Kings & Queens of Sweden

Sweden, linked to Denmark and Norway by the Kalmar Treaty, broke away in 1521, following the ‘Stockholm Blood-Bath’ as Christian I’s attempt to control Sweden by mass executions of separatist nobles was named. In 1523, led by Gustav Vasta, the Swedes left the Kalmar union, and in 1527, embraced the new, Lutheran faith. Gustav was quite as autocratic as Christian I but more successful, and the Swedish kingdom grew in power. During the 1560s, the Danes tried to reimpose control, but ultimately failed.

Two of Gustav’s sons followed him, Eric (mentally unstable and deposed), and John, whose son, Sigismund was also King of Poland. Unlike his predecessors, Sigismund was Catholic, and this led to his deposition in 1599. He was replaced (not without bloodshed) by his uncle, Charles (Karl) IX, the third son of Gustav I. On the death of Charles, his son, Gustav II Adolphus, one of the most talented generals in European history, took Sweden to the greatest extent of its power in the seventeenth century, as leader of the Protestants during the Thirty Years’ War.

Monarch Dates of Reign Spouse(s)
REGENCY 16 May 1470 - 6 October 1497
John II (Hans) 6 October 1497 - August 1501 Christina of Savoy
REGENCY August 1501 - November 1520
Christian II 1 November 1520 - 23 August 1521 Isabella of Austria
REGENCY 23 August 1521 - 6 June 1523
Gustav I 6 June 1523 - 29 September 1560 Katarina of Saxe-Lauenburg
Margareta Leijonhufvud
Katarina Stenbock

Erik XIV 29 September 1560 - 29 September 1568 Katarina Mansdotter
John III (Johan) 30 September 1568 - 17 November 1592 Katarina Jagellonica of Poland
Gunilla Bielke
Sigismund 17 November 1592 - 24 July 1599 Anne of Austria
Constance of Austria
REGENCY 24 July 1599 - 22 January 1604
Karl IX 22 March 1604 - 30 October 1611 Maria of Palatinate-simmern
Christina of Holstein-Gottop
Gustave II Adolph 30 October 1611 - 6 November 1632 Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg