History, Haga Palace

Haga Palace, watercolour by Princess Eugenie. Photo: Royal Court

Haga Palace, watercolour by Princess Eugenie. Photo: Royal Court

In 1802, Gustav IV Adolf commissioned architect Carl Christoffer Gjörwell to build a new palace just north of what is now called Gustav III's Pavilion.
The new building, which was eventually named the Queen's Pavilion, is now called Haga Palace. The exterior was given a simple classical design, with a high frontispiece with carved pediment. The balcony is supported by four Doric columns on the entrance side.
The balcony columns are made of Finnish marble and were taken to Poland during the reign of King Sigismund. However, they were recovered by Gustav II Adolf. They were then used by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger for the German church in Karlskrona. Some of the columns became available following a devastating fire there in 1790. They were purchased by Gustav IV Adolf and four of them were then used to decorate the entrance to Haga Palace.


The interior is decorated relatively simply and in the accommodation one floor up the furnishings comprise mostly fixed mirrors, carved door frames and cornices. This floor had a design that was typical of the time, with a central chamber surrounded on all sides by drawing-rooms and bedrooms. The servants' rooms were situated close to the bedrooms.
The Dowager Duchess of Dalarna's Green Room at Haga Palace. Photograph from 1914. Royal Court.

The Dowager Duchess of Dalarna's Green Room at Haga Palace. Photograph from 1914. Royal Court.

19th century

With the exception of occasional visits by Karl XIII, and later Queen Desideria, Haga did not become a royal home again until the 1820s. It was then that Karl XIV Johan granted use of the palace to Crown Prince Oskar (I) and Crown Princess Josefina.  The Crown Prince Couple were very fond of Haga, and it was here that their second son Gustav, Duke of Uppland was born in 1827. After the premature death of the popular prince, who composed several songs including the famous Student Song, the Academy of Music raised a monument to his memory in 1854 on what was then called Josefina Holm, close to the palace. The monument consists of a bronze bust sculptured by Carl Eneas Sjöstrand, placed in a Geatish cast iron temple.


The Dowager Duchess of Dalarna

After the reign of Oskar I, Haga was used by other members of the royal family, mainly the King's youngest son, Prince August, who died in 1873. His widow, the Dowager Duchess Teresia of Dalarna, then occupied the palace from 1890 until her death in 1914. Photographs of her home show an interior that was typical of the period, with lots of furniture, ornaments and textiles in various materials.
The palace was then occupied periodically by Gustaf V's youngest son, Prince Erik, until his death in 1918. After the end of the First World War, the palace was used for homeless orphans.

Prince Gustav Adolf and Princess Sibylla

The palace was restored in 1932 under the management of palace architect Ragnar Hjorth and renovated for use as a home for Prince Gustaf Adolf, who got married that same year to Princess Sibylla. The restoration work included the installation of several fireplaces on the second floor to replace the tiled stoves. Bathrooms were also fitted and the kitchens were renovated. However, the palace's original decorations including mirrors, door frames and cornices were left as they were.

The Haga Princesses: Princesses Margaretha, Birgitta, Desirée and Christina, and the present king, Carl Gustaf, seated on a wall in the grounds of Haga Palace in 1948. Photo: Scanpix.

Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla turned Haga into a modern home. It was here that all the royal couple's five children were born. Margaretha in 1934, Birgitta in 1937, Desirée in 1938, Christina in 1943 and Carl Gustaf in 1946.

Princess Sibylla and her children moved to the Royal Palace following the tragic death of Prince Gustaf Adolf in 1947.

Guest residence for foreign visitors

In 1966, King Gustaf VI Adolf decided to grant use of the palace to the government as "a guest residence for distinguished foreign visitors who are guests of the government, or for whom the government otherwise deems it appropriate to enjoy this privilege".

Haga Palace underwent yet another restoration under the management of architect Olov Söderman, who also organised the refurnishing of the palace, since the building was empty. There was no express intention during the renovations to recreate original features from previous periods in the palace's history. 
Several foreign statesmen have stayed at the palace since it began being used as accommodation for guests of the Swedish government. The first name in the guest book is the Russian head of government Nikita Khrushchev and his wife Nina.

Restored to the Royal Family

The number of overnight stays decreased after Sweden joined the European Union in 1995. The palace was used mainly for talks and conferences.
In 2009, the government transferred the right of disposal of the palace back to H.M. The King. This meant that the palace could once again be used as a royal home, this time for the future Crown Princess Couple.