14 Facts About Swedish nobility


The archaic term for Swedish nobility, fralse, included the clergy, a classification defined by tax exemptions and representation in the diet .

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Until 2003 the Swedish nobility was regulated by a government statute, but in that year the statute was lifted so that governmental sanction and legal regulation of the Swedish nobility was discontinued.

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Today, the only privilege of the Swedish nobility is the right to use a helm with an open visor in their coats of arms, this according to a 1762 royal act; commoners using open visors or "noblemen's shield" are subjected to a fine.

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Swedish nobility is organized into three classes according to a scheme introduced in riddarhusordningen 1626.

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The division into classes has roots in the Middle Ages when the Swedish nobility fralse was divided into lords in the Privy Council, knights and esquires.

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Middle Ages

Swedish nobility duke has almost always been of royal status and counted as such.

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Generally, the Swedish nobility grew from wealthier or more powerful members of the peasantry, those who were capable of assigning work or wealth to provide the requisite cavalrymen.

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The lands of the magnates who constituted the medieval Swedish nobility were their own and not "on lease" from a feudal king.

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Swedish ancient nobility is the term used for families whose de facto status as nobility was formalised by the Ordinance of Alsno in 1280.

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The somewhat loose cut-off date or rather rule of thumb for what constitutes ancient Swedish nobility is therefore set to during mid 14th century but no later than 1400.

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At the coronation of Eric XIV in 1561, Swedish nobility became formally hereditary for the first time upon the creation of the higher titles of Count and Baron .

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The recognition of such noble status in society was of a social, not a legal, nature, as has all Swedish nobility become since it was separated from the government more recently.

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Three successive almanach series of unintroduced Swedish nobility have been published; the first in 1886, the second in 1912, and the third in 1935; it came out most recently in 2010.

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Prerogatives of Swedish nobility today are limited to protection of noble titles and certain elements and styles used in their coats of arms : a helm with an open visor, a coronet showing rank, a medallion and the use of supporters.

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