16 Mar: Murder at the Masked Ball

Gustav III was shot, in the back and at close range, at Stockholm’s Royal Opera House on 16th March, 1792. But he didn’t die for another two weeks. Which made things rather difficult for the conspirators who had assassinated him.

During his two decades on the throne, Sweden’s ‘Culture King’ had increased religious freedom, widened opportunities for ordinary citizens and built the very opera house in which he was attacked. But his popularity with the people did not spare him the wrath of the nobility – quite the reverse.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how, at a masked ball, the King was still so readily identifiable; ask whether his war with Russia was a clever or foolish piece of military strategy; and reveal the ugly fate that befell his assailant…

Further Reading:

• ‘That Fatal Shot — by the Royal Armoury, Sweden’ (Google Arts & Culture): https://artsandculture.google.com/story/that-fatal-shot-the-royal-armoury-sweden/MQURevye_fzGJQ?hl=en

• ‘Gustav III of Sweden: The Forgotten Despot of the Age of Enlightenment’ (History Today, 2003): https://www.historytoday.com/archive/gustav-iii-sweden-forgotten-despot-age-enlightenment

• ‘The Ambitious Building Projects of Gustav III’ (Kings And Things, 2017):

#1800s #Sweden #Crime #Royals

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