Grand Duke of Finland


Grand Duke of Finland, alternatively the
Grand Prince Grand prince or great prince (feminine: grand princess or great princess) ( la, magnus princeps; Greek: ''megas archon ''Archon'' ( gr, ἄρχων, árchōn, plural: ἄρχοντες, ''árchontes'') is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequ ...
of Finland ( fi, Suomen suuriruhtinas, sv, Storfurste av Finland, russian: Великий князь Финляндский), was, from around 1580 to 1809, a title in use by most
Swedish monarchs This is a list of Swedish kings, queens, regent A regent (from the Latin : ruling, governing) is a person appointed to govern a state ''pro tempore'' (Latin Language, Latin: 'for the time being') because the regnant monarch is a minor, is abse ...
. Between 1809 and 1917, it was the official title of the ruler of the
autonomous The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects o ...
Grand Principality of Finland The Grand Duchy of Finland ( fi, Suomen suuriruhtinaskunta; sv, Storfurstendömet Finland; russian: Великое княжество Финляндское, , alternatively Grand Principality of Finland), was the predecessor state of modern Fin ...
, who was also the
Emperor of Russia The emperor or empress of all the Russias or All Russia, ''Imperator Vserossiyskiy'', ''Imperatritsa Vserossiyskaya'' (often titled Tsar , by Ivan Makarov Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a Royal and noble rank ...
. The anachronistic female form of the title in English would be ''Grand Duchess of Finland'' ( sv, link=no, Storfurstinna av Finland, fi, link=no, Suomen suuriruhtinatar). The only women to have used the title were the Swedish
queens regnant A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and therefore the head of st ...
Kristina and Ulrika Eleonora. A few
crown prince A crown prince or hereditary prince is the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it ...

crown prince
s of Sweden also were called ''Grand Duke of Finland''.

Swedish era until 1809

Around 1580, King Johan III of Sweden, who had previously (1556–63) been the Duke of Finland (a Dukes of Swedish Provinces, royal duke), assumed the subsidiary title ''Grand Duke of Finland'' ( sv, Storfurste, fi, Suomen suuriruhtinas) to List of Swedish monarchs, the titles of the King of Sweden, first appearing in sources in 1581 (though first used by Johan III in 1577).Nordisk Familjebok
In those years, Johan was and had been in a quarrel with his eastern neighbour, ''Tsar'' Ivan IV of Russia ('Ivan the Terrible'), who had a long list of subsidiary titles as Grand Duke of several ancient Russian principalities and provinces. The use of Grand Duke on Johan's behalf was a countermeasure to signify his mighty position as sovereign of Sweden, also a multinational or multi-country realm, and equal to a Tsardom. Not only was Finland added, but Karelia, Ingria, and Livonia, all of which were along the Swedish-Russian border. It is said that the first use of the new title was in an occasion to contact ''Tsar'' Ivan. During the next 140 years, the title was used by Johan's successors on the Swedish throne, with the exception of Carl IX of Sweden, Carl IX, who listed Finns as one of the many nations over which he was the king during 1607–1611. Titles of European hereditary rulers, here Sweden
As the title had only subsidiary nature without any concrete meaning, it was mainly used at very formal occasions along with a long list of additional royal titles. The last Swedish monarch to use the title was Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden, Queen Ulrika Eleonora, who abdicated in 1720. However, in 1802, Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden, King Gustav IV Adolf gave the title to his new-born son, Prince Carl Gustaf, who died three years later.

Russian era 1809–1917

During the Finnish War between Sweden and Russia, the Riksdag of the Estates, four estates of occupied Finland were assembled at the Diet of Finland, Diet of Porvoo on 29 March 1809 to pledge allegiance to Emperor of All Russia, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, who had already earlier during the war adopted the title Grand Duke of Finland to his long list of titles. Following the Swedish defeat in the war and the signing of the Treaty of Fredrikshamn on 17 September 1809, Finland became in some aspects an
autonomous The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects o ...
Grand Duchy of Finland, Grand Duchy, as in an informal real union with the Russian Empire. The Imperial Grand Duke of Finland ruled Finland through his Governor General and a national Senate appointed by him. Although no Grand Duke ever explicitly recognised Finland as a separate state in its own right, the country nevertheless enjoyed a high degree of Wiktionary:autonomy, autonomy, until its independence in 1917.

Grand Dukes

Independence since 1917

Finland was Finnish Declaration of Independence, declared an Independence, independent nation state on 6 December 1917. After the Finnish Civil War, Civil War in 1918, there was a brief attempt to make Kingdom of Finland (1918), Finland a kingdom from 9 October to 14 December 1918. In 1919, Finland was declared a republic. Since then, all titles of monarchs are obsolete in the country.

Status today

Today, there are no pretenders to the title of the Grand Duke of Finland and it remains fully unused.

See also

* Anjala conspiracy * Dukes of Swedish Provinces * Finnish Declaration of Independence * Governor-General of Finland * History of Finland * List of Finnish monarchs * Monarchy of Finland


{{DEFAULTSORT:Grand Duke Of Finland Grand Duchy of Finland