Head of State

The Head of State in Europe

The Head of State in Sweden

In the Swedish Constitution: The Instrument of Government (SFS nr: 1974:152)

Chapter 5 of the Instrument of Government has the headline “The Head of State”. Here is the content of Chapter 5:

  • Article 1 provides the following: The Head of State shall be kept informed by the Prime Minister concerning the affairs of the Realm. The Government convenes as Council of State under the chairmanship of the Head of State when so required.
  • Article 2 provides the following: No person who is not a Swedish citizen or who has not attained the age of eighteen may serve as Head of State. The Head of State may not at the same time be a minister or hold a mandate as Speaker or as a member of the Riksdag. The Head of State shall consult the Prime Minister before undertaking travel abroad.
  • Article 3 provides the following: If, by reason of ill health, foreign travel or for any other cause, the King is prevented from performing his duties, that member of the Royal House under the valid order of succession who is not prevented therefrom shall assume and perform the duties of Head of State in the capacity of Regent ad interim.
  • Article 4 provides the following: Should the Royal House become extinct, the Riksdag appoints a Regent to perform the duties of Head of State until further notice. The Riksdag appoints a Deputy Regent at the same time. The same applies if the King dies or abdicates and the heir to the throne has not yet attained the age of eighteen.
  • Article 5 provides the following: If the King has been continuously prevented for six months from performing his duties, or has failed to perform his duties, the Government shall notify the matter to the Riksdag. The Riksdag determines whether the King shall be deemed to have abdicated.
  • Article 6 provides the following: The Riksdag may appoint a person to serve as Regent ad interim under a Government order when no one competent under Article 3 or 4 is in a position to serve. The Speaker, or, in his absence, one of the Deputy Speakers, serves as Regent ad interim under a Government order when no other competent person is in a position to serve.
  • Article 7 provides the following: The King cannot be prosecuted for his actions. Neither can a Regent be prosecuted for his actions as Head of State. (see more about the Constitution of Sweden here)
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