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Order of Vasa

Royal Order of Vasa
Kungliga Vasaorden
Knight 1st Class Cross of the Swedish Order of Vasa (1945)
Awarded by the monarch of Sweden
TypeFive grade order of merit
Established1772
Royal houseBernadotte
EligibilitySwedish and foreign citizens
Awarded forServices to agriculture, mining, art, trade, industry, crafts and education.
StatusActive (since 1 February 2023)
SovereignKing Carl XVI Gustaf
ChancellorSvante Lindqvist[1]
GradesCommander Grand Cross (KmstkVO)
Commander 1st Class (KVO1kl)
Commander (KVO)
Knight/Member 1st Class (RVO1kl)
Knight/Member (RVO)
Statistics
First induction1772
Last induction21 March 2024[2]
Precedence
Next (higher)Royal Order of the Polar Star
Next (lower)Order of Charles XIII

Ribbon bar of the order

The Royal Order of Vasa (Swedish: Kungliga Vasaorden) is a Swedish order of chivalry founded on 29 May 1772 by King Gustav III. It is awarded to Swedish citizens for service to state and society especially in the fields of agriculture, mining and commerce. It is the most junior Swedish honour.

History

The order was founded on 29 May 1772 by King Gustav III. Its name is derived from the House of Vasa. Membership was unrestricted by birth or education, as opposed to the other orders which were reserved for nobility, military personnel or the learned professions. During the union between Sweden and Norway, the Order of Vasa was often awarded to Norwegians until the Order of Saint Olav was founded in 1847.

Following significant reforms to the Swedish honours system in 1974, the Order of Vasa and the Order of the Sword were considered dormant and membership in the Order of the Seraphim and the Order of the Polar Star were restricted to foreigners and, after 1995, the royal family.

In 2019, a parliamentary committee was instructed to establish guidelines on how to re-introduce the Swedish orders, including the Order of Vasa, into the Swedish honours system and how Swedish citizens again can be appointed to Swedish orders.[3] The committee presented its findings in September 2021 and the Government has declared that a bill on the subject will be presented to the Riksdag on 19 April 2022. Following the passage of the bill by a large majority on 19 June 2022, on 20 December 2022, the Swedish Government published a new regulation that repealed the 1974 regulation, and once again opened the Royal Orders to Swedish citizens again and reactivated the Order of the Sword and the Order of Vasa, which came in effect from 1 February 2023.[4][5][6]

On 21 March 2024, the order was awarded for the first time since 1974 to, among others, the members of ABBA.[7]

The Swedish royal barge Vasaorden takes its name from the order.

Grades

The Order had five classes:

  • Commander Grand Cross - wears the badge on a collar (chain) or on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
  • Commander 1st Class - wears the badge on a necklet, plus the star on the left chest;
  • Commander - wears the badge on a necklet;
  • Knight 1st Class - wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
  • Knight - wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;

Before 2023, clergymen and women were not called Knight, but instead made a Ledamot av andliga ståndet ("Member of the Cloth") for priests or a Ledamot ("Member") for Women. However, since 2023, the order make no difference between men and women.[8]

Additionally, the Badge of Vasa and the Vasa Medal, were both worn on a ribbon on the left chest.

Insignia and habit

  • The collar of the Order is of gold, consisted of four sheaves (the emblem of King Gustav Vasa), four white-enamelled nettle leaves each bearing a shield in white above red (the emblem of Holstein, where King Adolf Frederik, the father of King Gustaf III, was born and from which his family, the House of Holstein-Gottorp, took its name) and eight crowned blue shields bearing the Three Crowns, the emblem of Sweden, each flanked by a pair of caduceus and a pair of cornucopia.
  • The badge of the Order is a white-enameled Maltese Cross, in silver for the Knight class, in gilt for Knight 1st Class and above; crowns appeared between the arms of the cross. The central oval disc, which was identical on both sides, featured a golden sheaf on a black enamel background, surrounded by a red enamel ring bearing the legend Gustaf 3. Instiktare 1772 ("Instituted by Gustaf III, 1772"). The badge hangs from a royal crown. During the early days of the Order, the badge consisted of the oval disc only.
  • The Badge of Vasa is similar to the knight's silver badge of the Order, but the cross had no white enamel.
  • The star of the Order is a silver Maltese Cross with a silver sheaf in the centre. That of Grand Cross also had the abovementioned nettle leaf emblem in silver between the arms of the cross.
  • The ribbon of the Order is green.
  • Formerly the Order also had a distinctive green and white habit worn on formal occasions such as at chapters of the Order. The habit included green breeches and a green doublet with padded shoulders, both with white piping, a white sash with a gold fringe around the waist and a green mantle with a white lining. The star of the Order was embroidered over the left breast of both the doublet and the mantle. A black top hat with gold hat band and a plume of white ostrich and black egret feathers and a pair of green boots with gilded spurs completed the habit. The collar of the Order was worn over the shoulders of the doublet.
Ribbon bars
Commander Grand Cross
Commander 1st Class
Commander
Knight 1st Class
Knight

Recipients (since 2023)

Year Name Citizenship Main occupation Grade
21 March 2024[9] Antonia Ax:son Johnson  Sweden Director Commander Grand Cross (KmstkVO)
Benny Andersson Artist Commander First Class (KVO1kl)
Agnetha Fältskog Artist Commander First Class (KVO1kl)
Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Reuss) Artist Commander First Class (KVO1kl)
Björn Ulvaeus Artist Commander First Class (KVO1kl)
Eva Rydberg Actress Commander (KVO)
Bettan Byvald Socionom Knight First Class (RVO1kl)
Thomas Sjöström Business Area Manager Knight (RVO)

Images

See also

References

  1. ^ https://www.kungahuset.se/monarkinhovstaterna/ordnarochmedaljer/aktuellt/aktuelltkmo/personalforandringarvidkunglmajtsorden.5.70c48ec167c5b6b0c114a6a.html | publisher=Kungahuset (Official page of the Royal Court of Sweden | access-date = 2022-01-29
  2. ^ "Ordnar till tretton exceptionella svenskar". Kungl. Maj:ts Orden (in Swedish). Retrieved 2024-03-21.
  3. ^ "Dir. 2019:76 Kommittédirektiv Det offentliga belöningssystemet, de allmänna flaggdagarna och utformningen av anslaget till hovet" (PDF) (in Swedish). Government of Sweden. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Ett offentligt belöningssystem för Sveriges främsta utmärkelser" (Media Release) (in Swedish). Justitiedepartementet, Regeringskansliet. 21 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  5. ^ "Förordning om Sveriges främsta utmärkelser" (PDF). Svensk författningssamling (SFS 2022:1800) (in Swedish). Regeringskansliet. 20 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  6. ^ Sunnqvist, Martin (30 January 2023). "Det är nytt med vårt nya ordenssystem" (in Swedish). Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  7. ^ "Ordnar till tretton exceptionella svenskar". Kungl. Maj:ts Orden (in Swedish). Retrieved 2024-03-21.
  8. ^ "STATUTES FOR THE ROYAL SWEDISH ORDERS (adopted on 15 February 2023)" (PDF) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2024-03-23.
  9. ^ "Ordnar till tretton exceptionella svenskar". Retrieved 2024-03-21. (in Swedish) Kungl. Maj:ts Orden

Further reading

  • Orders and Decorations of Europe in Color by Paul Hieronymussen and photographed by Aage Struwing [da]; English translation by Christine Crowley. The MacMillan Company. New York, 1967. Originally published as Europaeiske Ordner I Faever @ Politikens Forlag, 1966. Color plates # 33-37; terxt p. 127.
  • The Orders of Chivalry from the Original Statutes of the Various Orders of Knighthood and other Sources of Information by J. H. Lawrence-Archer. London: W. H. Allen and Company, 13 Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, S. W. Publishers to the India Office. 1887.
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Order of Vasa
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