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Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

King of Sweden
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro King of Sweden
A.K.A. Carl Gustav XVI, Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustav, Carl Gustaf of Sweden
Gender male
Birth 30 April 1946 (Stockholm)
Family
Mother: Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Father: Prince Gustaf AdolfDuke of Västerbotten
Siblings: Princess ChristinaMrs. MagnusonPrincess DésiréeBaroness SilfverschiöldPrincess Birgitta of SwedenPrincess MargarethaMrs. Ambler
Spouse: Queen Silvia of Sweden
Children: Princess Victoria of SwedenPrince Carl Philip of SwedenPrincess MadeleineDuchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland
Education Uppsala University
The details
Biography

Carl XVI Gustaf (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈkʰɑːɭ sɛksˈtɔndɛ gɵsːˈtav]; full name: Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus, born 30 April 1946) is the King of Sweden. He ascended the throne upon 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.
The King's heir apparent, upon 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.

Early life

Carl Gustaf was born in 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. 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 patrilineal 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 stepgrandmother), 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 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.

Youth and education

The 15-year-old Crown Prince of Sweden looks at the recently recovered 17th century warship Vasa in 1961.

After graduating from high school, Carl Gustaf completed two and a half years of education in the Royal Swedish Army, the Royal Swedish Navy, and the Royal Swedish Air Force. He received his commission as an officer in all three services in 1968, and he eventually rose to the rank of captain (in the army and air force) and lieutenant (in the navy), before he ascended to the throne. He has also completed his academic studies in history, sociology, political science, tax law, and economics at Uppsala University and 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 organizations 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, at the Swedish Embassy in London, at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in France, and at the Alfa Laval Company factory in France.

Reign

On 15 September 1973, Carl Gustaf became King of Sweden upon the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf. He was enthroned at the Hall of State of the Royal Palace of Stockholm on 19 September 1973 where he gave a speech. He adopted, "For Sweden – With the times" as his personal motto. (För Sverige – i tiden).

The King and Queen of Sweden welcomed at the Kremlin by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila at the start of the King's State Visit to Russia, 8 October 2001.

When Carl Gustaf ascended the throne, plans were already in place to replace the 1809 Instrument of Government which gave the King extensive involvement with government. 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 wherein he was accused of interfering with politics. With the principle of parliamentary democracy formally established since 1917, the king's actual involvement in government lessened and the powers assigned to him were increasingly done by ministers in his name.

The new 1974 Instrument of Government first took effect in Carl Gustaf's reign and formally stripped the new king of his remaining powers such as appointing the prime minister and his position as commander-in-chief of the military. He is thus second only to the Emperor of Japan in his lack of even nominal constitutional authority. The King's duties are, according to the new constitution, only of a representative and ceremonial nature. The 1974 document stripped the King of most of his formal political powers while retaining him as head of state, 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, that prerogative is now exercised by the Speaker of the Riksdag on the behalf of the Riksdag. Additionally, bills passed by the Riksdag do not need his signature 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, holds regular Information Councils with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, chairs the meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council, 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 the 1809 Instrument of Government in effect at the time of his accession to the throne in 1973, the Commander in Chief of the armed forces of Sweden (§ 14) and therefore he was promoted ex officio from his earlier ranks of captain and lieutenant, to general and admiral. Under the provisions of the Instrument of Government of 1974, which became effective on 1 January 1975, King Carl Gustav no longer holds this constitutionally-mandated position of commander-in-chief, but he kept his ranks à la suite since he no longer has any military command authority, except over his military staff at his court.

Worldwide, Carl XVI Gustaf is probably best known as the presenter of the Nobel Prizes each year. 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.

Personal interests

Royal Monogram

The King is passionate about the environment, technology, agriculture, trade, and industry. Like many members of the Swedish royal family, the King has a keen interest in automobiles. He owns several Porsche 911s – a car model which is said to be a particular favourite of the King – as well as a vintage Volvo PV444, a Ferrari 456M GT, an authentic 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.

Scouting

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.

Marriage and family

King Carl XVI Gustaf with Queen Silvia at the royal wedding of their daughter Victoria

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 Gustav and Queen Silvia have three children and five grandchildren:

  • Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergötland (born 14 July 1977). On 19 June 2010, she married Daniel Westling, and they are informally styled as the Crown Princess Couple. They have two children:
    • Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland (born 23 February 2012)
    • Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne (born 2 March 2016)
  • Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland (born 13 May 1979). On 13 June 2015, he married Sofia Hellqvist and they are informally styled as the Prince Couple. The couple has one child:
    • Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland (born 19 April 2016)
  • Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland (born 10 June 1982). On 8 June 2013, she married Christopher O'Neill, and they are informally styled as the Princess Couple. The couple has two children:
    • Princess Leonore, Duchess of Gotland (born 20 February 2014)
    • Prince Nicolas, Duke of Ångermanland (born 15 June 2015)

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.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Title and styles

  • 30 April 1946 – 7 June 1946: His Royal Highness Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden
  • 7 June 1946 – 29 October 1950: His Royal Highness Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden, The Duke of Jämtland
  • 29 October 1950 – 15 September 1973: His Royal Highness Crown Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden, The Duke of Jämtland
  • 15 September 1973 – present: His Majesty The King of Sweden

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.

Regnal name

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.

Arms

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.

Coat of arms Kronprins Carl Gustav av Sverige.svg
Arms of Carl Gustaf as Duke of Jämtland from 1950 to his accession
Great coat of arms of Sweden.svg
Arms of Carl XVI Gustaf used since his accession to the throne.

Honours

National honours

  •  Sweden: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim
  •  Sweden: Sovereign Knights Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Sword
  •  Sweden: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Polar Star
  •  Sweden: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of Vasa
  •  Sweden: Sovereign Knight Grand Officer of the Royal Order of Charles XIII
  •  Sweden: Grand Master Honorary Knight of the Order of Saint John in Sweden
  •  Sweden: Sovereign Recipient of the 90th Birthday Medal of King Gustav V
  •  Sweden: Sovereign Recipient of the 85th Birthday Medal of King Gustaf VI Adolf
  •  Sweden: Sovereign Recipient of the Wedding Medal of Crown Princess Victoria to Daniel Westling

Foreign honours

  •  Argentina: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín
  •  Austria: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, Special Class
  •  Belgium: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold I
  •  Brazil: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross
  •  Brunei: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei
  •  Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of the Balkan Mountains
  •  Chile: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit
  •  Denmark: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Elephant
  •  Denmark: Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog
  •  Denmark: Recipient of the Silver Anniversary Medal of Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik
  •  Denmark: Recipient of the 70th Birthday Medal of Queen Margrethe II
  •  Denmark: Recipient of the 75th Birthday Medal of Queen Margrethe II
  •  Egypt: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Nile
  •  Estonia: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
  •  Estonia: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Star
  •  Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose
  •  France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour
  •  Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Class
    • Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Ducal Family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha: Knight Grand Cross of the Ducal Royal Saxe-Ernestine Saxe-Coburg and Gotha House Order
  •  Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
  •  Hungary: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
  •  Iceland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Falcon
  • Iran Iranian Imperial Family: Recipient of the Commemorative Medal of the 2,500 year Celebration of the Persian Empire
  •  Italy: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
  •  Japan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
  •  Jordan: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali
  •  Latvia: Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of the Three Stars
  •  Lithuania: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Vytautas the Great
  •  Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
  •  Malaysia: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Crown of the Realm
  •  Mexico: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Aztec Eagle
  •  Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion
  •  Netherlands: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange
  •  Netherlands: Knight Commander of the Order of the Golden Ark, 1st Class
  •  Norway: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav
  •  Norway: Recipient of the King Olav V's Anniversary Medal 1957-1982
  •  Norway: Recipient of the King Haakon VII Centennial Medal
  •  Norway: Recipient of the Silver Jubilee Medal of King Harald V
  •  Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle
  •  Portugal: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Saint James of the Sword
  •  Portugal: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Prince Henry
  •  Romania: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania
  •  Saudi Arabia: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Abdulaziz al Saud
  •  Slovakia: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Double Cross
  •  Slovenia: Member of the Decoration for Exceptional Merits
  •  South Africa: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Good Hope
  •  South Korea: Grand Cross with Collar of the Grand Order of Mugunghwa
  •  Spain: 1,183rd Knight with Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece
  •  Spain: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Charles III
  •  Thailand: Knight Grand Cordon with Collar of the Order of the Rajamitrabhorn
  •  Thailand: Member of the Decoration of Ramkeerati
  •  Turkey: Member of the Decoration of the State of Republic of Turkey, 1st Class
  •  Tunisia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Republic
  •  Ukraine: Member of the Decoration of Liberty
  •  Ukraine: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise
  •  Ukraine: Grand Officer of the Order of Merit, 1st Class
  •  United Kingdom: Stranger 963rd Knight of the Order of the Garter
  •  United Kingdom: Knight of the Royal Victorian Chain
  •  United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
  •   Vatican: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Pope Pius IX
  •  Yugoslavia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Yugoslav Star, Great Star

Awards

Foreign

  • World Organization of the Scout Movement: Bronze Wolf Award
  •  Japan: Golden Pheasant Award of the Scout Association of Japan (1980)
  •  Philippines: Mount Makiling Award

Honorary military positions

  • United Kingdom Honorary Admiral, British Royal Navy (seniority: 25 June 1975)

Patronages

  • African Medical and Research Foundation Sweden (AMREF)
  • Allmänna Idrottsklubben (AIK)
  • Barnens Dags Riksförbund
  • Centralföreningen för Idrottens Främjande i Sverige
  • Djurgårdens Hembygdsförening
  • Friends of the Nationalmuseum
  • Friends of the Swedish Museum of Natural History
  • Friluftsfrämjandet
  • Föreningen Svenska Atheninstitutets Vänner
  • Föreningen Konstnärernas Vänner
  • Föreningen för Svenskar i Världen
  • Gastronomiska Akademien
  • Global Child Forum
  • Gripsholmsföreningen
  • Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna (IFK)
  • Kulturen i Lund
  • Royal Automobile Club
  • Kungl. Motorbåt Klubben
  • Royal Swedish Aero Club
  • Kungl. Svenska Segel Sällskapet
  • Riksföreningen mot Cancer
  • Royal Physiographic Society in Lund
  • Royal Society of Sciences and Letters in Gothenburg
  • Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala
  • Royal Swedish Academy
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Arts
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Music
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and its annual King Carl XVI Gustaf Professorship in Environmental Science
  • Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences
  • Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences
  • Save the Visby Ringwall Campaign
  • Stiftelsen Det Naturliga Steget
  • Stiftelsen Drottningholmsteaterns Vänner
  • Stiftelsen Håll Sverige Rent
  • Stiftelsen Stockholm Water Foundation
  • Stiftelsen Svenska Flaggan
  • Stiftelsen Svensk Våtmarksfond
  • Stockholms Konserthusstiftelse
  • Stockholms Studentsångarförbund
  • Svea Orden
  • Svenska Arkeologiska Samfundet
  • Svenska Blå Stjärnan
  • Svenska Djurskyddsföreningen
  • Svenska Jägareförbundet
  • Svenska Kennelklubben
  • Svenska Livräddningssällskapet - Simfrämjandet
  • Svenska Motionsdagen (Korpen Svenska Motionsidrottsförbundet)
  • Svenska Rominstitutets Vänner
  • Svenska Turistföreningen
  • The Guides and Scouts of Sweden
  • Svenska Sällskapet för Antropologi och Geografi
  • Sverige-Amerika Stiftelsen
  • Sveriges Allmänna Konstförening
  • Sveriges Hembygdsförbund
  • Sveriges Skogsvårdsförbund
  • Swedish Bible Society
  • Swedish Colonial Society
  • Swedish Lions
  • Swedish Red Cross
  • Swedish Rotary
  • Swedish Sports Confederation
  • Sångsällskapet Orphei Drängar
  • The Natural Step

Ancestry

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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