Gustaf Cederström's painting of Charles XII after the Battle of Poltava

Permission to Open Warrior King's Grave

Approval has been granted to open the grave of the early 18th century Swedish warrior king Charles XII. But the Office of the Marshal of the Realm says final permission will be given first when it has received and approved a detailed proposal of how the project is to be carried out.

Charles XII spent much of his reign at war abroad. After many initial successes, his 1709 loss to Peter the Great of Russia at the Battle of Poltava, in the modern Ukraine, heralded the beginning of the end of the Swedish empire in northern Europe. He is buried in Riddarholm Church next to Stockholm’s Old Town.

A group of researchers has sought to examine the remains of the king, to test conflicting theories over the cause of his death during an invasion of Norway in 1718. Was he killed by a bullet from the Norwegian enemies, or one fired by an assassin from within the Swedish lines?

One of the major problems facing the project is finding more than 100,000 dollars in financing, most of which would go for lifting the heavy marble lid of the sarcophagus.

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