ABBA Makes History With Prestigious Swedish Knighthood

Swedish pop group Abba with its members, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus

ABBA is so iconic that the group is literally going down in history.

The Swedish pop quartet's members are being awarded one of the country's most prestigious knighthoods, the Royal Order of the Vasa, by Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf five decades after the group first rose to international stardom and won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with their hit "Waterloo."

It's also the first time in 50 years that the Royal Order of Vasa has been handed out, with ABBA's Agnetha Faltskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad being named “Commander of the First Class” of the order for "very outstanding efforts in Swedish and international music life” in a May 31, ceremony according to an official statement.

The Order of Vasa was created in 1772 by King Gustav III to recognize "the successful performance of public duties and assignments" and celebrate triumphant "personal efforts for Sweden or Swedish interests."

The music group ABBA with Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Fältskog and Benny Andersson are given the Royal Vasa Order from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (L) and Queen Silvia of Sweden (2nd L) during a ceremony at Stockholm Royal Palace on May 31, 2024, for outstanding contributions to Swedish and international music life.<p>HENRIK MONTGOMERY/TT/Getty Images</p>

The knighthood status had remained dormant for several decades until 2022, when it reopened to Swedish citizens. Fast forward to earlier this year, and candidates for the order were nominated by the public and Swedish government officials before the king approved the final list of awardees.

Within the order are five classes: Commander Grand Cross; Commander, First Class; Commander; Knight, First Class; and Knight. ABBA's members are being inducted into the second most prestigious of all the ranks. Joining the four musicians are Swedish entrepreneur Antonia Ax:son Johnson, actor Eva Rydberg, sociologist Bettan Byvald and business manager Thomas Sjöström.

”The order you get today is Sweden’s thanks for your exceptional efforts,” the monarch said during Friday's ceremony at the Royal Palace in the gilded Vita Havet Assembly Rooms before handing out orders to “13 exceptional Swedes,” per the Associated Press.

Sweden has several other royal orders, including the Royal Order of Seraphim, which is awarded to heads of state and foreign royals; the Royal Order of the Polar Star, which is given to foreign citizens and stateless persons; and the Royal Order of the Sword, which is usually reserved for military personnel.

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