The Order of the Seraphim
The Royal Order of the Seraphim is conferred upon members of the Swedish Royal House and, at the Government’s recommendation, usually upon heads of state or individuals of equal merit in connection with state visits.
The cross of the order is worn pendant from a collar or a light blue ribbon together with the star, which is worn on the left side of the chest (from the wearer’s perspective).
The decoration consists of a white-enamelled golden cross, in the centre of which is a dark blue medallion with the monogram ‘IHS’ (Iesus Hominum Salvator – Jesus, Saviour of Mankind), crowned with a closed crown. Between the arms of the cross are golden seraphim heads.
The collar consists of eleven seraphim heads (winged angel heads) in gold, alternating with eleven blue gold-mounted patriarchal crosses attached with gold links. The collar can be awarded to Knights of the Seraphim as a special mark of honour, and is not automatically included on conferral. For example, it can be awarded to a head of state during a second state visit if the Order of the Seraphim has previously been awarded.
The star is an eight-pointed silver cross, with a blue medallion bearing the monogram ‘IHS’ at the centre and golden seraphim heads (changed from silver to gold in 2005) between the arms of the cross.
The order has only one class, referred to since 2023 as Knight. Women and priests on which the order was conferred before 2023 are referred to as Member and Member of the Cloth respectively.
The order also includes the Seraphim Medal.
When a Knight or a Member is awarded the order, proposals for a heraldic coat of arms are submitted to the Chapter of the Royal Order to be painted. In Sweden, these arms are painted during the holder’s lifetime but are only hung in the Riddarholmen Church after the holder’s death. In this respect, the practice differs from the United Kingdom and Denmark, where the coat of arms is immediately hung in a dedicated chapel.
A selection of arms belonging to living Knights and Members is displayed in the Hall of the Order of the Seraphim to mark this lasting tradition. On the burial day of a Knight or a Member of the Order of the Seraphim is buried, a special ceremony is held.
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Return of Orders
All orders shall be returned to the Royal Orders of Knighthood on the demise of the recipient. The insignia, name and birth date of the recipient shall be returned via mail (with tracking) to Kungl. Maj:ts Orden.
Information on who the receipt shall be sent to should also be included. If you wish, the Royal Orders of Knighthood can include a picture of the insigna along with the receipt, free of charge.