History, The Royal Chapel

The Royal Chapel at The Royal Palace. Copperplate, Erik Dahlberg's "Suecia antiqua et hodierna". Original: The National Library of Sweden, The Royal Library.
Since the time of Magnus Ladulås in the late 1200s there has not only been a chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, but also a clergy and in due course a parish, which today is called the Royal Court parish.

The present Royal Chapel is the third chapel in the palace grounds that we have detailed information about. Karl XI's newly inaugurated chapel was burnt down in the great fire of May 7, 1697.

Constructing a new Royal Chapel was a key part of architect Nikodemus Tessin's extensive commission to build a new palace after the fire.

Middle ages

During the middle ages priests held mass for The King and his Court, and a chapel existed as early as the 1200s in the medieval stronghold.

After the reformation, when Sweden eventually became a Lutheran land, special court chaplains were connected to Gustav Vasa and his sons.

However, a Royal Court Parish, consisting of the Royal Family and employees of the Court, was not formed until the beginning of the 1600s under the reign of Vasa's youngest son Karl IX.

17th century an onwards

In 1613, when Johannes Rudbeckius became Gustav II Adolf's first Court Chaplain, the parish took on a more permanent form.

A parish clerk and organist was employed as well as a few schoolboys known as “djäknar" who earned money for their tuition singing in church. Chalices, goblet covers, alter cloths and two antependia were also acquired.
Mass was held both in the chapel and - for the Royal Family - in their rooms at the palace. Since the beginning of the 1700s, the Royal Court parish has functioned much like the other parishes of the Church of Sweden.