King Carl XVI Gustaf & Silvia Sommerlath

The marriage of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Silvia Renate Sommerlath - June 19, 1976

carl-gustaf-sylviaCarl XVI Gustaf has been King of Sweden since September 15, 1973. Born on April 30, 1946, he is the only son of the late Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Silvia Sommerlath is a descendant of King Afonso III of Portugal and his concubine Maria Peres de Enxara. Queen Sylvia was born in Heidelberg, Germany, on December 23, 1943. The Sommerlath family lived in São Paulo, Brazil, between 1947 and 1957. She became Queen of Sweden on her marriage to King Carl Gustaf.

swedish-princesses-princeFamily life

The King and Queen of Sweden have three children:

Crown Princess Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée, Duchess of Västergötland, born on 14 July 1977,
Prince Carl Philip Edmund Bertil, Duke of Värmland, born on 13 May 1979,
Princess Madeleine Thérèse Amelie Josephine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, born on 10 June 1982.

The engagement

The royal couple met during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The King later explained how it just "clicked" when they met.

King Carl Gustaf and Silvia announced their engagement on March 12, 1976. They were married three months later.

The wedding ceremony

The royal couple were married at Stockholm Cathedral, Sweden on June 19, 1976. Some 1,200 guests attended the church service.

It was the first marriage of a reigning Swedish monarch since 1797. If Carl Gustaf had married Silvia during the reign of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, he would have lost his position as heir to the Swedish throne due to the inflexibility of his grandfather, who believed that royalty must marry royalty.

As the royal couple were pronounced husband and wife, Silvia Sommerlath immediately became Queen of Sweden. The commentator for Swedish Television said “It is 12:21 in the day – and Sweden has a new Queen." The last queen before Silvia was Queen Louise, who died in 1965. The previous first lady of the country was been Princess Christina, one of the king's sisters, as the king's mother, Princess Sibylla (who never became Queen) died in 1972. Sweden finally had a Queen after waiting since 1965, and only having had Princesses fill the role as first ladies.

The reception

A luncheon for 300 guests was held in the Vita Havet (“White Sea”) stateroom at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.


Cold consommé with Iranian Caviar

Salmon mousse Queen Silvia

Cold Scottish forest pigeon with goose foie gras

Heart leaf salad

Wild strawberries from Malaga with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream

The wedding cake was a Croquembouche.

The Royal Head Chef, Werner Vögeli, who had planned the menu for the day, wrote a note with the recipe of Salmon Mousse Queen Silvia which he placed under her place setting at the luncheon as a special memento of her wedding day.

The bride’s dress

Marc Bohan of Dior designed a white silk duchesse satin gown. The Queen chose the dress herself on a secret trip to Paris. The dress was purposely simple, according to the future Queen's wishes.

The tiara


The new Queen of Sweden wore Empress Josephine's Cameo tiara, one of the most lavish and most important pieces in the Swedish royal family's jewel collection. It is made of five cameos and pearls set in red gold with a honeysuckle motif.

The piece has previously been worn by Queen Ingrid of Denmark, who was born a princess of Sweden, the King's mother Princess Sybilla, and all of his sisters on their wedding days. It has since been worn by Sylvia’s daughter Crown Princess Victoria at her wedding in 2010.

The bride’s bouquet

Sylvia carried a bouquet of orchids, lilies of the valley, stephanotis and jasmine, all in white.

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