The opening ceremony of the Swedish Riksdag



­Every year in early autumn the Swedish Riksdag starts its parliamentary session with an opening ceremony that the king attends. Between 1974 and 1975 this ceremony changed dramatically. The opening of the parliamentary year serves, as we ­ will see, as a condensation of the Swedish constitution. In 1974, a new Instrument of Government was enacted which codified the modern constitutional order. The main fundamental law of the Swedish constitution, the Instrument of Government, had persisted since 1809, and although amended it gradually had become more and more out of sync with the ­actual political system, which included parliamentarism. This major shift in formal constitutional order was not only represented but, I argue, embodied and enacted through the transformation of the opening ceremony. One of several crucial aspects of this transformation was the change of venue for the ceremony from a hall in the king’s palace to the parliament building of the Swedish Riksdag. …

Published open access in Psarra, Staiger & Sternberg 2023 (eds) Parliament Buildings The architecture of politics in Europe UCL Press