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King Carl Gustaf’s 70th Birthday was celebrated in style in Stockholm on 30 April 2016.
Festivities had already kicked off on Monday, 25 April, with various events including banquets, a night at the opera, military parades and carriage processions.
European royalty also participated in the celebrations throughout the day including Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II, Crown Princess Margareta and Prince Radu of Romania, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Prince Albert II of Monaco, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, Jordan’s Prince Raad and Princess Majda Raad, and Princess Takamado from Japan.
King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway were expected to attend but cancelled to a tragic helicopter crash in western Norway, near Bergen, on Friday, 29 April, and sent their apologies. King Harald has asked his daughter, Princess Märtha Louise and her husband Ari Behn, to represent the Norwegian Royal Family at the celebrations.
Sveriges Television (SVT) provided live coverage of most of the events.
Te Deum Thanksgiving Service
The celebrations began on the King’s birthday with a Te Deum service in the Royal Chapel at 10.00 am with the Swedish Royal family, including 4-year-old Princess Estelle, and their guests.
The Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, members of the Riksdag (Parliament) and various government officials also attended.
Swedish Armed Forces Celebration and Changing of the Guard
The Swedish Royal Family and their guests watched more celebrations in the Outer Courtyard, with a musical programme from both the Swedish Navy and the Armed Forces Music Corps.
King Carl Gustaf and Prince Carl Philip received the salutes during the Changing of the Guard.
Children had the opportunity to present flowers to King Carl Gustaf, including one shy little fellow dressed as a soldier and a little girl in a princess costume.
The King was soon holding an armful of flowers, which he passed to an aide.
A 21-gun salute was fired at midday at Skeppsholmen, across the river.
Balcony Appearance and Choral Tribute
The King and the Queen appeared on the Lejonbacken Terrace, with the rest of the Royal Family and their guests, to hear the Choral Tribute, a gift from the City of Stockholm, led by Caroline af Ugglas.
A choir of over 2,000 people, accompanied by the Armed Forces Music Corps, sang a selection of songs, including Johnny O’Keefe’s Wild One, much to King Carl Gustaf’s amusement.
Little Prince Oscar made his first public appearance on his grandfather’s birthday, held in his mother Crown Princess Victoria’s arms, and warmly wrapped against the cold.
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark also posed for photos with her god-daughter, Princess Estelle.
Stockholm City Hall Luncheon
Scouts gave salutes as King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia walked to the waiting carriage, before travelling in a procession from the Royal Palace to Stockholm’s City Hall to attend a luncheon.
Tensta Gospel Choir’s Choirmaster Cedwin Sandanam led the guests in a communal singing of of The Beatles’ All You Need is Love shortly after the King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia’s arrival arrival.
The Royal Couple returned to the Royal Palace for a reception for the Riksdag, the Government and county governors for their opportunity to congratulate the King.
Prime Minister Sefan Löfven and the Speaker Urban Ahlin presented the “Tillsammans” dinner service, a gift from the Riksdag and the Government. Daniel Hassle designed the dinnerware at Gustavsbergs Porslinsfabrik and Carina Seth Andersson designed the glasses, blown by Skrufs Glasburk in an environmentally-friendly lead-free glass.
The County Administrative Boards and the Swedish Tourism Association presented a gift certificate to sponsor Abiskojaure mountain and 10,000 metres of the “Save Kungsleden” (The King’s Trail) initiative in northern Sweden.
The 70th birthday celebrations finished with a lavish banquet in the Hall of at the Royal Palace, with several royal guests and relatives including Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and two of the King’s four sisters, Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Princess Désirée Baroness Silfverschiöld.
Anyone wishing to leave a birthday greeting to King Carl XVI Gustaf can still do so via the Royal Family’s (Kungahuset) Facebook page, or by sending a greeting via the Swedish Royal Family website’s Greeting Form.