King of Poland and Sweden. Also known as Zygmunt III Waza and nicknamed Zys, he was the only king of Sweden by the name. Belonging to the Vasa Dynasty, and Poland's first king of it, he was the son of King John III of Sweden and his first queen, Catherine, originally a Princess of Poland of the Jagiellan Dynasty. He was King of Poland in union with Lithuania and the Ukraine from 1587 to 1632 and simultaneously of Sweden from 1592 to 1599, creating an odd union between the Polish and Swedish crowns. Having been elected in Poland six years earlier through his mother's descent, he crossed the Baltic from there and arrived back in Stockholm after his father had died. After swearing to preserve the Lutheran Swedish Church, he was crowned at Upsala the year after that, together with his first queen, Anne, a Habsburg princess of Inner Austria. The King and Queen soon left for Poland, having appointed Sigmund's uncle, Duke Carl of Sudermania as viceroy to represent them in their absence in a power system intended to be balanced between the Duke, the King's Council and local governors. The Protestant Crown of Sweden and the Catholic Crown of Poland soon proved to be impossible bedfellows, however, and the future Carl IX had not much difficulty in maneuvering his absent nephew out of office. Sigmund's Polish armada won over Swedish ships, but his land troops were roundly beaten in 1598, and he was formally deposed the following year. His reign in Sweden over, King Sigmund III reigned on in Poland for 33 years, defending the Catholic faith and attempting on occasion to work his way back into Sweden. Even in Poland, where he moved the royal capital from Krakow to Warsaw, he was considered dull, difficult and a weak ruler, but the sons he had by Queen Anne, and after her death by her sister, Constance, made good Polish kings and bishops. Sigmund and his cousin and main antagonist, King Gustav II Adolph of Sweden, both died in 1632. King Sigmund has been remembered with his imposing statue high on a pillar in Warsaw, Poland, and his monumental image on an outside wall of Stockholm Palace in Sweden.
John of Sweden