King Carl XVI Gustaf

King Carl XVI Gustaf

Our current king Carl XVI Gustaf grew up as an only son and the youngest of five siblings. His father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, died in a plane crash at Kastrup Airport in 1947. Carl Gustaf was only nine months old at the time.

During the 1972 Munich Olympics, Crown Prince Carl Gustaf met Miss Silvia Renate Sommerlath. They married four years later.

Carl Gustaf took the royal oath in 1973 aged 27, succeeding his grandfather King Gustav VI Adolf. He has thus reigned for longer than any other Swedish king. Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and Carl XVI Gustaf's role as monarch is essentially representative, as a unifying symbol of the country.

The King is also deeply committed to nature and environmental issues, and is Chairman of the World Wildlife Fund and Honorary President of the World Scout Foundation.

The order of succession was changed in 1980, making his oldest child Victoria heir to the throne. She came of age on her 18th birthday in 1995, and is now The King's representative in his absence, such as when he is travelling abroad.

More information about the Swedish monarchy and the current role of the Head of State External link, opens in new window.

HM King Carl XVI Gustaf. Photo: Peter Knutson/The Royal Court of Sweden

carl xvi gustaf

Born 30 April 1946
Reign 1973–

royal motto

For Sweden – With the Times

no formal coronation


Gustaf VI Adolf


Silvia Sommerlath


Victoria (1977–)
Carl Philip (1979–)
Madeleine (1982–)

The Bernadotte