Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a representative democracy based on a parliamentary system. The Head of State is the highest public office in Sweden. According to the Act of Succession of 1810 that office is inherited within the House of Bernadotte.
The line of succession
Main article: List of Succession to the Swedish throne
Present monarch: His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf (since September 19, 1973), born 1946
HRH Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Westrogothia, daughter of the King, born 1977
HRH Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Wermelandia, son of the King, born 1979
HRH Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Helsingia and Gestricia, daughter of the King, born 1982
Sweden has been a kingdom for more than a 1 000 years (or 2 000 years depending on the definition of king and Sweden, see Suiones), hereditary since 1541. The present Bernadotte dynasty was established during the Napoleonic Wars through the Constitution of 1809 and the Act of Succession of 1810, in a bloodless Revolution after present day Finland, then the eastern half of the Realm, having been lost to Russia. The Constitution divided the Powers of Government between the Riksdag and the Monarch. However, since the break-through of Parliamentarism in 1917 the king has in practice given up political power.
Head of state
In 1974 a new Instrument of Government became part of the Constitution which the Privy Council as the government institution and stripped the Monarch of virtually all formal powers, while still retaining him as Head of State. Many of the king's previous politicial functions were transfered to the Speaker of the Riksdag. The monarch leads the Privy Council in a session that establishes the new government following a general election or cabinet reshuffle. The king also chairs the Committee for Foreign Affairs (Utrikesnämnden), a body which serves to officially inform the head of state and the leaders of the opposition of government affairs. Bills passed in the Swedish parliament become law without having to acquire royal assent.
A more recent constitutional reform changed the rules for succession to full cognatic primogeniture. This allowed for female succession to the throne and created Princess Victoria heir apparent over her younger brother.
Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden