Carl XVI Gustaf is the current King of Sweden
@Swedish Men, Family and Life
Carl XVI Gustaf is the current King of Sweden
Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden born at
King Carl XVI Gustaf met Silvia Sommerlath at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Silvia, who was a non-royal Brazilian-German, had grown up in Brazil and Germany. They married four years later on June 19, 1976, at the Stockholm Cathedral. The ceremony was conducted by Olof Sundby, the Archbishop of Uppsala. In a Royal Variety Performance before the wedding, Swedish musical group ABBA performed their song ‘Dancing Queen’ for the first time’.
They have three children together, the Crown Princess Victoria (born 1977), Prince Carl Philip (1979), and Princess Madeleine (1982), and through them, five grandchildren. The family resided at the Stockholm Palace till 1980 before relocating to Drottningholm Palace.
Since his birth, Prince Carl Philip had been the heir apparent to the Swedish throne for seven months. On January 1, 1980, parliamentary changes were made to the Act of Succession, introducing absolute primogeniture. Princess Victoria, being the oldest child of the King, was formally designated as the Crown Princess and the heir to her father’s throne. Favouring the tradition, the king spoke out against the reform.
Born on April 30, 1946, in Haga Palace in Solna, Stockholm County, Carl Gustaf is the only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla. He has four older sisters, Princesses Margaretha, Birgitta, Désirée, and Christina.
On June 7, he was baptised by Erling Eidem, the Archbishop of Uppsala, at the Royal Chapel. His godparents were, among others, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark (his paternal uncle and aunt), the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden (paternal grandparents), and the King of Sweden (his paternal great-grandfather).
On January 26, 1947, his father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, was coming back to Stockholm from a hunting trip and a visit to Prince Bernhard and Princess Juliana of the Netherlands when the KLM flight he was on got delayed and made a routine stop at Copenhagen before continuing to Stockholm.
The Douglas DC-3 aircraft took to the air and after climbing steadily to 50 meters, it stalled and plunged nose-first to the ground. All 16 passengers and six crew members on board, including the prince and his two companions, were killed. Young Carl did not learn about his father’s death until he was seven years of age. In a speech delivered in 2005, he spoke about his feelings about spending his early years without knowing his father.
The tragic accident made Carl the second in line to the throne after his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf. His great-grandfather, Gustaf V, died of complications from flu on October 29, 1950. Gustaf VI ascended to the throne and Prince Carl Gustaf was made the new crown prince of Sweden.
In 1973, King Gustaf VI Adolf passed away ten weeks shy of his 91st birthday. He was suffering from pneumonia, exacerbated by a severe decline in his health. On September 15, 1973 Crown Prince Carl Gustaf took the throne as the new Swedish King.
On September 19, the new king accepted the “Konungaförsäkran,” the obligation a king had to accept, during an extraordinary meeting of the cabinet where the king announced that he would be known as Carl XVI Gustaf and his title would be the “King of Sweden”. It broke a centuries old tradition as all the kings of Sweden before him had used the style “"By the Grace of God, King of the Swedes, the Goths/Geats and the Wends”.
Following that, he made appearances before various branches of the government and gave a speech in the Hall of State at the Stockholm Palace. He then came to the palace balcony to acknowledge the assembled crowd outside. As the king, he adopted the greater coat of arms of the Kingdom of Sweden as his own.
Since the Coup of 1809, which was orchestrated by a group of nobleman and was successful in dethroning King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden, the ‘Instrument of Government’ had been implemented by the Riksdag of the Estates as one of the laws that made up the country’s constitution. It came into effect in place of the ‘Instrument of Government of 1772’, setting up a clear distinction between the powers allocated to the executive branch (the King) and to the legal branch (the Riksdag).
Over the next 160 years, the authority of Riksdag steadily increased and it made the problems of maintaining a government solely with the crown’s support quite apparent. In 1914, a constitutional conflict named the ‘Courtyard Crisis’ began between King Gustaf V and his Prime Minister Karl Staaff. It resulted in the foundation of the principles of the parliamentary democracy in 1917.
As the Swedish head of the state, the king holds the position of the Sovereign in the ‘Royal Order of the Seraphim’, the ‘Royal Order of the Sword’, the ‘Royal Order of the Polar Star’, the ‘Royal Order of Vasa’, and the ‘Royal Order of Charles XIII’. He is also the Grand Master of the ‘Order of the Saint John in Sweden’.
Foreign governments all over the world have conferred him with a significant number of prestigious honours. In 1982, he became the recipient of the ‘Bronze Wolf Award’ by the ‘World Scout Committee’.
He is the official presenter of the Nobel Prizes each year. The Japanese physicist Leo Esaki was the first Nobel Laureate to receive the award from him in 1973.
He has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees by the ‘Royal Institute of Technology’, the ‘Stockholm School of Economics’, the ‘Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’, and the Finnish ‘Åbo Akademi University’.