He was the fourth and only boy in the marriage of Gustavus Adolf of Sweden and Sibyl of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was born on April 30, 1946, carrying on the crown that still hung on his great-grandfather’s head. Tragedy struck when he was not yet a year old, when his father died in a plane crash in early 1947, returning from a hunt accompanied by an American opera singer and a Danish actress. Three years later the king died, and he, at just four years old, became heir to the throne.

Newborn King Carlos Gustavo, accompanied by his parents and three older sisters.

Carlos Gustavo took the crown when he was only 27 years old, after the death of his grandfather and the premature death of his mother, and the country considered him too young and unprepared. He has dyslexia, his grades at school showed that this position was untenable, and the lack of a queen increased his fear of the Swedes. As Swedish journalist Hermann Lindqvist told the newspaper in an interview A country“Back then the current Swedish monarch was the youngest in the world, and he did not feel prepared. He was often criticized and also the subject of ridicule in the media, with the wind blowing strongly from the left. The then Prime Minister Olof Palme said that we are one step away from a republic.”

And although this point was not reached, a few months later a decision was made that must have been difficult for the king, but which helped him celebrate the 50th anniversary of his coronation today: to strip him of power. Due to a change in the Constitution in 1975, he could no longer sign government decisions or name the person who was to form the new government, moving to a purely symbolic function.

Coronation of King Carlos Gustado of Sweden.

It also helped him meet Sylvia Sommerlath, then a flight attendant and translator, at the Winter Olympics held in Austria, whom he married a few months later, ending the single king tag that had so wounded him. Since then his acceptance has almost always been very good. With virtually no power, an almost idyllic family and an heiress adored by the entire country, she is now close to 60% approval, while monarchies are losing points every year.

Although this was not always the case, his reign and the royal house suffered setbacks from time to time that were on the verge of ruining their good image and even made them fear for their throne. The loudest was in 2010, when an unauthorized biography of his life was published, in which the monarch spoke about several infidelities with his wife and even about a long-term relationship with the lead singer of the Army of Lovers group, Camilla Henemark. Carl XVI Gustav, The Reluctant Monarch, by Thomas Sjöberg, It sold 20,000 copies within a few days, causing a stir in Sweden, causing his popularity to decline and a stain on his sterling image.

Let’s turn the page. “It’s been a long time coming and now we’re looking forward to it.”


It said not only that he was a frequenter of brothels and strip clubs, but also how little he paid attention to his eldest daughter’s eating disorders, even having to dress her in long sleeves to avoid comments. The book was such that it filled the headlines of the press throughout the country and many international newspapers, that the king had to give a speech after the traditional moose hunt in Hunneberg, organized annually by the Swedish monarchy. At the press conference, he assured that although he had not read the book, he knew its contents and had already spoken with his wife and children. “We have turned the page. It happened a long time ago and now we look forward,” he said, and the country “forgave” him in record time, saying his role as king was above reproach and everything else was personal issues.

From Nazi Father-in-Law to Wrong Heiress

The Queen and King of Sweden in 1976.

But this was not the only thing that kept him awake in those years. Swedish channel TV4 aired a documentary in which he claimed that his wife Sylvia’s father belonged to the Nazi Party and accused him of taking advantage of the poor situation of Jews to get rich. Although they initially denied the lies, the newspapers continued to publish articles and evidence until the royal house’s lies became obvious.

They felt backed into a corner and feared that Sylvia’s family’s past would harm the wedding of their daughter Princess Victoria to Daniel Westling, who was her personal trainer, so a few days earlier they issued a statement admitting that the party was ruled by the princess’s father, but clarified that “he was not an active member of the Nazi movement and that at that time it was very difficult to go against the grain.”

“My son, Prince Carl Philip, was already born, and suddenly a change occurred that left him with nothing. It’s quite strange. I think this is a mistake.”


And it was because of his daughter Victoria, heir to the throne, that he became the cause of his latest scandal. The repeal of the Salik Act by parliament in the 1980s led to significant changes in the Swedish monarchy, leaving the only baron, Carl Philip, and until then the heir apparent, without the throne and the eldest daughter of the kings in the front row. “Having laws that apply retroactively is not very smart, I still think so. My son, Prince Carl Philip, has already been born, and suddenly there is a change that leaves him with nothing. It’s quite strange. This seems like a mistake to me. ” he said last January, further widening the gulf that Swedes believe exists between the monarch and his eldest daughter.

To try to calm the situation, she released another statement, assuring that she supported her daughter and her future as queen and that she was misunderstood, but it was too late because in the documentary she twice highlights the mistake of the Swedish government. Despite these statements, her daughter grew stronger during the celebration of her half-century on the throne, showing her daughter Estelle becoming the jewel of the Swedish crown.