Kings in Waiting: The Problem of the Spare in Sweden, c. 1550-1630
About this project
In progress 2019 - 2023
The late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century was a dynamic period in Swedish history. The foundations of a strong monarchy and centralized state were laid, but fierce competition arose between royal family members. Kings were deposed and replaced by dukes. The dukes were royal sons, brothers, uncles or cousins who ruled principalities and functioned as royal spares in the order of succession, thereby destabilizing the hereditary monarchy. By focusing on the dukes, and the problem of the spare, this project explores the instability of early modern states, monarchies and dynasties. Through analyses of the ducal position in relation to courts, coronations, funerals and marriages, the aim is to increase our understanding of why the relationship between kings and dukes became so contentious.