Carl Gustaf is a Swedish politician. The current King of Sweden is Folke Hubertus of the Royal House of Bernadotte, often known as Carl XVI Gustaf. He is the grandson of King Gustaf VI Adolf and the son of Prince Gustaf Adolf. Behind his father died in an aircraft crash when he was nine months old, he was named the second in line to his great-throne, grandfather’s after his grandpa. His grandpa was crowned king in 1950, and he was declared heir to the throne. Since childhood, he has been prepared for his future responsibilities. At Uppsala University and Stockholm University, he studied history, sociology, political science, tax law, and economics. He also served in the Swedish military’s three branches, rising to captain in the army and air force and lieutenant in the navy. He was a member of Sweden’s UN Mission and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). He went on to work for the Swedish Embassy after that. Following the death of his grandpa, he ascended to the throne at the age of 27. A year later, the new 1974 Instrument of Government went into effect, formally curtailing the king’s legislative and military powers and restricting him to the role of ceremonial head of state. Environment, technology, agriculture, trade, and industry are all topics that he is passionate about. He frequently engages in scout activities as the honorary president of the World Scout Foundation.
Childhood and Adolescence
Carl Gustaf is the only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla, and was born on April 30, 1946, in Haga Palace in Solna, Stockholm County. Princesses Margaretha, Birgitta, Désirée, and Christina are his four older sisters.
On June 7, he was baptized at the Royal Chapel by Erling Eidem, Archbishop of Uppsala. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark (his paternal uncle and aunt), the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden (paternal grandparents), and the King of Sweden were among his godparents (his paternal great-grandfather).
His father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, was returning to Stockholm following a hunting expedition and a visit to Prince Bernhard and Princess Juliana of the Netherlands on January 26, 1947, when his KLM flight was delayed and he had to make a regular stop in Copenhagen before proceeding to Stockholm.
The Douglas DC-3 launched to the air and stalled after ascending slowly to 50 meters before plunging nose-first to the ground. The prince and his two companions were among the 16 passengers and six crew members killed on board. Carl was just seven years old when he found out about his father’s death. He talked about his sentiments about growing up without knowing his father in a speech he gave in 2005.
Carl became the second in line to the throne after his grandpa, Gustaf VI Adolf, died in a fatal accident. Gustaf V, his great-grandfather, died of flu complications on October 29, 1950. Prince Carl Gustaf was named the next crown prince of Sweden after Gustaf VI came to the throne.
In 1946, he was made Duke of Jämtland, and in 1950, as the newly anointed heir to the throne, he acquired an accomplishment of arms using the arms of Jämtland as the base. He would keep the title and the arms until he was crowned King of Sweden.
He began his academic career in the seclusion of Stockholm’s Royal Palace, where he received the equivalent of a pre-school education. He then enrolled at Broms School in Stockholm, followed by Sigtuna Boarding School in Sigtuna. He received his diploma in 1966.
After finishing high school, the Crown Prince enlisted in the Royal Swedish Army, Royal Swedish Navy, and Royal Swedish Air Force for two and a half years of training. During this period, he was stationed on the mine-laying vessel lvsnabben in the winter of 1966-67, among other military duties. At the Swedish National Defence College, he also completed a command course. He was commissioned as a captain in the army and air force, as well as a lieutenant in the navy, in 1968.
He returned to school at the University of Uppsala to study history, sociology, political science, tax law, and economics. At the University of Stockholm, he pursued his economics studies. He was well-versed in a wide range of topics, including the Swedish legal system, social welfare organizations and institutions, trade unions, and employer associations. He learnt how the Riksdag, the Government, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs functioned.
He worked at a bank in London and at the Swedish Embassy in England, in addition to serving at the Swedish Mission to the United Nations and in SIDA. He worked for the Swedish Chambers of Commerce and the Alfa Laval Company facility in France.
Reign & Accession
King Gustaf VI Adolf died 10 weeks before his 91st birthday in 1973. He was sick with pneumonia, which was made worse by his deteriorating condition. Crown Prince Carl Gustaf was crowned King of Sweden on September 15, 1973.
During an extraordinary meeting of the cabinet on September 19, the new king accepted the “Konungaförsäkran,” the monarch’s obligation, and announced that his name would be Carl XVI Gustaf and that his title would be “King of Sweden.” All previous kings of Sweden had used the phrase “By the Grace of God, King of the Swedes, the Goths/Geats, and the Wends.” This broke a centuries-old custom.
Following that, he appeared before several sections of the government and delivered a speech at the Stockholm Palace’s Hall of State. He then proceeded to the palace balcony to address the assembled assemblage. As king, he accepted the Kingdom of Sweden’s bigger coat of arms as his own.
The ‘Instrument of Government’ had been enacted by the Riksdag of the Estates as one of the laws that made up the country’s constitution since the Coup of 1809, which was staged by a group of noblemen and was successful in dethroning King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden. It took effect in place of the ‘Instrument of Government of 1772,’ establishing a clear division of powers between the executive branch (the King) and the judicial branch (the courts) (the Riksdag).
Over the next 160 years, the Riksdag’s power grew steadily, highlighting the difficulties of running a government purely on the support of the crown. In 1914, King Gustaf V and his Prime Minister Karl Staaff launched a constitutional battle known as the “Courtyard Crisis.” In 1917, it resulted in the establishment of the concepts of parliamentary democracy.
A substitute for the 1809 law had already been drafted by the time Carl Gustaf became king. In 1974, the new Instrument of Government statute went into effect, stripping the Crown of the last of its legislative and military powers.
While the King remains the highest-ranking officer in all three services, having been promoted to the ranks of general and admiral following his ascension, he is no longer the military’s commander-in-chief. Prior to the law’s adoption, the Crown formally appointed the Prime Minister; since 1974, the Speaker of the Riksdag as the Riksdag’s representative has had that responsibility.
The king is primarily Sweden’s and its people’s spokesperson. As such, he pays state and official visits and welcomes foreign representatives to the country, opens the Riksdag’s annual session, preside over the Special Council convened after a change of government, and preside over Foreign Affairs Council meetings. He accepts and signs ‘Letters of Credence’ from foreign ambassadors to Sweden, as well as letters of credence from Sweden to foreign governments.
Eight Prime Ministers have served under Carl XVI Gustaf’s reign, with three of them serving multiple terms. Olof Palme (Swedish Social Democratic Party; 1969-76, 1982-86), Thorbjörn Fälldin (Swedish Centre Party; 1976-78, 1979-82), Ola Ullsten (Liberal People’s Party; 1978-79), Ingvar Carlsson (Swedish Democratic Party; 1986-91, 1994-98), Carl Bildt (Moderate Party; 1991-94), Göran Persson (S; 1996-2006), Fredrik Rein (S; 2014-present).
The king sponsors a number of organizations, including ‘Amref Health Africa,’ ‘Global Child Forum,’ ‘Allmänna Idrottsklubben,’ ‘Friends of the Nationalmuseum,’ and the ‘Swedish Red Cross.’
Achievements & Awards
The king is the Sovereign in the ‘Royal Order of the Seraphim,’ the ‘Royal Order of the Sword,’ the ‘Royal Order of the Polar Star,’ the ‘Royal Order of Vasa,’ and the ‘Royal Order of Charles XIII,’ as the Swedish head of state. He is also the Grand Master of Sweden’s ‘Order of Saint John.’
A large number of distinguished honors have been bestowed upon him by foreign governments all across the world. He was awarded the ‘Bronze Wolf Award’ by the ‘World Scout Committee’ in 1982.
Each year, he is the official presenter of the Nobel Prizes. In 1973, Leo Esaki, a Japanese physicist, was the first Nobel Laureate to receive the award from him.
The ‘Royal Institute of Technology,’ the ‘Stockholm School of Economics,’ the ‘Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences,’ and the Finnish ‘bo Akademi University’ have all given him honorary doctorates.
Personal History and Legacy
At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, King Carl XVI Gustaf met Silvia Sommerlath. Silvia, a non-royal Brazilian-German, had spent her childhood in both Brazil and Germany. Four years later, on June 19, 1976, at the Stockholm Cathedral, they married. The Archbishop of Uppsala, Olof Sundby, presided over the ceremony. Before the wedding, Swedish musical trio ABBA played their song “Dancing Queen” for the first time in a Royal Variety Performance.
Crown Princess Victoria (born 1977), Prince Carl Philip (1979), and Princess Madeleine (1982) are their three children, and they have five grandchildren through them. The family lived in Stockholm Palace until 1980, when they moved to Drottningholm Palace.
Prince Carl Philip has been the heir apparent to the Swedish throne for seven months since his birth. The Act of Succession was changed by Parliament on January 1, 1980, providing absolute primogeniture. Princess Victoria was formally declared as the Crown Princess and heir to her father’s throne as the King’s oldest child. The king, who favored tradition, came out against the reform.
The royal family was shocked in 2010 by scandalous charges of infidelity and hosting licentious parties leveled against the monarch following the publishing of ‘Carl XVI Gustaf – The Reluctant Monarch,’ an uncompromising book on his personal life. The book sparked outrage in Sweden because it claimed the monarch went to strip clubs, had a buddy bribe a Serbian criminal to cover up his transgressions, and flatly lied to his people.
The book’s three authors, Thomas Sjöberg, Tove Meyer, and Deanne Rauscher, contacted various women who had previously been associated with the king and claimed that the queen was aware of the affairs but was powerless to intervene. Despite the media frenzy, the public’s opinion of the royal family remained unchanged. The Swedish people, as one of the authors conceded, hold their royal family in high regard.
Only a few weeks after the publication of the book, a new charge surfaced, alleging that the queen’s father, industrialist Walther Sommerlath, was a Nazi party member who profited from owning an arsenal factory confiscated from Jewish owners during WWII. Although the queen admitted that her father was a member of the Nazi party, she insisted that he was neither politically engaged nor a soldier.
Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Net Worth
The King is a car fanatic who owns several Porsche 911s, his favorite model.
In Swedish elections, he does not cast a ballot.
As the head of the Royal House, he has the authority to make decisions about relatives’ and family members’ titles and posts.