PHOTO: Member of Swedish Royal Guards Stands Sentry at the Royal Palace

Member of the Swedish Royal Guards stands at the entrance to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish Royal Guards have been protecting the Royal Family for nearly 500 years. First assembled in 1523, the guards were initially tasked with maintaining law and order in the city of Stockholm and serving as fire-fighters. Over time, their mandate was narrowed. Today the 50-60 soldiers who serve in the Royal Guards are responsible safeguarding the Royal Palace of Stockholm and Drottningholm Palace. They also act as an honorary guard to King Carl XVI Gustav when required, as well as performing honorary functions at state ceremonies.

This elite unit performs a changing of the guard ceremony every day from April 23 to August 31. On weekdays it starts at 12:15 p.m. in the palace outer courtyard and lasts about 40 minutes. On Sundays it begins at 1:15 p.m. During the fall and winter the ceremony is held several days per week. On special occasions the event turns into a full-blown parade through the streets of Stockholm, including a military marching band and a mounted Cavalry unit.

But even if you miss this popular tourist attraction, you can see the unique blue and silver uniform and point-tipped metal helmets worn by members of the Swedish Royal Guards. As the above photo illustrates, a solitary soldier stands sentry at the entrance to the palace 24-hours per day. To learn more about the changing of the guard, check out their website here.

Author’s note: I was a guest of Collette during my Spectacular Scandinavia tour. However, the receipt and acceptance of complimentary items or services will never influence the content, topics, or posts in this blog. I write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

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