March 22, 2014

The Royal Armoury- "Power Games: A Costume Drama"

Entrance on south side of Royal Palace.
I love history and I am a sucker for a good costume drama, so I knew that the Royal Armoury's new exhibition "Power Games: A Costume Drama" would be right up my alley! The Royal Armoury, or Livrustkammaren, is a museum dedicated to Swedish royal history shown through their clothes, uniforms, weapons, armour and carriages.
Gown worn by Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I.
The exhibition (running until Jan 4th, 2015) was very interesting and clever... it compares three characters through their costumes and clothes: King Erik XIV of Sweden, Queen Elizabeth I of England (through the Oscar winning costumes from Elizabeth and Elizabeth: the Golden Age starring Cate Blanchett) and the fictional King Joffrey Baratheon from HBO's popular Game of Thrones.
Game of Throne's Joffrey Baratheon
A fascinating mix of historical clothes from an actual king, costumes from a modern movie of a historical queen and costumes for a fictional king from a TV show. Besides the clothes and costumes, historical and fictional events are compared with each other. The characters and events in the Game of Thrones are often described as being especially gruesome, violent and sexual... but when compared to the events of King Erik XIV's life, one sees that they aren't that outlandish (the Sture Murders are a great example).
Part of the Power Games exhibition, including Mary Stuart's execution gown.
When you are there, don't miss the permanent exhibitions in the rest of the museum. The Swedish royal history over the past 500 years is well represented with coronation gowns, military uniforms, armour, ceremonial costumes as well as children's clothes. There are several historically significant outfits on display as well, such as the costume Gustav III was wearing when he was assassinated at a masquerade ball at the Royal Opera and the uniform Charles XII was wearing when he was killed in battle (bloodstains and bullet holes still apparent).
Armour belonging to a Swedish king...
Two floors below you will find the horse drawn carriages used by the royal family over the years... very beautiful and ornate. They even have a royal sled on display! This is a very child-friendly museum and there is even a room where children can try on historical costumes to become princes and princesses.
Part of the permanent display with Swedish royal costumes.
The museum is located in the Royal Palace (entrance on the southern side from Slottsbacken) in Gamla Stan. To get there from the Rival Hotel, it is just a 15 minute walk or a quick bus ride (#43 or 55). Admission is 90 SEK, free for children under 19 or holders of the Stockholm Card. If history is your thing, here are some other museums that will be of interest!
One of the royal horse-drawn carriages...


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