From the Royal Court's website (www.royalcourt.se
KING CARL XVI GUSTAF
Carl XVI Gustaf, the Swedish Head of State, was born on April 30, 1946 at Haga Palace.
He is son of the then Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha. He was baptised Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus at the Royal Chapel on June 7, 1946.
The King has four older sisters: the Princesses Margaretha, Birgitta, Désirée and Christina. His father Prince Gustaf Adolf died in a plane crash in 1947 in Copenhagen. Princess Sibylla died in Stockholm in 1972.
Crown Prince at four years of age
With the accession of Gustaf VI Adolf to the throne in 1950, following the death of Gustaf V, the four-year-old Carl Gustaf became Crown Prince.
Crown Prince Carl Gustaf became the Swedish Head of State at the age of 27, following the death of King Gustaf VI Adolf, who died on September 15, 1973.
The new King took “For Sweden - With the times" as his motto, thereby declaring his intention of meeting the demands of society on a modern monarch.
The Crown Prince was taught privately during his preschool years at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. He started school in the autumn of 1952 and attended Broms School and the Sigtuna Boarding School, where he matriculated in 1966.
Matriculation was followed by military service. The Crown Prince completed two and a half years' training in the Army, Navy and Air Force, with a special emphasis on naval training. Amongst other military activities, he took part in a long voyage on the mine-laying vessel Älvsnabben in the winter of 1966-67.
Naval Officer Examination
The Crown Prince passed his Naval Officer Examination in 1968. He later completed a command course at the Swedish National Defence College and complemented his naval training with officer´s duties on board various ships in the Swedish Navy.
In 1968-69 the Crown Prince followed a program of 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.
Practical social studies
He then followed a specially composed programme of field trips to national and local authorities, industries, factories, laboratories and schools.
The Crown Prince studied the judicial system, social welfare organizations and institutions, trade unions and employer associations, with a special emphasis on the work of the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament), the government and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
In order to acquire international experience The Crown Prince took part in the work of the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in New York and with SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation) 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.
In addition, The Crown Prince represented Gustaf VI Adolf on a number of official occasions. In 1970, for example, he headed the Swedish delegation to the World Exhibition in Osaka, Japan.
During the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany in 1972, the Crown Prince met Miss Silvia Sommerlath.
She was serving at the games as an interpreter and hostess. Silvia Sommerlath was born in Heidelberg on December 23, 1943. She is the daughter of Walther Sommerlath and his Brazilian wife Alice, née de Toledo, both now deceased.
The Royal Wedding in 1976
The engagement of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Silvia Sommerlath was officially announced on March 12, 1976. They were married three months later at the Stockholm Cathedral on June 19, 1976.
King Carl Gustaf and Drottning Silvia have three children: Crown Princess Victoria, born on July 14, 1977, Prince Carl Philip, born on May 13, 1979 and Princess Madeleine, born on June 10, 1982.
Under the Order of Succession introduced in 1980 by the Swedish parliament, the throne passes to the eldest child.
The Royal Family resided at the Royal Palace of Stockholm through 1981, after which they moved to Drottningholm Palace.
Nature and the environment
King Carl XVI Gustaf is actively involved in issues concerning nature and the environment and has great knowledge in both these areas.
The King has personally instituted the King Carl Gustaf Environmental Competition and the “Royal Colloquium", an international environmental symposium held in Sweden with participants from all over the world.
The King has been chairman of the Swedish branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) since 1988.
The King has been interested in scouting since childhood. He became a cub scout with the name Mowgli in 1955 and a scout in 1958.
As Crown Prince, one of his first official duties was to participate in a scout camp in Sweden at the age of 10. Since then, The King often takes part in different types of scouting activities both in Sweden and abroad.
King Carl Gustaf is Principal Honorary Member of the Swedish Guide and Scout Association, Honorary Member of the Swedish Guide and Scout Council and has been Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation since 1977.
In recent years The King has accompanied Royal Technology Missions under The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering's auspices to study technological and industrial know-how and to encourage co-operation in these areas with various countries such as Japan, Italy, the UK, the USA, South Korea, South Africa and Brazil.
From an early age The King has had a great interest in cars and tools. 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 PV 60 that he received as a present on his 50th birthday.
Nature, Sports and Outdoor life
King Carl XVI Gustaf has enjoyed nature and the outdoors since childhood, with outdoor and sporting activities as his favourite pastimes. The King is a highly skilled skier. He has participated in the Vasa Ski Race three times - in 1977, 1987 and 1997. During the summer months he enjoys boating activities.
At the Royal Family's private summer palace Solliden on the island of Öland The King puts a lot of energy into cultivating the garden. His focus is not so much on the flowerbeds but on heavy work such as laying new water pipes, cleaning out dams, or thinning out oak forests.
The Royal Family has a cottage in Storlien in the province of Jämtland which The King inherited from his parents. And after the death of Prince Bertil, the Royal Family took over Villa Mirage in St. Maxime, France.
Art, Music and Food
The King is also interested in art, music and food.
In recent years he has exhibited parts of his collection of graphic art and has initiated a number of musical events at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
The King is a member of the Swedish Academy of Gastronomy.
Hunting is among The King's leisure interests. Every year he participates in Royal hunts at Halle and Hunneberg and in Bergslagen. He also participates in the cloven-foot animal hunt at Tullgarn.