, Saturday-sunday 13.00).
We arrived in Stockholm on the King's 60th birthday - so many of the European nobility were there to celebrate with him!
Next day - on our way to the trainstation to pick up sim1 - we were stopped by police and the reason was that one of the royal (or diplomatic) guests was approaching in a limousine, probably on their way to the airport to fly home again! Unfortunately we did not quite recognize who was in the car, but just the whole setup with the accompanying cars and policemen on motorcycles was quite impressive.
So we did not mind having to wait a little! Royaly comes first in Sweden!
have to say, this picture is not mine! I was not fortunate enough to meet the royals, but then again, I did have a pretty busy schedule!
From left to right:
Prince Carl Philip
Crown Princess Victoria
King Karl Gustaf
King Karl Gustaf is Sweden's 74th king and belongs to the Bernadotte Dynasty, which has ruled Sweden since 1818. Nowadays he works in the Royal Palace in Stockholm, and the family lives in Drottningholm Palace just outside the city.
I spoke to a girl who worked in the apartments of the Royal Palace--she did not particularly care for the king or the royal family, but told me that generally the youth feels the way she does whereas the older generations prefer to cling to the traditional ways...but that was just one opnion.
Very nice looking family, don't you think? I think it is clear to see from whom the children got their nose...!
From June to August, the guards at the Royal Pace are changed daily at 12:10 PM, except on Sundays when it is at 1:10 PM. At other times of the year, it usually happens just three times a week on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays.
If you want to have a decent view, you'll have to arrive a bit earlier. I found it very convenient to simply visit the Royal Apartments first and then leave at 12:10 PM--you then have a front row seat!
The ceremony at the Royal Palace in Stockholm takes about 40 minutes. It starts with the arrival of the coming guard (with the military band in front). Normally, the coming guard brings its own colors in the front. Then a parade for the colors starts. The new sentries march away and the coming guards change place with the leaving guards.. After that, the military band performs a concert which lasts about a quarter of an hour. When the relieved sentinels are back, both guards draw up for the final part of the ceremony. The leaving guard then marches off and the new guard troops the colours and the military band leaves the Outer Courtyard.
There is a fascinating webpage about the guards and the ceremony--Click here to go there.
As we visited Stockholm just couple days before it's 750 Birthday celebrations, the city was getting ready for the festival - building new open air cafes and shops, places for dancing, toilets etc. The Royal Guards were practising their parade as well..:)
Current King Gustav is spell-illeterate(?), so he is famous to drop out the spelling. When he visited a vineyard in Australia, he signed with the wrong spelling. =). I've heard that Swedish people are embarrassed with that fact sometimes. But I like Swedish King since he works hard for Boy Scouts and environmental movements.