Pictures: Drottingholm Palace; Royal Palace, Stockholm; the Swedish Crown; King Carl XVI Gustaf; Crown Princess Victoria, Heir to the throne; Queen Silvia; very much in their dancing mood!!
Sweden, on the eastern side of the Scandinavian landmass, with Norway to the west, Denmark to the south and Finland to the east, covers an area of 449964 sq kl ms, Stockholm the capital. Sweden shares the Viking heritage with Norway and Denmark.
Sweden is home to the Nobel Prize, considered the most prestigious award in the world. Stockholm is built on several islands hence called "Venice of the North."
The Norse saga Edda and the Nordic god Thor are from very old folklore and traditions of pre-Christian Europe.
An early King of Sweden and Goten, Edmundsson Eric, 900 A. D. was descended from King Edmund of Burka, a small kingdom amongst many on the Scandinavian peninsula. Sweden's greatest King, Gustavus Adolphus, carved an empire with territories from Russia, Poland-Lithuania, and the Holy Roman Empire.
King Carl XVI Gustaf is the eighth Monarch in the Bernadotte dynasty whose first King, Charles the XIV Bernadotte was a brilliant Marshall in Napoleon's army, was adopted by Charles XIII Holstien-Gottorp, and elected to the Swedish throne by it's Parliament; Carl Gustaf is his descendant.
King Carl XVI is a trained Naval Officer, serving on various ships of the Swedish Navy; then academic studies comprising History, Sociology, Political Science, Financial Law and Economics at the University of Uppsala. Later he also studied Economics at the University of Stockholm.
He participated in the work of the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in New York and spent time working with SIDA (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) in Africa. He also spent considerable time in London - at Hambro Bank, the Swedish Embassy and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce - and in France at the Alfa Laval plant in Nevers.
During the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany in 1972, Carl Gustaf met Miss Silvia Renate Sommerlath. She was working at the Games as an interpreter and hostess.
The King began showing an interest in cars and tools at an early age. As Crown Prince, for his fifth birthday, he received a pedal car, a trowel, bricks, gardening tools and a real yoke with two pails.Today, he maintains a great interest in motor sport: at the vintage car rally on the island of Öland the King likes to drive an old Volvo. He is passionate about gardening, heavy gardening, like cutting Oak trees, hunting, art and music, and is a skilled skier.
Crown Princess Victoria has gone through academic studies in Political Science and History at Yale University in the USA. In conjunction with her stay in the USA, The Crown Princess completed two periods of work experience at the United Nations in New York (June and September 2002) as well as one at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC in 1999.
In autumn 2000 The Crown Princess completed studies in conflict resolution and international peace-building.
In spring 2001 The Crown Princess studied the Swedish Presidency of the EU 2002.
The Crown Princess completed a study programme at SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and spent time in countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia.
During this time she also continued with her official engagements. In 2002 she completed an internship with the Swedish Trade Council in Berlin and Paris.
The present House of Bernadotte of which King Carl Gustaf is the eight descendant, has humble beginnings, Charles XIV John was Marshall Bernadotte, one of the generals in Napoleon's army, and son of Henri Bernadotte.
Genealogy link .
Similar to all constitutional monarchies, the Monarch, is Head of State, a symbol of the country, representing the country's aspirations and traditions, the first person, in most cases as per a written Constitution, representing the country's freedom and democratic values, its continuity and political, social, cultural and other aspirations; although seen a figurehead, this is only partly true, there is a two way communication between the Monarch and his people.
The enlightened Monarch sets the example of a national identity of the country, and its dignity as a sovereign nation.
From the Monarchy in Sweden website:
Change in order of succession
The Swedish order of succession was changed in 1980 to a fully cognatic one. This means that the Monarch´s eldest heir, regardless of gender, inherits the throne.
Constitution Act of 1974
The governing procedures of The King remained the same from 1809 to 1974 when the Constitution Act was enacted.
According to the new act The King should no longer “Rule the Kingdom alone". The new introduction states that “All public power in Sweden derives from the people".
A Symbol for Sweden
Today, Sweden has a constitutional monarchy, which means that the monarch's duties are regulated by the constitution.
According to the Swedish constitution, the King as Head of State is the country´s foremost representative and symbol. The King's duties are primarily ceremonial and representative.
When The King is unable to fulfil his duties as Head of State because for example he is abroad, his duties are discharged to Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip or Princess Madeleine.
Sweden has a constitutional monarchy. The Monarch's power is regulated by the Swedish constitution. The constitutional monarchy emerged at end of the 1800s and at the beginning of the 1900s.
The monarchy, as a form of government, was established in the 1809 constitutional governing procedures. This was changed in 1974. For 165 years it had been Europe's oldest form of government.
The Bernadotte Dynasty has ruled Sweden since 1810. At that time the French Marshall Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was chosen as successor to the Swedish throne.
Carl XVI Gustaf has been King of Sweden since 1973. He is the 74th King of Sweden.
Sweden ´s successor to the throne is Crown Princess Victoria.