The Order of Vasa

Kommendör av Vasaorden. Foto: Markku Koivumäki/Studio Kamera-Boden

Commander of the Order of Vasa. Photo: Markku Koivumäki/Studio Kamera-Boden

The Royal Order of Vasa was instituted in 1772 by King Gustav III to recognise contributions within a number of areas where the Order of the Sword and the Order of the Polar Star could not be considered. Today, it is awarded in recognition of personal efforts for Sweden or for Swedish interests, especially within private-sector operations, as well as the successful performance of public duties and assignments.

The insignia of the order is a cross worn on a chain or a green ribbon, as well as the star, which is worn on the left side of the chest.

The decoration is a white-enamelled golden cross with a golden sheaf surrounded by a red border, with the wording ‘GUSTAF.D.III.INSTIKTARE.MDCCLXXII’ in gold, crowned with a closed crown. Between the arms of the cross are open crowns.

The chain consists of alternating Vasa sheaves, nettle leaves and crowned shields with the lesser national coat of arms on them. Each shield is flanked by two crossed caduceus and two crossed cornucopias. The nettle leaves allude to the fact that the founder’s father, King Adolf Frederick, was descended from Holstein.

For the two highest classes of the order, a star is worn on the left side of the chest (from the wearer’s perspective). The star is an eight-pointed silver cross, at the centre of which is a silver Vasa sheaf.

The classes are:

  • Commander Grand Cross
  • Commander, First Class
  • Commander
  • Knight, First Class
  • Knight

The order includes the Cross of Vasa (like Knight, but no white enamel on the arms of the cross) instituted in 1895 along with the Medal of Vasa in gold and silver.

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.