Thursday, 30 April 2009

On this date: The 63rd birthday of the King of Sweden

Today is the 63rd birthday of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. When he was born at Haga Palace on 30 April 1946 it came as a great joy and relief to his parents, Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla – they already had four daughters, but at the time only princes could inherit the throne and therefore the Bernadotte dynasty’s future had for a time seemed threatened. Tragically Prince Gustaf Adolf was killed in a plane crash less than nine months after the birth of his son.
The prince was given the names Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus and the title Duke of Jämtland. YouTube has an interesting video from his christening in the Palace Church on 7 June 1946. The godparents were his great-grandfather King Gustaf V; his grandfather Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf; Crown Prince Olav of Norway; Princess Juliana of the Netherlands (who would herself have celebrated her 100th birthday today); Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark; Crown Princess Ingrid of Denmark; his maternal grandfather Duke Carl Eduard of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg; and Countess Maria Bernadotte af Wisborg.
A famous photo was taken after the christening, showing Prince Carl Gustaf with his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather. King Gustaf V had himself been held over the font by his great-grandmother, the Dowager Queen Desideria, when he was baptised in 1858. Desideria was the widow of the founder of the Bernadotte dynasty and by having known her as well as the present King of Sweden Gustaf V came to span seven generations of Bernadottes.
YouTube has a video from the christening:

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