Herr Vonjahr hat sich, was die Kürzel „G • V • S •“ betrifft, dankenswerterweise an die Universität Stockholm gewandt. Die ausführliche Antwort der Historiska institutionen lautet:


„Dear Mr. Vonjahr

The Swedish kings did from about 1540 until 1973 use the official title King of Sweden (or the Swedes), the Goths and the Wends (Sveriges, Gates och Wendes konung). Sweden (or Svea Rike) was traditionally associated with the inhabitants of central Sweden). The Goths in this case were the inhabitants of the southern provinces of Sweden (Västergötland, Östergötland, Gotland and Smäland) and it was believed that the Goths who ivaded the Roman Empire came from this area - something which is impossible to know. These two titles had been in use already in the Middle Ages.

The Danish kings had, since they for a time in the Middle Ages ruled over Northern Germany (inhabitated by the Wends), called themselves King of the Wends. After the breakup of the Nordi c union in the 1520s they conti nued to call themselves „King of the Goths ” which angered King Gustav l of Sweden. In „retaliation" ” he began to call himself „King of the Wends ” without being actually sure of what it meant - the North German Wends were by then more or less forgotten. When translated into Latin it became Rex Vandalorum, a confusion with the German tribe the Vandals, known in the 5 th and 6 th Century. It soon became a tradition and the title was not changed until the present king in 1973 chose a brief title - King of Sweden.

The title has nothing to do with the Three Crowns in the Swedish Royal Arm. That has been in use since the mid-14 th c entury and war probably originally a religious symbol: the Holy Three Kings who came to Jesus after he was born.


Yours sincerely

Jan Glete

Professor of History

Historiska institutionen

Stockholms Universitet

SE 10691 Stockholm