10 facts about King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

H.M. Konungen/HM The King Kontakta foto@royalcourt.se för bilder I AdobeRBG för tryckt media.

Featured image: Linda Broström/The Royal Court of Sweden

Today, Sweden commemorates not just one, but two special occasions: the birthday of the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, and Valborg.

READ: Walpurgis: What Is Valborg, And Why Do Swedes Celebrate It?

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.

On September 15, 2023, Sweden celebrated a historic milestone as King Carl XVI Gustaf reached his fiftieth year on the throne. This remarkable achievement cements his place as one of the longest-reigning monarchs in Swedish history.

To commemorate King Carl XVI Gustaf’s birthday, we decided to put together 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.

Photo: Thron Ullberg/The Royal Court of Sweden

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.

Stenhammar Castle. Photo:Holger Ellgaard


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.

H.M. Konungen/HM The King; H.K.H. Kronprinsessan/HRH The Crown Princess; H.K.H. Prinsessan Estelle/HRH Princess Estelle Kontakta foto@royalcourt.se för bilder i AdobeRBG för tryckt media.

His favorite bands are Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Tomas Ledin, and Gyllene Tider.




  1. Princess Sibylla,the mother of king Carl Gustav XVI,did not die in a plane crash.She passed away 1972 from stomache cancer


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