|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors)|
|Reign||19 June 1976 - present (41 years)|
|Born||23 December 1946 (age 74) |
|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|
HM The King
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.
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]
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:
- Crown Princess Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée, Duchess of Västergötland, born on July 14, 1977. On 19 June 2010, she married Daniel Westling at Stockholm Cathedral. They are styled as the Crown Princess Couple. The couple have a daughter and a son.
- Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Duchess of Östergötland (born 23 February 2012)
- Prince Oscar Carl Olof, Duke of Skåne (born 2 March 2016)
- Prince Carl Philip Edmund Bertil, Duke of Värmland born on 13 May 1979. On 13 June 2015, he married Miss Sofia Hellqvist. They are formally styled as Prince Couple. They have three sons.
- Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil, Duke of Södermanland (born 19 April 2016)
- Prince Gabriel Carl Walther, Duke of Dalarna (born 31 August 2017)
- Prince Julian Herbert Folke, Duke of Halland (born 26 March 2021)
- Princess Madeleine Thérèse Amelie Josephine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, born 10 June 1982. On 8 June 2013, she married Christopher O'Neill in the Royal Chapel. They are formally styled as the Princess Couple. They have two daughters and one son.
- Princess Leonore Lilian Maria, Duchess of Götland (born 20 February 2014)
- Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf, Duke of Ångermanland (born 15 June 2015)
- Princess Adrienne Josephine Alice, Duchess of Blekinge (born 9 March 2018)
[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.
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. 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".
References[edit | edit source]
- Biography - Sveriges Kungahus
- Silvia klagade på naziprogram – i brev till TV 4:s vd. Aftonbladet. 31 December 2010
- Swedish queen's report denies father had Nazi links. BBC News. 9 August 2011
- Åter med kungafamiljen, SvT Channel 1, 29 December 2011.