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Legendary Abba Receive Knighthoods from Swedish Monarch at Royal Palace

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Photo: Legendary Abba Receive Knighthoods from Swedish Monarch at Royal Palace. Source: kungahuset.se
Photo: Legendary Abba Receive Knighthoods from Swedish Monarch at Royal Palace. Source: kungahuset.se

The knighthood ceremony took place at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on 31 May.  The members of the legendary band Abba - Agnetha Feltskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Annie-Friede Lingstad - became the first Swedes to be knighted by the King of Sweden in almost 50 years. 

The pop music legends were recognised by King Carl XVI Gustaf on Friday for their cultural influence, which has brought Swedish pop music a huge global audience.

All members of ABBA have been made Knights of the Royal Order of the Vase, First Class, for their outstanding achievements in Swedish and international music.

The Royal Order of the Vase is a Swedish knightly order awarded to Swedish citizens for services to the state and society. The Order was established in 1772 by King Gustaf III to perpetuate the name of the founder of the Swedish royal dynasty, Gustaf I Vasa. The award had no restrictions on birth or education.

In 1975, Sweden stopped awarding royal orders to its citizens, but continued to award royal orders to foreigners. However, in 2022, the country's parliament resumed this practice, and Friday's ceremony was the first time that the orders had been awarded to Swedes in half a century.

Abba is still one of the most famous pop bands in the world, although they have not performed live since 1982.

They have sold over 400 million albums and singles and were the first Swedes to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974.

Today, the digital versions of the band, known as the Abbatars, are selling out in London as part of a new contemporary show, Abba Voyage.

The show, which takes place in the purpose-built Abba Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, has been seven years in the making. It cost $175 million to produce and has sold out to over 1 million people since its launch. Abba Voyage runs until May 2024.

The Abba name is still a huge draw, and in January this year, Andersson and Ulvaeus shared a dividend of almost £1 million after a surge in the production company's profits for stage, music and film adaptations.

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