What’s a Royal Palace without an armoury? That’s a trick question. It’s one that doesn’t have an armoury. The Royal Palace in Stockholm is not one of those. It has an armoury.
The entrance to the Royal Armoury is separate from the one for the Royal Apartments and the Royal Chapel and, unlike in the Royal Apartments and the Royal Chapel, they let you take pictures inside the armoury. Consequently, in my books or, rather, my blog, it warrants a separate post here.
The entrance to the Royal Armoury isn’t terribly inspiring, but I’ve included a picture of it anyway (off to the right) in case you go to Stockholm, visit the Royal Palace and you want to be able to spot the Royal Armoury entrance more easily than I did, which was not terribly easily at all.
When I went, there it was very dark inside the armoury, so if you go and if they haven’t improved the lighting, give you eyes some time to adjust.
Inside there was a collection of arms (as in weapons, not as in the things you use to lift food and beverages to your mouth), armour, costumes, saddlery and carriages associated with the monarchy from the 16th century to today. The armoury also displayed gifts and prizes of war. I guess the gifts were given so the Swedes wouldn’t violently take prizes of war (in olden times they weren’t the pacifists they are now), but that probably amounts to roughly the same thing.
The basement houses an amazing collection of beautiful royal coaches. They’re ornate vehicles that would be probably be fun to ride in. However, the the closest I’d probably ever come to that is being asked to walk behind the coaches and scoop up the horse droppings.
When I visited the armoury, the second floor contained a couple of temporary exhibits. At least, I think they were two exhibits, but they might have been one single, tangentially related exhibit.
The first exhibit (or possible just the first part of a combined exhibit) was on Elizabeth I of England. I never did figure out what an exhibit on a British Queen was doing in a Swedish royal armoury museum. That made no sense to me.
The second temporary exhibit (or, as I said, possibly the second part of one exhibit) had references to fighting for kings in the book/television series Game of Thrones.
OK, so let me get this straight. They put exhibits on a British monarch and a work of fiction in a Swedish royal museum. Yup. That makes total sense to me. Not.
Text in English and Swedish tried to draw parallels between the fighting for kings in real life and the fighting in the Game of Thrones. That might have been the connection, but I didn’t quite work it out.
There were also some screens playing clips from the film Elizabeth — The Golden Age and the television series Game of Thrones. Neither of them had anything to do with Sweden as far as I know, and one was total fiction. To say I was confused was an understatement. Well, at least it was only a temporary exhibit. If you go, there may be something that actually seems vaguely related to the Royal armoury theme in that space.