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Royal Order of the Seraphim facts for kids

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The Royal Order of the Seraphim
Kungliga Serafimerorden
Star of the order
Awarded by Monarch of Sweden
Type Single grade order of merit
Motto Iesus Hominum Salvator (IHS)
  • Until 1975: Swedish and foreign persons
  • Since 1975: Foreign heads of state or other foreigners of equivalent rank, and
  • Since 1995: Also members of the Swedish Royal Family
Awarded for services to Sweden
Status Currently constituted
Sovereign King Carl XVI Gustaf
Chancellor Ingemar Eliasson
Grades Knight/Member (of the Cloth) (general: RSerafO/LSerafO, Swedes: RoKavKMO/LoKavKMO)
First induction 1748, Frederick I of Sweden
Last induction 14 June 2019, Moon Jae-in
Total inductees 882
Next (higher) None (highest)
Next (lower) Royal Order of the Sword
Order of the Seraphim - Ribbon bar.svg
Ribbon bar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim

The Royal Order of the Seraphim (Swedish: Kungliga Serafimerorden; Seraphim being a category of angels) is a Swedish order of chivalry created by King Frederick I on 23 February 1748, together with the Order of the Sword and the Order of the Polar Star. The order has only one class with the dignity of Knight (Member for women and Member of the Cloth for clergymen), and is the foremost order of Sweden.

The three above-mentioned Orders together with the Order of Vasa form the Orders of His Majesty the King (Swedish Kungl. Maj:ts Orden). A Swedish Knight of the Order of the Seraphim is not referred to as a Knight of the Seraphim, but rather as a Knight and Commander of the Orders of His Majesty the King (Swedish: Riddare och Kommendör av Kunglig Majestäts Orden). This form is used because the Swedish word orden is an old plural form which indicates that a knight has to be a Commander Grand Cross or Commander of at least one of the other Swedish Orders. Foreign Knights are for the greater part Knights of the Order of the Seraphim. A Knight of the Order may be styled "Herr" + surname, which used to be the formal style for Swedish secular Knights (untitled high-ranking noblemen) appointed by the Swedish King, a practice that ceased in the 17th Century.

When originally instituted the knights of the Order were required to supervise the major hospitals and mental asylums in Sweden, and in particular, the Seraphim Hospital, which was a major hospital in Stockholm until it was closed in 1980. This requirement would die out as boards of physicians and other professionals made such supervision by the Knights of the Seraphim anachronistic during the course of the 19th century.

As part of the reorganization of Swedish orders in 1975, appointments of Swedish citizens to the various orders ceased and conferrals were restricted to foreigners (the last non-royal Swedish holder was Sten Rudholm). Likewise, the Order of the Seraphim was restricted to foreign heads of state and equivalents. In 1995, the law was revised and conferrals upon members of the royal family was allowed.

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See also

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