Today is the fortieth anniversary of the accession to the Swedish throne of King Carl XVI Gustaf. The then 27-year-old Crown Prince became King the moment his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, died at Helsingborg Hospital at 8.35 p.m. on 15 September 1973. Incidentially, 15 September 1973 was also the day his future son-in-law, now Prince Daniel, was born. (In the September issue of Majesty I write about the accession and Carl XVI Gustaf’s difficult way to the throne).
King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia have earlier this year visited all 21 counties to mark the jubilee and this weekend the main festivities take place in Stockholm. Yesterday the government hosted a dinner at the Nordic Museum, while Parliament hosted a concert in Stockholm’s Concert House. Today there was a service of thanksgiving in the Palace Church, followed by a balcony appearance and a sort of street party with dancing in the Inner Courtyard at the Palace, hosted by the City of Stockholm.
All the members of the Swedish royal family took part in today’s events: King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill, Princess Birgitta of Hohenzollern, Princess Margaretha, Princess Désirée and Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, Princess Christina and Tord Magnuson, Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg (widow of the late former Prince Sigvard), Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg (widow of the late former Prince Carl Johan) and Princess Kristine Bernadotte (widow of the late former Prince Carl Jr).
They were joined by the heads of state from the other Nordic countries and their spouses: Queen Margrethe II and Prince Consort Henrik of Denmark, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway, President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson of Iceland and Dorrit Moussaieff, and President Sauli Niinistö of Finland and Jenni Haukio.
Also several relatives of the King had been invited to the service in the Palace Church. Among those I believe I can recognise in photos are two of Princess Christina’s sons, Gustaf and Oscar Magnuson, with their wives Emma and Vicky, Countess Bettina Bernadotte af Wisborg (daughter of the late former Prince Lennart) with her husband Philipp Haug, Dagmar von Arbin (granddaughter of the late former Prince Oscar), her brother, Count Oscar Bernadotte af Wisborg, with his partner Margot Ekelund, their sister, Catharina Nilert, and their half-brother, Count Claes Bernadotte af Wisborg, with his wife Birgitta, and their two cousins, Counts Folke and Bertil Bernadotte af Wisborg with their wives Christine and Jill, as well as Madeleine Kogevinas, the daughter of the late former Prince Carl Jr.
The guests attending the jubilee have received a medal struck to commemorate the occasion. This is the third commemorative medal issued in the reign of Carl XVI Gustaf, following those struck for his fiftieth birthday in 1996 and the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel in 2010.