King Karl IX

King Karl IX

Gustav Vasa´s youngest son Karl was originally Duke of Södermanland. After the death of Johan III, Karl took part in the opposition of Sigismund. In 1598 he rebelled and defeated Sigismund in battle, after which Karl was appointed regent. He was proclaimed king by Parliament in 1600. His royal title was confirmed by the Riksdag in 1604.

Throughout almost his entire reign, Sweden was at war with its neighbours. Karl IX suffered a number of setbacks, and at the end of his reign Sweden was involved in three wars – with Poland, Russia and Denmark.

Karl was married to Maria of Palatinate. Together they had a daughter, Katarina. Following Maria's death, he married Kristina of Holstein-Gottorp. Their children included Gustav (II) Adolf

Portrait of King Karl IX. Unknown artist. The painting hangs in the Audience Chamber at Gripsholm Castle, and is part of the Swedish State Portrait Collection. Photo: Nationalmuseum

Karl IX

Born 4 October 1550, 30 died October 1611
Reign 1604–1611, Protector of the Realm 1599–1604

Royal Motto

In God I trust


1607 Uppsala Cathedral


1612 Strängnäs Cathedral




Gustav II Adolf


Maria of Palatinate
Kristina av Holstein-Gottorp


Margareta Elisabet (1580–1585)
Elisabet Sabina (1582–1585)
Ludvig (1583–1583)
Katarina (1584–1638), Karl X Gustav´s mother
Gustav (1587–1587)
Maria (1588–1589)
Kristina (1593–1594) 
Gustav II Adolf (1594–1632) King of Sweden 1611–1632
Maria Elisabet (1596–1618)
Karl Filip (1601–1622)

The Vasa dynasty