Gustaf V
Gustaf V

Full Name Oscar Gustaf Adolf
Titles King of Sweden
Born 16 July 1854
Status Alive
Allegiance Sweden
Political Party Unaffiliated (House of Bernadotte)

Gustaf V (Oscar Gustaf Adolf, born 16 July 1854) is the current King of Sweden. Son of Oscar II, the last King of both Sweden and Norway, Gustaf V has reigned since 1907 as the first King to refuse a coronation, hence never wearing his crown, ending a swedish tradition dating back 700 years.

During the leadup to the Weltkrieg the liberal government wished to cut military spending, which the King didn't support. In response to this, he went on to overthrow the Liberal Prime Minister Karl Staaff in 1914, replacing his government with his own appointed one, lead by Hjalmar Hammarskjöld for most of the war. However, after the Liberals and Social Democrats secured a parliamentary majority under Staaff's successor, Nils Edén, he allowed Edén to form a new government which de facto stripped the monarchy of all virtual powers and enacted universal and equal suffrage, including for women, by 1919.

Gustaf V is married to one of the cousins of Wilhelm II, Victoria of Baden, which is a big influence behind Gustaf's traditional conservative and pro-german stance. But her declining health over the past few years has lead to Victoria moving permamently to Rome.


Early life

Gustaf V was born in Drottningholm Palace in Ekerö, the son of Prince Oscar and Princess Sofia of Nassau. At birth Gustaf was created Duke of Värmland. Upon his father's accession to the throne in 1872, Gustaf became crown prince of both Sweden and Norway. On 8 December 1907, he succeeded his father on the Swedish throne, which had been separated from the Norwegian throne two years earlier.

King of Sweden

Altrough the 1809 Instrument of Government establishes that the king is both head of state and head of government, and ministers were solely responsible to him. However, his father had been forced to accept a government chosen by the majority in Parliament in 1905. Since then, prime ministers had been chosen according to parliamentary support.

Following the liberals landslide victory in the 1911 election, the King appointed Karl Staaff as Prime Minister. However, during the leadup in world tension towards the Weltkrieg, the elite objected to Staaff's defence policy. In February 1914, a large crowd of farmers gathered at the Royal Palace in Stockholm and demanded that Sweden's defences to be strengthened. The King's reply, the so-called Courtyard Speech, Gustaf promised to strengthen the country's defences. Staaff was outraged, telling Gustaf that parliamentary rule called for the Crown to stay out of partisan politics. The Staaff government resigned in protest, and the King appointed his own government made out of civil servants in its place.

In the 1917 elections, the King tried to appoint a conservative government but failed because it couldn't form a coalition to secure a majority. Instead he appointed a Liberal-Social Democratic coalition government, with Nils Edén, Staaff's successor, as Prime Minister. The new government promptly arrogated most of the king's political powers to itself and enacted numerous reforms.

Situation in 1936


Personal life


  • Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf (born 11 November 1882), heir apparant as King of Sweden. Married 1) Princess Margaret of Connaught, had issue (four sons, one daughter), married 2) Lady Louise Mountbatten, had issue (a stillborn daughter)
  • Prince Vilhelm (born 17 June 1884), Duke of Södermanland. Married Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, had issue.
  • Prince Erik of Sweden (born 20 April 1889), Duke of Västmanland. Died unmarried of the spanish flu in september 1918.

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