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Queen Silvia
Queen Consort of Sweden
Reign 19 June 1976 - present (41 years)
Born 23 December 1946 (age 74)
Heidelberg, Germany
Spouse Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (m. 1976)
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland
Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland
House Bernadotte (by marriage)
Father Mr Walther Sommerlath
Mother Alice Soares de Toledo
Religion Church of Swede
Swedish Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Swedish Royal Family

HM The King
HM The Queen

v · d · e

Queen Silvia of Sweden (born Silvia Renate Sommerlath; born 23 December 1946) is the wife of Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and the mother of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden. In 2011, Silvia became the longest-serving queen of Sweden, a record previously held by Sophia of Nassau.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Silvia Renate Sommerlath was born on 23 December 1943 in Heidelberg, Germany. She is the fourth child and only daughter of the late Mr Walther and Mrs Alice Sommerlath (nee Soares de Toledo. Her father was German and her mother was Brazilian.[1]

She has three elder brothers; Mr Ralf Sommerlath (born 1929); Mr Walther Ludwig Sommerlath (born 1934) and Mr Hans Jorg Sommerlath (born 1941-2006).

The Sommerlath family lived in São Paulo, Brazil, between 1947 and 1957, where the Queen attended the traditional German school Colégio Visconde de Porto Seguro and Walther Sommerlath held various positions, including President of the Brazilian subsidiary of Swedish company Uddeholms AB. The family returned to West Germany in 1957.

Education and career[edit | edit source]

Silvia graduated from high school in Düsseldorf in 1963. Between 1965 and 1969 she studied at the Munich School of Interpreting, majoring in Spanish.

After graduating, Silvia Sommerlath worked at the Argentinean Consulate in Munich.

She has some fluency in Swedish Sign Language, a national sign language used by the deaf community in Sweden.

Work with the Olympic Committee[edit | edit source]

Silvia Sommerlath worked as a hostess trainer with the Organizing Committee for the Munich Olympic Games between 1971 and 1973. She then became Deputy Head of Protocol of the Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

Marriage and family[edit | edit source]

See: Wedding of Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Silvia Sommerlath

Silvia Sommerlath met Crown Prince Carl Gustaf at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, where she was an interpreter and hostess.

The engagement of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Silvia Renate Sommerlath was announced on 12 March 1976. The wedding was held on June 19, 1976, at the Stockholm Cathedral, and the ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Uppsala, Olof Sundby. The wedding was preceded, the evening before, by a Royal Variety Performance, where the Swedish musical group ABBA performed Dancing Queen for the very first time, as a tribute to Sweden's Queen to be.

King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia have three children:

Father's Nazi reported links[edit | edit source]

In July 2002, the Queen became the unwelcome subject of international curiosity when an article published in the syndicalist newspaper Arbetaren reported that German state archives record that the queen's father, Walther Sommerlath, joined the Nazi party's foreign wing, the NSDAP/AO, in 1934, when he was living in Brazil and working for a German steel company. In December 2010, Queen Silvia wrote a letter of complaint to Jan Scherman, the CEO of TV4, the network that had aired a documentary about her father's alleged Nazi past.[2]

Queen Silvia commissioned a report from World War II expert Erik Norberg, a choice which was criticized due to Norberg having ties to the royal family. In his report, Norberg argued that the Queen's father had in fact helped the owner of the steel-fabrication plant, a Jewish businessperson, escape from Germany by taking over the factory.[3] In a December 2011 interview for Channel 1 with Sweden's public service broadcaster Sveriges Television, Silvia called media's handling of the information about her father "character assassination".[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Biography - Sveriges Kungahus
  2. Silvia klagade på naziprogram – i brev till TV 4:s vdAftonbladet. 31 December 2010
  3. Swedish queen's report denies father had Nazi linksBBC News. 9 August 2011
  4. Åter med kungafamiljen, SvT Channel 1, 29 December 2011.

Official page[edit | edit source]

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