SWEDEN ROYAL FAMILY
The King Carl XVI Gustaf
Carl XVI Gustaf Folke Hubertus, King of Sweden, was born on April 30, 1946 at Haga Palace.
His parents, the then heir to the throne Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, already had four daughters: the Princesses Margaretha, Birgitta, Désirée and Christina.
He was the youngest child and only son of the Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla.
Carl Gustaf became Crown Prince of Sweden when his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, acceded to the throne in 1950. Following the death of his grandfather, Carl Gustaf acceded to the throne on September 15, 1973, at the age of 27. He chose the motto: "For Sweden in keeping with the times".
By this declaration the King stressed his desire to meet with the demands on a modern monarch.
The King's duties, under the Constitution of 1975, are mainly of a representative and ceremonial nature. As Head of State, he receives foreign envoys and other heads of state, and makes state visits abroad. He receives the Letters of Credence of foreign ambassadors and opens the Riksdag (Parliament) every year. The King also presides at special cabinet meetings when there is a change of Government and at informatory cabinet meetings. He is chairman of the Riksdag's Foreign Affairs Advisory Council. Although he holds the highest military rank, the armed forces are under sole command of the Government.
Ever since his boyhood days as an active member of the Boy Scouts, the King has been keenly interested in nature and outdoor life. He very early took a strong and outspoken position in favour of protecting the environment, and is president of the Swedish organization for the World Wide Fund for Nature.
His Majesty is patron of the Royal Swedish Academies and a number of organizations and societies. He has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Stockholm Institute of Thecnology and Abo Academy in Finland.
The Queen Silvia
Silvia Sommerlath born in Heidelberg on December 23, 1943, she is the daughter of Walther Sommerlath, a West German businessman, and his Brazilian wife, Alice, née de Toledo.
During the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, the Crown Prince had met Silvia Sommerlath, a hostess and interpreter. They were married on June 19, 1976 in Storkyrkan, the Stockholm Cathedral. The King and Queen are members of the Lutheran Church, the state church of Sweden.
Queen Silvia is actively working for the disabled and is chairperson of the Royal Wedding Fund which supports research in sports and games for disabled youth.
The Royal couple have three children: Crown Princess Victoria, born on July 14, 1977, Prince Carl Philip, born on May 13, 1979, and Princess Madeleine, born on June 10, 1982.
The King and Queen place great emphasis on family life. The family lives in an apartmant in the 608-room Royal Palace in Stockholm.
The Princess Victoria
According to the Act of Succession which in 1980 superseded that of 1810, succession to the throne of Sweden is fully cognatic. This means that the eldest child of the King and Queen is heir to the throne, regardless of sex. Accordingly, the Crown Princess Victoria, born on 14 July 1977, is heir to the Swedish throne.
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