|Carl XVI Gustaf|
The King in 2018
|King of Sweden|
|Reign||15 September 1973 – present|
|Enthronement||19 September 1973|
|Predecessor||Gustaf VI Adolf|
|Born||30 April 1946|
Haga Palace, Solna, Sweden
Silvia Sommerlath (m. 1976)
|Father||Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten|
|Mother||Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|Religion||Church of Sweden|
HRH Princess Birgitta
Carl XVI Gustaf (Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus; born 30 April 1946) is the King of Sweden. He ascended the throne on the death of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, on 15 September 1973.
He is the youngest child and only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. His father died on 26 January 1947 in an airplane crash in Denmark when Carl Gustaf was nine months old. Upon his father's death, he became second in line to the throne, after his grandfather, the then Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf. Following the death of his great-grandfather King Gustaf V in 1950, Gustaf Adolf ascended the throne and thus Carl Gustaf became Sweden's new crown prince and heir apparent to the throne at the age of four.
Prince Gustaf Adolf Oscar Fredrik Arthur Edmund, Duke of Västerbotten was a Swedish prince, directly in line of succession to the Swedish throne. He was the eldest son of Gustaf VI Adolf, who was crown prince for most of his son's life and ascended the Swedish throne three years after his son's death. The current king, Carl XVI Gustaf, is Prince Gustaf Adolf's son.
Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the mother of the current King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf. A member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Sibylla became a Swedish princess by marrying Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, who did not live to ascend the Swedish throne.
The 1947 KLM Douglas DC-3 Copenhagen accident was the crash of a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Stockholm via Copenhagen on 26 January. The accident occurred shortly after the Douglas DC-3 took off from Kastrup in Denmark. All 22 passengers and crew on board were killed in the accident.
A short while after he became king in 1973, the new 1974 Instrument of Government took effect, formally stripping Carl XVI Gustaf of any role in the legislative process, and several other duties normally accorded to a head of state, such as the formal appointment of the prime minister, signing off legislation, and being commander-in-chief of the nation's military. The new instrument explicitly limits the king to ceremonial functions and, among other things, to be regularly informed of affairs of state. As head of the House of Bernadotte Carl Gustaf has also been able to make a number of government-supported decisions about the titles and positions of its members.
A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, and there is a separate de facto leader, often with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation.
A commander-in-chief, sometimes also called supreme commander, is the person that exercises supreme command and control over an armed forces or a military branch. As a technical term, it refers to military competencies that reside in a country's executive leadership – a head of state or a head of government.
The House of Bernadotte is the royal house of Sweden, which has reigned since 1818. Between 1818 and 1905, it was also the royal house of Norway. Its founder Charles XIV John of Sweden, born a Frenchman as Jean Bernadotte, was adopted by the elderly King Charles XIII of Sweden, who had no other heir and whose Holstein-Gottorp branch of the House of Oldenburg thus was soon to be extinct.
The king's heir apparent, after passage on 1 January 1980 of a new law establishing absolute primogeniture (the first such law passed in European history), is Crown Princess Victoria, the eldest child of the King and his wife, Queen Silvia. Before the passage of that law, Crown Princess Victoria's younger brother, Prince Carl Philip, was briefly the heir apparent, as of his birth in May 1979.
Carl XVI Gustaf is the longest-reigning monarch in Swedish history, having surpassed King Magnus IV's reign of 44 years and 222 days on 26 April 2018.
Magnus IV was King of Sweden from 1319 to 1364, King of Norway as Magnus VII from 1319 to 1355, and ruler of Scania from 1332 to 1360. By adversaries he has been called Magnus Smek.
Carl Gustaf was born on 30 April 1946 at 10:20in Haga Palace in Solna, Stockholm County. He was the youngest of five children and the only son of Sweden's Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla. He was christened at the Royal Chapel on 7 June 1946 by the Archbishop of Uppsala, Erling Eidem.
Haga Palace, formerly known as the Queen's Pavilion, is located in the Haga Park, Solna Municipality in Metropolitan Stockholm, Sweden. The palace, built in 1802 – 1805, was modelled after ballet-master Gallodiers Italian villa in Drottningholm by architect Carl Christoffer Gjörwell on appointment by King Gustaf IV Adolf for the royal children. It has been the home or summerhouse for several members of the Swedish royal family – most notably it was the birthplace of the present King – until 1966 when King Gustaf VI Adolf transferred its disposal to the government and it was turned into a guesthouse for distinguished foreign official visitors. In 2009, it was announced by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt that the rights of disposal to the palace would be transferred back to the royal court to be used by Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and her husband, Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland, as a wedding gift in 2010. They moved into Haga Palace after their wedding on 19 June that year.
Solna Municipality is a municipality in Stockholm County in Sweden, located just north of the Stockholm City Centre. Its seat is located in the town of Solna, which is a part of the Stockholm urban area.
Stockholm County is a county or län on the Baltic Sea coast of Sweden. It borders Uppsala County and Södermanland County. It also borders Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The city of Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. Stockholm County is divided by the historic provinces of Uppland (Roslagen) and Södermanland (Södertörn). More than one fifth of the Swedish population lives in the county. Stockholm County is also one of the statistical riksområden according to NUTS:SE, Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics within the EU. With more than two million inhabitants, Stockholm is the most densely populated county of Sweden.
He was baptised in Charles XI's baptismal font, which stood on Gustav III's carpet and he lay in Charles XI's cradle with Oscar II's crown beside him.The same christening gown in white linen batiste which the prince carried had been worn by his father in 1906 and would later be worn by his three children. His godparents were the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark (his paternal uncle and aunt), the Crown Prince of Norway, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, the King of Sweden (his paternal great-grandfather), the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (his maternal uncle), the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden (his paternal grandfather and step-grandmother), and Count Folke and Countess Maria Bernadotte af Wisborg.
Prince Carl Gustaf was also given the title of the Duke of Jämtland. His father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten was killed in an airplane crash on 26 January 1947, at Copenhagen Airport. His father's death had left the nine-month-old prince second in line for the throne, behind his grandfather, then Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf. When his paternal great-grandfather Gustaf V died in 1950, the four-year-old prince became the heir apparent of Sweden.
Carl Gustaf was seven years old before he was told about his father's death, and he expressed his feelings about growing up without knowing his father in a speech in 2005.
His earliest education was received privately at the Royal Palace. The young prince was then sent to Broms school, and then on to Sigtuna boarding school. After graduating from high school in 1966, Carl Gustaf completed two and a half years of education in the Swedish Army, the Royal Swedish Navy, and the Swedish Air Force. During the winter 1966-1967 he took part in a round-the-world voyage with the mine-laying vessel Älvsnabben . The Crown Prince received his commission as an officer in all three services in 1968, eventually rising to the rank of captain (in the army and air force) and lieutenant (in the navy), before his ascension to the throne. He also completed his academic studies in history, sociology, political science, tax law, and economics at Uppsala University and later Economics at Stockholm University.
To prepare for his role as the head of state, Crown Prince Carl Gustaf followed a broad program of studies on the court system, social organisations and institutions, trade unions, and employers' associations. In addition, he closely studied the affairs of the Riksdag, Government, and Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Crown Prince also spent time at the Swedish Mission to the United Nations and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), worked at a bank in London and at the Swedish Embassy in there, at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in France, and at the Alfa Laval Company factory in France. In 1970 he represented the King at the head of the Swedish delegation to the World Exposition in Osaka, Japan. Since his youth the present monarch has been a strong supporter of the Scout Movement in Sweden.
On 15 September 1973, Carl Gustaf became King of Sweden upon the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf. On September 19, he took the required regal assurance (Swedish : Konungaförsäkran) during an extraordinary meeting of the cabinet. Afterwards, he appeared before the parliament, diplomatic corps, court, etc. in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace where he gave a speech. Both the cabinet meeting and ceremony at the Hall were broadcast live on television. Following the ceremonies, he appeared on the balcony to acknowledge gathered crowds. At the cabinet meeting, the King declared that his name would be Carl XVI Gustaf and that his title would be King of Sweden. He adopted, "For Sweden – With the times" as his personal motto (För Sverige – i tiden).
The Regal Assurance taken by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf on 19 September 1973, Administered by Mr. Lennart Geijer, Councillor of State and Minister of Justice:
"We, Carl Gustaf, King of Sweden, make it known: that since it has pleased the Highest God call to Him on High the former Mighty-powerful, Highborn Prince and Lord, Gustaf VI Adolf, King of the Swedes, the Goths and the Wends, and We, according to and by the power of the Act of Succession established and ascertained by the Estates of the Realm on 26 September 1810, succeeding the aforementioned Exalted Lord have ascended to the Royal Swedish Throne.
In so doing We hereby affirm, and that with the greatest emphasis, that We desire to, and shall, govern the Realm according to the literal requirement of the Form of Government, for their compliance ascertained and adopted jointly on 6 June 1809 by the King and the Estates of the Realm, as well as by any other legitimate constitutional law of the Realm, public law and legal ordinance.
We shall also, according to the aforementioned Form of Government and laws, seek by Our utmost capability, as a righteous King and gracious father to the Swedish people, and by a legal, fair and mild rule, and so that We might defend that rule with a clear conscience before God on High, further the veritable progress and good of the realm and every resident, all of which being what We of free will and mature deliberation have decided, We thus confirm by the signing of Our name in Our own hand and with this vibrant oath, that We such shall obey and execute.
So truly help me God by my life and soul."
[ citation needed ]
When Carl Gustaf ascended the throne, plans were already in place to replace the 1809 Instrument of Government, which made the King de jure chief executive. Though the King was a near-autocrat on paper, the Riksdag's authority grew steadily into the early 20th century. In 1914, Gustaf V made a speech which resulted in what is known as the Courtyard Crisis (Swedish : Borggårdskrisen) wherein he was accused of interfering with politics. With the principle of parliamentary democracy formally established since 1917, the King's actual direct involvement in policy-making lessened and the powers constitutionally vested in him were increasingly done by ministers in his name, notwithstanding the Instrument's stipulation that "the King alone shall govern the realm."
The new 1974 Instrument of Government first took effect on 1 January 1975 and formally stripped the new king of most of his formal political powers and reduced him to a mostly representative and ceremonial role, thus codifying actual practices dating from the definitive establishment of parliamentary government in 1917. Previously, the King formally appointed the Prime Minister, though in practice he was almost always the leader of the majority party or coalition in the Riksdag. Since the adoption of the current Instrument, a prospective prime minister is nominated by the Speaker of the Riksdag, and if that candidate is elected by the Riksdag, the Speaker signs the commission (Swedish : förordnande). Additionally, bills passed by the Riksdag do not need Royal assent to become law.
He is the foremost representative of Sweden and pays state visits abroad and receives those to Sweden, he opens the annual session of the Riksdag, chairs the Special Council held during a change of Government (Swedish : skifteskonselj), holds regular Information Councils with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet (Swedish : informationskonselj), chairs the meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council (Swedish : Utrikesnämnden), and receives Letters of Credence of foreign ambassadors to Sweden and signs those of Sweden to foreign nations. As this type of figurehead, he also voluntarily abstains from voting in Swedish elections.
King Carl Gustaf holds the highest ranks in the three branches of the Swedish Armed Forces; this is due to the fact that he was, as stipulated by §14 of the 1809 Instrument of Government in effect at the time of his accession to the throne in 1973, the Commander in Chief (Swedish : Högste Befälhavare; not to be confused with the military professional holding the position of Supreme Commander) and therefore he was promoted ex officio from his earlier ranks of captain (Army & Air Force) and lieutenant (Navy), to general and admiral. Under the provisions of the Instrument of Government of 1974, which became effective on 1 January 1975, the King no longer holds this constitutionally-mandated position, but he kept his ranks à la suite since he no longer has any military command authority, except over His Majesty's Military Staff.
Worldwide, Carl XVI Gustaf is probably best known as the presenter of the Nobel Prizes each year; the first Nobel laureate who received the prize from his hands was Leo Esaki.He also hands over the Polar Music Prize. The King holds honorary doctoral degrees from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Royal Institute of Technology, the Stockholm School of Economics and from the Åbo Akademi University in Finland.
The King is passionate about the environment, technology, agriculture, trade, and industry. Like many members of the Swedish royal family, he has a keen interest in automobiles. He owns several Porsche 911s, a car model which is said to be a particular favourite of his as well as a vintage Volvo PV444, a Ferrari 456M GT, an AC Cobra and other cars.The first pictures taken of him and his future wife were of them sitting in his Porsche 911. In the summer of 2005 he was involved in a traffic accident in Norrköping. The accident was described as a "fender bender", with no serious personal injuries claimed. Nevertheless, the incident caused national headlines. The King and Queen of Sweden frequently travel to the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, including in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
The King is the honorary chairman of the World Scout Foundation, and often participates in Scout activities both in Sweden and abroad. He regularly visits World Scout Jamborees, for instance the 1979 Dalajamb World Jamboree International Encampment hosted by Sweden, the 2002 World Jamboree held in Sattahip, Thailand, and the 100th Anniversary of World Scouting 2007 World Jamboree held in Hylands Park, England.He also attended the 1981 National Scout Jamboree in Virginia, United States, and was awarded the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting, in 1982. He also attended the 22nd World Scout Jamboree. He gave a speech on 6 August 2011 at the closing ceremony with more than 40,000 people watching. The band Europe also performed for him singing "The Final Countdown". King Carl Gustaf made an appearance at the 2013 Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in West Virginia. Together with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, King Carl Gustaf has supported the Messengers of Peace programme.
So empowered as head of his house,King Carl Gustaf since he was enthroned in 1973 has made a number of personal decisions regarding the titles and positions of relatives and family members, including the demotion of a sister, elevation of several commoners to royalty, rebuff of an elderly uncle's wishes and the creation of new Swedish titles and duchies.
The King married Silvia Sommerlath, whose father was German and whose mother was Brazilian, and who had grown up in both countries. They met at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, where she was an interpreter and host. The wedding was held on 19 June 1976 at Stockholm Cathedral and the ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Uppsala, Olof Sundby.The wedding was preceded, the evening before, by a Royal Variety Performance, where the Swedish musical group ABBA performed "Dancing Queen" for the very first time, as a tribute to Sweden's future queen. The King and his family moved to Drottningholm Palace west of Stockholm in 1980. He and the Queen have maintained their business offices at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia have three children and seven grandchildren:
Prince Carl Philip was born the heir apparent. However, a constitutional reform, which was already under way at the time of his birth, made his elder sister, Victoria, the heir apparent and Crown Princess of Sweden on 1 January 1980, according to the principles of absolute primogeniture, which Sweden was the first recognised monarchy to adopt.King Carl Gustaf objected after the reform, not to the succession by females but to the fact that his son lost the position and title which he had had since birth.
King Gustaf VI Adolf was the last who used the style "By the Grace of God King of the Swedes, the Goths/Geats and the Wends" (med Guds Nåde Sveriges, Götes och Wendes Konung; Latin : Dei Gratia Suecorum, Gothorum et Vandalorum Rex). This traditional title had been in use since the establishment of the hereditary monarchy in 1544. Carl XVI Gustaf instead chose the plain and simple title "King of Sweden" (Sveriges Konung), thereby ending a centuries-old tradition.
In the 16th century, Johannes Magnus construed a mythical line of Swedish kings, beginning with Magog, the son of Japheth, in an attempt to substantiate the antiquity of the Swedish throne. Based on that list, King Charles IX (reigned 1604 to 1611) adopted an ordinal unsupported by reliable historical sources. The only two previous monarchs named Charles (Karl in Swedish) have traditionally been numbered by counting backwards from Charles IX, and subsequent monarchs by counting forward from him. Adhering to that tradition, the current King of Sweden proclaimed himself Carl XVI Gustaf even though he is only the tenth Swedish monarch by the first name.
On his creation as Duke of Jämtland, Carl XVI Gustaf was granted an achievement of arms which featured the arms of Jämtland in base (these arms can be seen on his stallplate as knight of the Danish Order of the Elephant at Frederiksborg Palace). Since his accession to the throne, he has used the greater coat of arms of Sweden although he is still associated with the ducal title of Jämtland.
|Arms of Carl Gustaf as Duke of Jämtland from 1950 to his accession|
|Arms of Carl XVI Gustaf used since his accession to the throne.|
|Ancestors of Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden|
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland is the heir apparent to the Swedish throne, as the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Sweden's fourth queen regnant and the first since 1720.
Margrethe II is the Queen of Denmark, as well as the supreme authority of the Church of Denmark and Commander-in-Chief of the Danish Defence. Born into the House of Glücksburg, a royal house with origins in Northern Germany, she was the eldest child of Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden. She succeeded her father upon his death on 14 January 1972, having become heir presumptive to her father in 1953, when a constitutional amendment allowed women to inherit the throne. On her accession, Margrethe became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margrethe I, ruler of the Scandinavian kingdoms in 1375–1412 during the Kalmar Union. In 1967, she married Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, with whom she has two sons: Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim. She has been on the Danish throne for 47 years, becoming the second-longest-reigning Danish monarch after her ancestor Christian IV.
Queen Silvia of Sweden is the spouse of King Carl XVI Gustaf and mother of the heir apparent to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria. In 2011, Silvia became the longest-serving queen of Sweden, a record previously held by Sophia of Nassau.
Albert II reigned as the King of the Belgians from 1993 until his abdication in 2013.
Ingrid of Sweden was Queen of Denmark from 1947 until 1972 as the wife of King Frederick IX.
Queen Mathilde of Belgium is the wife of King Philippe, who ascended the throne following the abdication of his father, King Albert II, on 21 July 2013. She is the first Belgian-born Queen of the Belgians.
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, Duke of Värmland is the only son and the second of three children of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. As of 2016, Prince Carl Philip is fourth in the line of succession, after his older sister, Crown Princess Victoria, his niece and goddaughter Princess Estelle, and his nephew Prince Oscar. He lives with his wife, Princess Sofia, and two sons, Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel, in Villa Solbacken in central Stockholm.
Princess Lilian of Sweden, Duchess of Halland, was a British fashion model who became a member of the Swedish royal family through her 1976 marriage to Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland (1912–1997). As such, she was a paternal aunt of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and a maternal aunt of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
Carl Johan Arthur Bernadotte, Prince Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg, was the fourth son and fifth and youngest child of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and his first wife Princess Margaret of Connaught.
Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld is the third child of Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and granddaughter of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden. Her younger brother is King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson, is the youngest of four older sisters of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. She generally uses the name Christina Magnuson.
A royal family order is a decoration conferred by the head of a royal family to their female relations. Such an order is considered more of a personal memento than a state decoration, although it may be worn during official state occasions.
Prince Daniel of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland, is the husband of Crown Princess Victoria. Prior to his marriage to the heir apparent, Daniel was a personal trainer and gym owner and ran a company called Balance Training with three gyms in central Stockholm.
Gustaf VI Adolf was King of Sweden from 29 October 1950 until his death. He was the eldest son of King Gustaf V and his wife, Victoria of Baden, and had been Crown Prince of Sweden for the preceding 43 years in the reign of his father. Not long before his death at age 90, he approved the constitutional changes which removed the last traces of political power from the Swedish monarch.
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Carl XVI GustafBorn: 30 April 1946
Gustaf VI Adolf
| King of Sweden |
| Crown Prince of Sweden |
Title next held byCarl Philip
Title last held byPrince Oscar
| Duke of Jämtland |