Featured image: Linda Broström/The Royal Court of Sweden
On September 15, 2023, Sweden celebrates a historic milestone as King Carl XVI Gustaf reaches his fiftieth year on the throne. This remarkable achievement cements his place as one of the longest-reigning monarchs in Swedish history.
Throughout his reign, King Carl XVI Gustaf has been a symbol of continuity and change, overseeing a rapidly evolving Sweden while upholding the nation’s rich traditions and values.
To commemorate King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 50th anniversary, we decided to compile a list of 10 not-so-known facts about the royal:
He is the longest-reigning king in Sweden
The young prince ascended the throne at 27 after his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf, died on the 15th of September 1973 – celebrating 50 years as the King of Sweden today.
His father died when he was only nine months old
His father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, died in a tragic plane crash in Denmark on the 26th of January 1947. This heartbreaking event thrust young Carl Gustaf into a future he hadn’t anticipated, as it meant he would eventually become the King of Sweden much sooner than expected. His mother, Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha survived the crash. The Prince was not told about the death of his father until much later when he was seven years old.
He is related to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom through both his mother and his father
The famous ‘Grandmother of Europe’ is both the great-grandmother of his mother, Princess Sibylla, and his father, Prince Gustaf Adolf. His mother’s paternal grandfather and his father’s maternal grandfather were brothers.
The king plays the harmonica, which he started playing at only three years old
Gustav III was his favorite king throughout Swedish history
King Carl XVI Gustaf was the first regent to marry a non-royal in over 400 years
King Carl XVI Gustaf made history as the first Swedish regent to marry a non-royal in over 400 years when he married Queen Silvia. This groundbreaking choice harkened back to the time of King Erik XIV, the son of Gustav Vasa, who, in 1568, tied the knot with Karin Månsdotter.
H.R.H likes to retreat to Stenhammar Castle with the Queen
When King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia stay at Stenhammar Castle, they like to keep things relaxed and private, preferably with no staff on duty. They simply want to enjoy a regular vacation. What’s interesting is that the king has a strong passion for farming, and he maintains about 300 cows on the property. This showcases his deep love for Sweden’s countryside and its traditions.
H.R.H has dyslexia
King Carl XVI Gustaf, along with two of his children, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl-Philip, are widely recognized for their shared struggle with dyslexia growing up.
He was the first regent in the world to adopt a primogeniture succession meaning that the eldest child of a monarch, regardless of gender, would inherit the crown.
His favorite bands are Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Tomas Ledin, and Gyllene Tider.