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Sweden's Royal Armory (1:59)

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm’s impressive Royal Armory shows off several centuries of the country’s elaborate armor used by soldiers and their horses; lavish outfits worn by the royalty and their children; prince and princess paraphernalia (a cradle and toys); and ornate coaches that transported the royals.

Complete Video Script

For a glimpse at the splendor of Sweden's former power, step into the Royal Armory. While fearsome on the battlefield, armor had a ceremonial value as well. These pieces must have dazzled viewers back in the 1600s — that was the point. The fine workmanship elevates tools of war to an art form. The same lavish attention to both protection and style was also given to horses. The Swedish royal family kept up with their counterparts elsewhere in Europe.

Four centuries of coronation and royal-wedding ware take you from the time of Gustavus Adolphus — this is his fine suit — through the ages. This 1766 wedding dress of Queen Sofia was designed to cleverly show off her fabulous wealth. The dress, with its extravagant material, seems even wider when compared to her 20-inch corseted waist. For a coronation, everyone puts on their finest jewels. In 1607, the new King wore this and his horse wore that.

The royal children get a section for themselves. This cradle has rocked heirs to the throne since the 1650s and it'll rock the country's next king or queen as well. It's fun to imagine little princes romping around in their vast 600-room home. They had the very best in toys. A century ago, one little prince treasured his boxcar and loved playing “cowboys and Indians.” The basement is a royal garage filled with exquisite coaches. This lavish coronation coach was made in France in about 1700. Its original tortoiseshell flooring survives. This coach, sporting the latest in suspension gear, last rolled a king to his big day in the mid-1800s.

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