|Carl XVI Gustaf|
King of Sweden
|Reign||15 September 1973 – present|
|Enthronement||19 September 1973|
|Predecessor||Gustaf VI Adolf|
|Born||30 April 1946|
|Father||Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten|
|Mother||Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|Religion||Church of Sweden|
Carl XVI Gustaf (Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus; born 30 April 1946) is
He is the youngest child and only son of
Shortly after he became king in September 1973, the new 1974 Instrument of Government took effect, formally stripping Carl XVI Gustaf of his remaining executive power. As a result, he no longer performs many of the duties normally accorded to a head of state, such as the formal appointment of the prime minister, signing off on legislation, and being commander-in-chief of the nation's military. The new instrument explicitly limited 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 decisions about the titles and positions of its members.
Carl Gustaf was born on 30 April 1946 at 10:20 in Haga Palace in Solna. 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.
He was baptised in
Prince Carl Gustaf was also given the title of the Duke of
Carl Gustaf was seven years old before he was told about his father's death. He expressed his feelings about growing up without knowing his father in a speech in 2005.
Youth and education
His earliest education was received privately at the
To prepare for his role as the
On 15 September 1973, Carl Gustaf became King of Sweden upon the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf. On 19 September, 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 regnal name would be Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden. He adopted "For Sweden – With the times" as his personal motto (För Sverige – i tiden).
When Carl Gustaf ascended the throne, plans were already in place to replace the
He is the foremost representative of Sweden and pays
King Carl Gustaf holds the highest ranks in the three branches of the
Worldwide, Carl XVI Gustaf is probably best known as the presenter of the
The King's Golden Jubilee was celebrated in 2023. Leading up to that year and including it, beginning already in 2018, some of the most serious criticism ever published took place about Carl Gustaf and the way his monarchy has developed.
Personal interests and views
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
In December 2020, the king said Sweden's approach to dealing with COVID-19 had failed. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said that "the fact that so many have died can't be considered as anything other than a failure".
The King is the honorary chairman of the
Use of remaining power
So empowered as head of the House of Bernadotte, 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.
- 1974: his sister King Haakon VII of Norway for his granddaughter Ragnhild).
- 1976: his own choice, taking advantage of his constitutional prerogative as king when he married a non-royal German-Brazilian woman, saw her created Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden.
- 1976: his paternal uncle Bertil (later that year) married the non-royal British woman who had lived with Bertil for decades, and (with Bertil's titles) Carl Gustaf created her a Royal Highness Princess of Sweden and Duchess of Halland.
- 1977: his daughter Victoria was born, and in 1980, Carl Gustaf created her Duchess of Västergötland (which has had duchesses before).
- 1979: his son Carl Philip was born, and Carl Gustaf created him Duke of Värmland (which has had dukes before).
- 1982: his daughter Madeleine was born, and Carl Gustaf created a new duchy for her as Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.
- 1983: his paternal uncle
- 2003: his paternal grandfather's first cousin
- 2010: his daughter Victoria married a non-royal Swede whom Carl Gustaf created a Royal Highness Prince of Sweden and (with her title) Duke of Västergötland.
- 2012: his granddaughter Estelle was born and created Duchess of Östergötland (which has had duchesses before).
- 2013: his daughter Madeleine married a non-royal British American who declined Swedish citizenship, and Carl Gustaf gave him the special courtesy title of Herr (with a capital h).
- 2014: his granddaughter Leonore was born and created Duchess of Gotland (which also previously has been a duchy).
- 2015: his son Carl Philip married a non-royal Swede whom Carl Gustaf created a Royal Highness Princess of Sweden and (with the son's title) Duchess of Värmland.
- 2015: his grandson Nicolas was born, and Carl Gustaf created a new duchy for him as Duke of Ångermanland.
- 2016: his grandson Oscar was born and created Duke of Scania (which has had dukes before).
- 2016: his grandson Alexander was born (later that year) and created Duke of Södermanland (which has had dukes before).
- 2017: his grandson Gabriel was born and created Duke of Dalarna (which has had dukes before).
- 2018: his granddaughter Adrienne was born, and Carl Gustaf created a new duchy for her as Duchess of Blekinge.
- 2019: Carl Gustaf issued a statement rescinding the royal status of his grandchildren Leonore, Nicolas, Alexander, Gabriel and Adrienne in an effort to more strictly associate Swedish royalty to the office of the head of state; the five are still to be styled as princes/princesses and dukes/duchesses of their provinces, and they remain in the line of succession to the throne.
- 2021: his grandson Julian was born and created Duke of Halland (which has had dukes before) with the same standing of 2019 as his brothers.
Marriage and family
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, the ceremony performed by the Archbishop of Uppsala, Olof Sundby. The wedding was preceded the previous evening by a Royal Variety Performance, at which, among other performances, the Swedish musical group ABBA gave one of the first performances of "Dancing Queen", 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 eight grandchildren:
- Daniel Westlingand has two children
- Sofia Hellqvistand has three children
- Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland (born 10 June 1982), who is married to Christopher O'Neill and has three children
Prince Carl Philip was born the
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Gustaf VI Adolf was the last king to use the style "
There have not actually been sixteen kings of Sweden named Carl/Charles. The numeral stems from an erroneous genealogy that includes fictitious kings, created by 16th-century writer Johannes Magnus.
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
|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.|
- Sweden: Recipient of the 90th Birthday Medal of King Gustaf V
- Sweden: Recipient of the 85th Birthday Medal of King Gustaf VI Adolf
- Sweden: Recipient of the Wedding Medal of Crown Princess Victoria to Daniel Westling
- Argentina: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martín (1998)
- Austria: Grand Star of the Order of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, Special Class (1967)
- Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (1977)
- Brazil: Grand Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross (2007)
- Brunei: Recipient of the Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei (2004)
- Order of Stara Planina
- Chile: Collar of the Order of Merit
- Croatia: Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Tomislav (2013)
- Egypt: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Nile
- Order of the White Rose (1974)
- France: Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honour
- Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 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
- Holy See: Knight with the Collar of the Order of Pope Pius IX
- Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
- Iceland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Falcon
- Indonesia: Star of the Republic of Indonesia, 1st Class (2017)
- Italy: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1991)
- Japan: Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
- Order of al-Hussein bin Ali
- Lithuania: Grand Cross with Golden Chain of the Order of Vytautas the Great (1995)
- Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau
- Malaysia: Honorary Recipient of the Order of the Crown of the Realm (1996)
- Mexico: Collar of the Order of the Aztec Eagle (2004)
- Norway: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of St. Olav (1974)
- Poland: Knight of the Order of the White Eagle
- Romania: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania (2003)
- Order of Abdulaziz al Saud
- Slovakia: First Class of the Order of the White Double Cross
- Decoration for Exceptional Merits
- South Africa: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Good Hope (1997)
- South Korea: Recipient of the Grand Order of Mugunghwa (2012)
- Tunisia: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Republic
- Order of the State of Republic of Turkey (2013)
- United Kingdom:
- Order of the Yugoslav Great Star (1976)
- United Nations Peace Medal (1976)
- World Organization of the Scout Movement: Bronze Wolf Award (1982)
- Japan: Golden Pheasant Award of the Scout Association of Japan (1980)
- Philippines: Mount Makiling Award
Honorary military positions
- African Medical and Research Foundation Sweden (AMREF)
- Allmänna Idrottsklubben(AIK)
- Barnens Dags Riksförbund
- Swedish Central Association for Sports Promotion (Centralföreningen för Idrottens Främjande i Sverige)
- Djurgårdens Hembygdsförening
- Friends of the Nationalmuseum
- Friends of the Swedish Museum of Natural History
- Swedish Outdoor Association (Friluftsfrämjandet)
- Society of the Friends of the Swedish Institute at Athens (Föreningen Svenska Atheninstitutets Vänner)
- Föreningen Konstnärernas Vänner
- Swedes Worldwide (Föreningen för Svenskar i Världen)
- Gastronomic Academy (Gastronomiska Akademien)
- Global Child Forum
- Idrottsföreningen Kamraterna (IFK)
- Kulturen i Lund
- Royal Automobile Club
- Kungliga Motorbåt Klubben
- Royal Swedish Aero Club
- Royal Swedish Yacht Club
- Swedish Cancer Society (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 (first honorary member, 1968)
- Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences
- Save the Visby RingwallCampaign
- The Natural Step Foundation
- Association of Friends of the Drottningholm Court Theatre (Stiftelsen Drottningholmsteaterns Vänner)
- Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation (Stiftelsen Håll Sverige Rent)
- Stockholm Water Foundation
- Stiftelsen Svenska Flaggan
- Stiftelsen Svensk Våtmarksfond
- Stockholms Konserthusstiftelse
- Stockholm Academic Male Chorus
- Svea Orden
- Swedish Archaeological Association (Svenska Arkeologiska Samfundet)
- Swedish Women's Auxiliary Veterinary Corps (Svenska Blå Stjärnan)
- Swedish Society for the Protection of Animals (Svenska Djurskyddsföreningen)
- Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Svenska Jägareförbundet)
- Swedish Kennel Club (Svenska Kennelklubben)
- Educational Swedish Swimming Association (Svenska Livräddningssällskapet – Simfrämjandet)
- Svenska Motionsdagen (Korpen Svenska Motionsidrottsförbundet)
- Association of Friends of the Swedish Institute in Rome (Svenska Rominstitutets Vänner)
- Swedish Tourist Association
- The Guides and Scouts of Sweden
- Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
- Sweden–America Foundation
- Swedish General Art Society (Sveriges Allmänna Konstförening)
- Sveriges Hembygdsförbund
- Swedish Forestry Association (Sveriges Skogsvårdsförbund)
- Swedish Bible Society
- Swedish Colonial Society
- Swedish Lions
- Swedish Red Cross
- Swedish Rotary
- Swedish Sports Confederation
- Sångsällskapet Orphei Drängar
- The Natural Step
- The American-Scandinavian Foundation
- Wilhelm Peterson-Berger Society
- World Scout Foundation
- World Wide Fund for Nature Sweden (WWF)
- Friends of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities (Östasiatiska Museets Vänner)
|Ancestors of Carl XVI Gustaf|
Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
|9. Princess Victoria of Baden|
|2. Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten|
|10. Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn|
|5. Princess Margaret of Connaught|
|11. Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia|
|1. Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden|
|12. Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany|
|6. Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|13. Princess Helen of Waldeck and Pyrmont|
|3. Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha|
|14. Friedrich Ferdinand, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein|
|7. Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg|
|15. Princess Caroline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg|
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