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  #81  
Old 12-23-2003, 12:04 PM
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DW.WORLD

Sweden's German Queen Turns 60

Germans may have abolished the monarchy in 1918, but they still have “our Silvia” of Sweden. The Heidelberg native, who married King Carl XVI Gustav almost three decades ago, celebrated her 60th birthday on Tuesday.

As chief hostess and interpreter for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Silvia Renate Sommerlath looked after a range of celebrities: German Chancellor Willy Brandt, British Prime Minister Edward Heath and Monaco’s royal couple, among others.

It was the Swedish crown prince, however, who won her heart by staring at her through his binoculars. “My husband once said: It just clicked,” Silvia recently told German public television. “I believe in destiny and it was no coincidence that we met.”

A commoner fit to be queen
Having spent 10 years of her childhood in her mother’s native Brazil and being fluent in seven languages, the dark-haired young woman seemed worldly enough to become queen. That only became possible after Carl Gustav became king in 1973, however, as Swedish crown princes lose their claim to the throne if they marry a commoner.

The wedding took place on June 19, 1976, and Silvia quickly became one of the most popular members of the Swedish royal family, helping to ensure its survival. While many of her new countrymen had previously called for abolishing the monarchy, about 70 percent of Swedes now want to preserve it.

Children’s advocate
However, some have criticized the queen for her outspoken comments on political issues, such as calling for harsher punishments for child molesters.

It doesn’t seem to have detracted Silvia, who is herself a mother of three – Crown Princess Victoria, 26, Prince Carl Philip, 24, and Princess Madeleine, 21. “If I can help children, I’ll keep interfering vigorously,” she said in an interview on Germany’s ARD television.

“The goal is to promote the right of every child to its childhood and to work for better living conditions for children in danger,” Silvia wrote on the Web site of World Childhood Foundation, a charity she created in 1999. “We must fight against the extreme material, social and emotional poverty in which they live.” During the first four years of its existence, the foundation provided aid to more than 125,000 children in Brazil alone.

Dreaming of art history
Silvia’s birthday wish, a round table on the current problems of children in Swedish society, already took place at the royal palace in Stockholm on Dec. 12. "It was a wonderful gathering," said Gunilla von Arbin, the World Childhood Foundation's secretary general.

She added that the establishement of an Internet resource guide for Swedish children in need called "red pages" was announced at the meeting. "It's a new social initiative that has been developed for Her Majesty," von Arbin told DW-WORLD.

Before Tuesday's official birthday celebrations, the queen and her family departed to northern Sweden for a couple of days, where her children had booked her into a hotel made out of ice, according to news reports.

She readily admits that it is not always easy being queen and recently told a Swedish news agency about her secret dream of starting something completely new. “What I’d really like to do is study art history” like her youngest daughter, Silvia said. “Maybe one day I’ll have enough time to sit down at a university desk.”

DW Staff (win)
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  #82  
Old 12-23-2003, 12:18 PM
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"Before Tuesday's official birthday celebrations, the queen and her family departed to northern Sweden for a couple of days, where her children had booked her into a hotel made out of ice, according to news reports."

If it weren't such a famous place, you can imagine her saying "Who did they use as a travel agent!"
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  #83  
Old 12-23-2003, 01:42 PM
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Isn´t Madelaine´s dress her dress from WA and Maxima´s wedding and Victoria´s from Claire and Laurent´s wedding.They seem to use the same dresses often.
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  #84  
Old 12-23-2003, 02:01 PM
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Yes, that's the same dress for Victoria. The bow is a nice touch.

Madde wore the same shoes for this occasion as well. While they match that hat, they are a little lighter in color than her coat today. Doesn't matter. She looked great in them anyway.
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  #85  
Old 12-23-2003, 02:45 PM
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Madeleine usually gets the better grades on her style and make up but this time I think Victoria look the best
Yes Victoria looked great! I love that dress on her...
Madeleine´s dress isnt that great on her at the moment considering her face colour (the tanned and cold "look")
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:08 PM
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IBL

IBL - A slightly more serious looking Victoria ...
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:14 PM
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Yes, she does look more serious there. Nice photos, Alexandria!
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:20 PM
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IBL

Birthday cake ...

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IBL - What is Madeline doing to her mother here?!
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  #89  
Old 12-23-2003, 03:24 PM
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The up-close portraits of Victoria are very lovely.
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:27 PM
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IBL

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IBL - The Queen looks like she's going to do a face plant herself into the cake!
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:38 PM
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Old 12-23-2003, 03:40 PM
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"Victoria was right. He does need a haircut".

I hope she just was just getting her hair out of the way. You just know that Silvia can't wait to eat that cake. It does look good.
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Old 12-23-2003, 05:57 PM
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Great pics...thanks to those, who have posted them. And finally xmas-family-portraits again...I´ve waited 4 years for this moment
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Old 12-23-2003, 06:26 PM
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One from by today from IBL:

And another one:
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  #95  
Old 12-23-2003, 07:39 PM
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Thanks for all the pics ppl :flower:
I find it strange that with -10 the ladies used those skirts and both princesses wearing such open shoes. Probably a short ceremony outside.
Still the pics should have been taken before they go outside. Madeleine and Carl Philip have the hair a bit messy and the prince's nose looks red...
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  #96  
Old 12-23-2003, 08:27 PM
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Probably a short ceremony outside.
20 minutes I think...
you´re right, their hair does looks a bit messy :P
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Old 12-23-2003, 09:14 PM
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  #98  
Old 12-23-2003, 10:17 PM
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can someone tell me what is wrong with prince carl he look sick.....
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Old 12-23-2003, 10:40 PM
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He and Madde both had the flu. That's why they arrived at the ice hotel a day late.
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Old 12-24-2003, 06:48 AM
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is it just me, or is there not one picture with the king smiling?
is he not happy that his wife turned 60? he looks like an old grump
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Two sad days in Dutch History!
Let this never happen again!
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