Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Royal Jewelry Heist

By Jen Conley

Swedish Coat of ArmsLast year, Oceans 8 hit theaters and brought the story of a large scale jewelry heist to the public. Around the same time as the movie hit theaters, a real life jewelry heist stunned the EU when royal jewels were stolen from a cathedral in Sweden.

The artifacts were stolen while Strängnäs Cathedral was open to the public last summer. Witnesses saw the thieves escape on a speedboat in Lake Mälaren but Swedish police were not able to catch the suspects.

Swedish Royal JewelsAmongst the items stolen were the crown of King Charles IX, the Crown of Queen Christina and a royal orb. The Key emblems of both royalty and leadership, these relics are of great importance to the House of Vasa and furthermore to Swedish history. The theft left the world stunned and also left many unanswered questions. Who could have stolen such precious items? Where could the relics be found?

Swedish CastleSträngnäs Cathedral is home to the remains of King Charles IX and his wife Anna Maria of the Palatinate. Hosting a large portion of Sweden’s royal jewels in addition to being the burial ground of Swedish royals, Strängnäs Cathedral is a true Swedish marvel! Beginning in the 12th century, Sweden has been a prime northern European power and is one of 27 remaining countries that is still ruled under a monarchy.

King Charles IXKing Charles IX, from the royal House of Vasa, ruled Sweden from 1595-1611 and was the start of the glorious end of the monarchs from that House. King Charles IX is best known for re-establishing the national religion of Sweden to Lutheranism and for his military strength that won him the crown of Sweden . After his death in 1611 he passed the throne to his son, Gustavus Adolphus the Great, who is regarded as one of the most accomplished military leaders of his time.

Queen ChristinaGustavus’ daughter, Queen Christina of Sweden, succeeded him and was the last monarch of Sweden from the House of Vasa. A prominent woman of the 17th century who stunned Europe by refusing to marry, dressed in masculine clothing and later abdicated the throne to her cousin in order to remain unwed. Queen Christina was a major supporter of the arts and under her regime Sweden became a cultural hub for scholars and artists. Her extravagant lifestyle is well documented and her possessions were notable luxuries of the 17th century. The royal House of Vasa is very important to the rich history of Sweden and made Sweden a great European power.

Swedish authorities searched for the answers to those questions for months and the location of the jewels. Potential evidence led them to a 22 year old suspect in November who they believe stole the regalia with help from friends. While they had a good lead on who stole the priceless artifacts the question still remained: Where were they? Last month, after they had been missing for over six months, authorities finally found the royal crowns and orb, which were hidden in a trash bin!. Talk about a load of rubbish!