The Head of State

Sweden is a monarchy in which the office of Head of State is held by a King or Queen. The title is inherited by the eldest child of the incumbent Head of State. Sweden's Head of State is the nations supreme representative but has no political powers. He or she is regularly informed of the affairs and concerns of the realm and chairs the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs.

Portrait of King Carl XVI Gustaf King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Carl XVI Gustaf has been the Head of State of Sweden since 1973. In this capacity he is the representative of the entire country and as such, has only ceremonial duties and functions. The Head of State has no prerogative political power and does not participate in political life. The Swedish monarchy is purely constitutional. The Head of State makes state visits to other countries and acts as host for representatives of other countries who are visiting Sweden. At the beginning of each parliamentary year, the Head of State opens the coming year's session at the Riksdag. The Head of State does not take part in the deliberations of the Government and is not required to sign any Government decisions.

In 1979, the Act of Succession was amended to grant equal rights to the crown of both male and female heirs to the throne. Since 1980, this right has fallen on the first-born child, irrespective of sex, in this case Crown Princess Victoria born in 1977.

More information about the Swedish monarchy and the Royal family can be found on the website of the Royal Court of Sweden.