1772: Gustav III of Sweden (of 'The Masked Ball' fame) is crowned in Storkyrkan in Stockholm.
May 29 In Swedish History
1772: Gustav III of Sweden is crowned in Storkyrkan in Stockholm. Gustav III (1746-1792) was the eldest son of King Adolf Fredrik and Lovisa Ulrika of Preussen. Following the uprising in France toward monarchy, Gustav pursued an alliance of monarchs aimed at crushing the insurrection and reinstate his French counterpart, Louis XVI, offering Swedish contributions as well as his leadership.
Gustav III brought French culture to the north. He was our Rococo king, with his own Versailles: the Drottningholm Palace outside Stockholm. He also founded the Svenska Akademien (the Swedish Academy): Svenska Akademien (the Swedish Academy) was founded on April 5, 1786, by King Gustav III.
He was assassinated by a conspiracy of noblemen claiming only to commit tyrannicide, although later research has revealed more personal motives. A patron of the arts and benefactor of arts and literature, Gustav founded several academies, among them the Swedish Academy, created a National Costume and had the Royal Swedish Opera built. In 1772 he founded the Royal Order of Vasa to acknowledge and reward those Swedes who had helped to advance progress in the fields of agriculture, mining and commerce. A masked ball took place at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm at midnight on March 16, 1792. Gustav had arrived earlier that evening to enjoy a dinner in the company of friends. During dinner, he received an anonymous letter that contained a threat to his life, but as the king had received numerous threatening letters in the past, he chose to ignore it, and after dining, left his rooms to take part in the masquerade. At his entrance he was surrounded by Anckarström and his co-conspirators.
The king was spotted easily because of his Royal Order of the Seraphim star. He was greeted in French with the words: “Bonjour, beau masque” (“Good-day beautiful mask”), after which Anckarström shot him. The king cried out in French: “Ah! Je suis blessé, tirez-moi d'ici et arrêtez-le!” ("Ah! I am wounded, take me away from here and arrest him!"). He was not shot dead, but his wound became infected, and he died on March 29. His last words were, “Jag känner mig sömnig, några ögonblicks vila skulle göra mig gott.” ("I feel sleepy, a few moments rest would do me good.") Giuseppe Verdi’s “Un ballo in maschera” (“A Masked Ball”) is based on the assassination of Gustav III.