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Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd

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In Skandinavia the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd (Hihg Royal Officials) are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inherit their positions or are appointed to exercise certain largely ceremonial functions or to operate as members of the government. Some of the powers of the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd are today mainly ceremonial, but some of them still play an important role in the country's day-to-day. In exceptional situations, at the request of the Monark, they could exercise functions of other positions or bodies of the state.

Government in all the medieval monarchies generally comprised the king's companions, later becoming the Royal Household, from which the high royal officials, initially having household and government duties.

According to the Unionenslov of 1951, current Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd are:

  • Herre Høvdinger (Lord of Lords or Lord High Steward)
  • Herre Højkansler (Lord High Chancellor)
  • Herre Højttaler (Lord High Speaker)
  • Herre Højmarskalk (Lord High Marshal)
  • Herre Højkasserer (Lord High Treasurer)
  • Herre Højkammerat (Lord High Chamberlain)

Herre Høvdinger

The position of Herre Høvdinger (Lord High Steward or Lord of Lords) is the first of the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd (High Royal Officials) in Skandinavia, nominally ranking above the Herre Højkansler (Lord High Chancellor).

Historical origin

Seneschal of the Realm, Riksdrots (Swedish), Rigsdrost (Danish) (other plausible translations are Lord High Steward or Lord High Justiciar) is a Danish and Swedish name of a supreme state official, with at least a connotation to administration of judiciary, who in medieval Scandinavia was often a leader in the government.

The office seems to have appeared in Denmark in the 13th century and a bit later in Sweden and Norway. In Sweden, it acquired the official role of "second-in-command" and the regentship at the disappearance of the ancient office of Riksjarl with Birger jarl as the last holder of that office. It was not quite unusual that also mighty princes like Dukes, as well as royal consorts, had their own drost.

In all three countries the post was abolished in the 1380s. In Denmark it was replaced by the Steward of the Realm. In Sweden it was soon revived before the mid-15th century and in the 17th century in a new version as Riksdrots, "Drots of the Realm" or "Imperial Drost", which was also used in Denmark for a short while after 1660.

Role in modern Skandinavia

Act as a Royal representative in all the functions that the monarch entrusts to him. His work at present is eminently ceremonial, playing a fundamental role in the coronation of the monarchs, but it can also play an important role in some cases, since it is responsible for the regency in case of death of the monarch and that the heir has not reached the age of majority.

It is also the maximum responsible for the Adelshus (House of the Nobility).

Herre Højkansler

It is the second of the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd, only behind the Herre Høvdinger, and his fundamental role is to act as "Minister of the Monark" within the Statsrådet. Represent the royal interests and inform the Monark about the decisions of the Statsrådet. It is also the custodian of the Great Seal of the Realm. For the exercise of its functions, it has its own office.

Herre Højttaler

It is the third of the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd and the main functions of the Herre Højttaler are to take the chair in debates held in the Landsting, to advise the Chamber on procedural rules, to take formal responsibility for security in the areas of the Landstingbygningen, to speak for the Landsting on ceremonial occasions, and to represent the Landsting as its ambassador in the Skandinavia and overseas.

The role has less power than the Stortingets Høyttaler. The Landsting is largely self-governing, and its presiding officer has traditionally taken a less active role in debates than the Stortingets Høyttaler. For example, unlike the Stortingets Høyttaler, the Herre Højttale does not call the Chamber to order, determine who is to speak when two individuals rise at the same time, rule on points of order, discipline members who violate the rules of the debates, or select amendments to bills. All these functions are performed by the Landsting as a whole. Furthermore, whilst speeches in the Storting are addressed directly to the Stortingets Høyttaler, those in the Landsting are addressed to the Chamber as a whole; i.e., speeches begin "Mine Herrer" (My Lords) instead of "Hr. Højttaler" (Mr Speaker). In practice, the only task of the Herre Højttaler in the Chamber is to formally put the question before a vote, to announce the result of any vote, and to make certain announcements to the Landsting. Furthermore, the Herre Højttaler may end the adjournment of the Landsting (or "recall" it) during a public emergency.

The Herre Højttaler is also in charge to hand the speech to the Monark during the Unionsparlamentet Opening Ceremony.

Herre Højmarskalk

It is the fourth of the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd and its function is to command, in the name of the Monark, the Forsvaret. This office is normally held by the Forsvarschef (Chief of Defense).

Herre Højkasserer

It is the fifth of the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd. The job of the Herre Højkasserer is to oversee the accounts of the Realm. This supposes the supervision of the national budget approved by the government and the parliament, budgets of the counties and also the budgets of all the agencies of the state. To develop its functions, it has its own staff and office.

Herre Højkammerat

It is the sixth of the Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd. Its office is in charge of the Royal Residences and all the Royal Companies and business.