Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

Carl XVI Gustaf (full name: Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus, born 30 April 1946) is the reigning King of Sweden since 15 September 1973, succeeding his grandfather King Gustaf VI Adolf because his father had predeceased him. He is the only son of the late Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Unlike many other European monarchs who have extensive styles, King Carl Gustaf's formal and complete style is simply His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden. 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. He is also 203rd in the line of succession to the British and other Commonwealth thrones.

Birth and early life
Carl Gustaf was born at then Haga Palace, Solna, in Stockholm County. He was christened at the Royal Chapel on June 7, 1946 by the Archbishop of Uppsala, Erling Eidem. His godparents were Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, Crown Princess Ingrid of Denmark, Crown Prince Olav of Norway, Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, King Gustaf V of Sweden, Prince Friedrich Josias of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, Crown Princess Louise of Sweden, Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg, and the Countess Maria Bernadotte af Wisborg.

Prince Carl Gustaf was also given the title of the Duke of Jämtland.

His father, Gustaf Adolf, was killed in an airplane crash on January 26, 1947, at the Copenhagen Airport while visiting Denmark.

Youth and education
Prince Carl Gustaf was the youngest of five children and the only son of Sweden's Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla. 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 King Gustaf V died in 1950, the four-year-old Prince became the heir apparent of Sweden.

In a speech in 2005, the King expressed some of his feelings about growing up without having known his father. His sister, Princess Birgitta, elaborated on these feelings in an interview around the same time, commenting that their mother and the strict Swedish royal court of the time did not consider the emotional needs of Prince Gustaf Adolf's children. In that era, she said, tragedy was seldom discussed with children. "Children's questions were met with silence, children's anxiety and fear with the same silence."

As a result, Crown Prince Carl Gustaf was seven years old before he had been told about his father's death. "It was Mother's way of handling the situation, to handle living her life. Of course it was not good for us children. It would have been much better to be able to speak about Father's death", continued Princess Birgitta. She said it had been difficult for the future King to come to grips with not having a father and of not having the same memories of him as his older sisters.

After graduating from high school, the Crown Prince 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 Parliament of Sweden, 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.

On September 15, 1973, Carl Gustaf became King of Sweden upon the death of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf. He was invested as King, at the Hall of State of the Royal Palace of Stockholm on 19 September 1973. 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 (Swedish: 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 (Swedish: Sveriges Konung), thereby ending a tradition centuries old.

Such innovations are reflected in his personal motto, "For Sweden – With the times" (Swedish: "För Sverige – I tiden").

In 2005, King Carl Gustav made a personal and passionate speech about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, a disaster which caused the death of over 500 Swedes in that area, in addition to tens of thousands of more people.

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 hostess. The wedding was held on June 19, 1976, at the 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 Queen to be.[11][12] 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 Sylvia have three children:
    * Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée, Duchess of Västergötland, born on July 14, 1977. She was married on June 19, 2010, to Daniel Westling, who was born on September 15, 1973, (on the same day that Carl Gustav received the Swedish crown).
    * His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip Edmund Bertil, Duke of Värmland, born on May 13, 1979.
    * Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine Thérèse Amelie Josephine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, born on June 10, 1982.

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 older sister, Victoria, the Crown Princess and heiress-apparent on January 1, 1980, according to the principles of absolute primogeniture, which Sweden was the first recognized monarchy to adopt.

From : www.wikipedia.org