Svea Life Guards is the world’s oldest active unit. The Life Guards date back to 1521, when the “Dalecarlians” (the people from Dalarna) appointed “16 tough men” to be the bodyguard of King Gustav Vasa.

When Gustav Vasa was elected king in 1523 he received the bodyguard named the King’s Guard.

Along with Gustav Wasa  “Stockholmsfänikan” and the King’s Guard it formed the basis for the Svea Life Guards.

In 1617 Gustavus Adolphus put together the “Fänikan” and the Guard and called it the Life Guards Regiment. In 1792 Gustav III renamed the regiment to the “King Svea Life Guards”.


Captain Sten Aleman and Physician Lars Arvidsson put together a meeting of interested men at the cavalry barracks Lidingövägen in Stockholm Sweden.
Here they presented the idea to form a live firing squad, dressed in the Svea Life Guards uniforms from 1858 and armed with percussion lock rifles to conduct demonstrations of live firings in order to create & develop competition based historical shootings. (which created some impact at international competitions with black powder weapons).

The corps would be led by an officer, an Armourer and a Quartermaster.
The armament would initially be privately owned percussion lock rifle with uniforms being borrowed from the regular Svea Life Guards
(Currently used for state ceremonies) and complemented by newly manufactured replicas of the 1846 headwear ”Käppi”, 1858 Crossed Bandolier and a 1848 Fascine knife according to the 1848
regimental code of conduct and weapons based upon the “Regulations for infantry regiments 1846”.

Experienced by a previous grandiose project, which had stopped at the conceptual stage, one of those present asked when the exercises would begin. The answer was: “Next Saturday, the Svea Life Guards barracks.” Where upon the questioner and one other man pulled out.
The others affirmed the idea and announced that they would meet at the appointed time and place. The Corps was formed, under the working title “Karl XV’s Life Guards”. Which later changed to “Svea Life Guards Musketeers”.

Present at the meeting who affirmed the idea was: Sten Aleman (self-proclaimed chief and union officer) Lars Arvidsson (self-proclaimed rustmästare) Torbjörn Jonsson (prospective quartermaster and later 2nd officer), Linus Jönsson (Torbjörn’s son, aspiring corpral) Conny Sundgren (future-corpral) Per Larsson (prospective tygbefäl and later rustmästare), Rolf Enquist.

At first exercise added Hans Friberg (from Carl Larsson’s family) and later in the spring joined Erik Nelsson (prospective corpral and intendenturbefäl).

The exercises were conducted initially in slightly different intervals of one to three weeks between room between exercises. At each closing Practice determined next time rehearsal.
Civilian clothes were used and catering as well as allutrustning was brought by the participants themselves.

After a month or so got regimental commander, Major General Goran de Geer, wind of the activity and wanted to take a look at this. A “graduation date” was set 2 may 1994.