By Chris King •
Published: 15 Sep 2023 • 22:19
Image of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
Credit: Bengt Nyman/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
AN incredible 50 years on the throne of Sweden was celebrated this Friday, September 15, by King Carl XVI Gustaf.
Two days of celebrations will take place across the Swedish capital of Stockholm, with festivities also taking place throughout the country.
Today’s event involved a short Swedish Te Deum religious service at the Royal Palace Church, which involved the royals singing hymns to give thanks for King Gustaf’s reign on the throne of Sweden.
The 77-year-old King received gun salutes to mark his landmark Golden Jubilee date as the Scandinavian nation’s longest-sitting monarch.
He was the world’s youngest monarch at the age of 27 when he came to the throne in 1973 following the death of his grandfather Gustaf VI Adolf. He is also a distant relative of King Charles III.
The Swedish flag flew serenely above the Royal Palace as the King appeared on the royal balcony with Queen Silvia, Prince Carl Philip, and Princess Sofia.
Also present were the Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel, with the King’s grandchildren, 11-year-old Princess Estelle, the Duchess of Östergötland and seven-year-old Prince Oscar, the Duke of Skåne.
Princess Madeleine and her husband Christopher O’Neill joined the lineup but without their children. This is thought to be because they no longer belong to the royal house after the king’s decision in autumn 2019 to slim down the royal house. Similarly, the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia were not in attendance.
A thunderous salute from the island of Skeppsholmen opposite the Palace heralded the sight and sound of three different bands performing the Changing of the Guard in the outer courtyard: the Army’s band, the Lifeguard’s dragoon band and the Navy’s band.
Rhythmic drumbeats, starched uniforms and gleaming brass instruments filled the yard with choruses of ‘God save the King’ echoing out from the public between the castle walls.
Their foreign guests then joined them on the balcony. They included the Norwegian royal couple, King Harald and Queen Sonja, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, her sister Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and Margrethe’s son Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Crown Princess Mary.
Iceland’s president Guðni Jóhannesson appeared with his wife, Eliza Reid, alongside Sauli Niinistö, the president of Finland, and his wife, Jenni Haukio, as reported by aftonbladet.es.
Following the performance by the military bands, the king’s favourite march Marcia Carolus Rex was played. It is played every day on the king’s birthday and is a military march named after Charles XII.
Following his public appearance, King Karl XVI Gustaf will host a lavish dinner, attended by the other heads of state.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Stockholm tomorrow to catch a glimpse of the king and Queen Silvia in a cortege on Saturday.
They will travel in a horse-drawn carriage escorted by 3,000 military personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force and military bands.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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