The April issue of Majesty (Vol. 37, No. 4), which is now out, is an unusually large issue of 84 pages, much of it marking the upcoming 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain on 21 April. My contributions are an article looking at how her four European counterparts who have chosen to take things easier in old age, i.e. Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Albert of the Belgians and King Juan Carlos of Spain, are faring in their retirement, and a profile of this month's other birthday boy, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who will turn seventy on 30 April.
While Queen Elizabeth's official birthday celebrations have been postponed until June, King Carl Gustaf will mark his milestone with a series of events at the end of this month, starting with a performance at the Royal Dramatic Theatre on the 25th and a concert by the army's orchestra in the Palace Church the next day. On the 28th and 29th, the King will receive congratulatory deputations and on the 29th King Carl Gustaf will also present scholarships at the Royal Opera and attend a concert at the Nordic Museum.
On his actual birthday, Saturday 30 April, there will be a service of thanksgiving in the Palace Church before the customary military event at the Palace's Outer Courtyard, which is held every year. Thereafter, the King will be serenaded by a multitude of singers on the northern side of the Palace and thereafter travel by carriage to a lunch in the City Hall before receiving well-wishers from Parliament, the government and the county governors at the Palace. In the evening there will be a banquet in the Palace's Hall of State. (Fans of the Swedish court's penchant for "glitter" may perhaps be disappointed to hear that the dresscode for the latter is black tie).
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