• Photo: Nicklas Gustafsson/Swedish Armed Forces

About The Royal Guards

In addition to acting as honorary guard, the main duty of The Royal Guards is to protect the two royal palaces in Stockholm and Drottningholm. The Royal Guards are an important part of both the security systems at the palaces and military defence in Stockholm. All soldiers in The Royal Guards are therefore specially trained in protection duties.

The Royal Guards have been protecting the Royal Palace in Stockholm since 1523. Up to the mid 19th century, The Royal Guards comprised 100-200 men from guards units, who also maintained law and order in the city and provided fire-fighting services.  

The Royal Guards and the Parade of Guards are amongst the most popular visitor attractions in Stockholm. An estimated 800,000+ spectators visit the outer palace courtyard each year to witness ceremonies like the Change of the Guard, state occasions and the normal changing of guards every other hour.

The Royal Guards also act as honorary guard at state ceremonies, ministry of defence official visits, visits by foreign military senior commanders and foreign naval visits. 

Today around 50-60 people service in The Royal Guards, around 35 at Stockholm Royal Palace and 25 at Drottningholm.

Duties in brief

The Royal Guards:

  • coordinate Guard services with those of other authorities, organisations and the Swedish Armed Forces at state ceremonies etc in Stockholm.
  • regulate guard services within the Swedish Armed Forces.
  • organise (and participate in) the military element of royal, state and other official ceremonies and foreign visits and naval visits at the request of the Speaker of Parliament, Prime Minister, Marshall of the Realm, head of department or Head Quarters.
  • consult with the Speaker of Parliament, Prime Minister, Marshall of the Realm and HM King’s Chief of Staff on ceremonial matters.

The garrison service also includes many larger events in central Stockholm today and mass media contact and proactive communication activities.