Look Back: King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 50th Birthday

  April 29, 2016 at 4:48 am by

While we are eagerly waiting for the main festivities in Stockholm to start, let’s look back at Carl XVI Gustaf’s 50th birthday in 1996. The king and Queen decided to make it a gala event, which means: tiaras!

The king had a good reason to celebrate his birthday in style: he had been voted ‘most popular man in Sweden’ for several years in a row and the support for the monarchy was over 80%. It was the first birthday where the next generation of heirs and spares attended, which led to numerous speculations in Europe’s boulevard press about possible matches.

The main part of the celebrations started on april 29th with a theatre play at Drottningholm Palace:


On April 30th the day started with a carriage ride of the royal family through Stockholm and a balcony appearance at Stockholm’s royal palace:


But the highlight of the celebrations were the birthday dinner and ball that followed in the evening. The royal guests flocked to the palace in uniforms, big ball gowns, orders and jewels. Both Queen Silvia as Queen Margrethe II never looked more splendid than they did on this occassion:


The same could be said about a lot of other guests seemed were dressed to the nines too, a small selection:



A small clip from French television about the celebration has survived:


During the dinner Queen Silvia recited the following poem for her husband:

Count the garden by the flowers
never by the leaves that fall.
Count the days by golden hours
don’t remember clouds at all.
Count your nights by stars, not shadows.
Count your life with smiles, not tears.
And with joy on every birthday
Count your age by friends, not years.

Let me finish by  providing a guestlist. Sadly photos of the event were more difficult to find than I thought. That means that the guest list is incomplete. If anybody knows about additions, do not hesitate to add them:

  • King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madelaine of Sweden
  • Princess Margaretha of Sweden
  • Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern
  • Princess Désirée of Sweden and Baron Silfverschiöld
  • Princess Christina of Sweden and Tord Magnuson
  • Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian of Sweden
  • Prince Carl Johan of Sweden and Gunilla Bernadotte
  • Count Lennart and Countess Sonja Bernadotte af Wisborg
  • Countess Bettina Bernadotte af Wisborg
  • Prince Carl and Princess Kristine Bernadotte
  • King Albert and Queen Paola the Belgians
  • The Duke of Brabant
  • The Duke of Edinburgh
  • Queen Margrethe II and Prince Hendrik of Denmark
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
  • Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • Prince Ali of Jordan
  • Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Henri and Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
  • Hereditary Prince Albert of Monaco
  • Princess Caroline of Monaco
  • King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
  • Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
  • Princess Martha Louise of Norway
  • Princess Astrid of Norway, Mrs. Ferner
  • Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands
  • Princess Juliana of The Netherlands
  • The Prince of Orange
  • Queen Sofia of Spain
  • The Prince of Asturias
  • Infanta Elena of Spain and Jaime de Marichalar
  • Infanta Cristina of Spain
  • King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • Prince Nikolaos of Greece
  • King Mihai of Romania
  • Crown Princess Margaretha of Romania
  • Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia
  • The Duke and Duchess of Bragança
  • Duke Max Emanuel and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria
  • Prince Leopold and Princess Ursula of Bavaria
  • Lord and Lady Romsey



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