Swedish Royal Wedding Look-Back: Carl XVI Gustaf and Silvia
In our penultimate look-back entry, we focus on the 1976 marriage of Saturday’s bride’s parents, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Ms Silvia Sommerlath. The previous entries looked at the marriages of Gustaf Adolf and Margaret, Gustaf Adolf and Sibylla, and the Haga Princesses.
The engagement of Sweden’s monarch and a German/Brazilian commoner was announced on March 12th, 1976. Carl Gustaf was the only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; Silvia the only daughter of Walther Sommerlath and Alice Soares de Toledo. During a photo session and interview to mark their engagement, Carl Gustaf told reporters how it “just clicked” when he met Silvia at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The couple’s romance was first reported in the summer of 1973, when Silvia was spotted with the young King in Öland.
Three months later, and the couple wed in Stockholm’s Storkyrkan Cathedral on June 19th. The night before the wedding, a pre-wedding concert was held at the Royal Opera, where – among the other acts – ABBA performed ‘Dancing Queen‘ for the first time in tribute to the country’s Queen-to-be. And Silvia Sommerlath made her debut in a tiara – the Connaught Diamond Tiara.
On the day of the wedding, Silvia arrived to the cathedral on the arm of her husband-to-be. She was supported by a group of nieces and nephews as the bridal children: Prince Hubertus of Hohenzollern, Baroness Hélène Silfverschiöld, Carmita Sommerlath, James Ambler, Sophie Sommerlath and Amelie Middelschulte. She wore a custom-made Christian Dior wedding gown created by Marc Bohan, which was remarkable simple to allow the Cameo Tiara and Queen Sofia’s lace veil to be the stars of the ensemble. It featured a high neckline and full-length sleeves (there was no where for the bride to pocket a handkerchief either – she had to strap one to her wrist with an elastic band!). The groom wore the uniform of an admiral in the Swedish navy, with the collars of the Order of the Seraphim and the Order of the Polar Star.
After the ceremony, the bridal couple took a carriage ride through the streets of Stockholm, where 180,000 people lined the streets to cheer them on, before boarding the Royal Barge to travel across to Drottningholm Palace for their wedding luncheon, where on the menu was salmon mousse, Scottish forest pigeon, strawberries and ice-cream and croquembouche. Among the guests attending the wedding were Queen Ingrid, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark, Princess Benedikte of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, King Olav of Norway, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of the Belgians,
Carl Gustaf and Silvia have three children: Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine.Filed under Swedish Royals
Tagged Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Wedding.