They’re not your typical royals.
The Swedish monarchy might not make international news as often as the British royal family, but that doesn’t mean their lives are any less interesting. Here are 9 fascinating facts you probably didn’t know about the Swedish royal family.
1. Changed Succession Rites
Sweden’s monarchy was the first to change its rules of succession so that the first-born child of the monarch is heir to the throne, regardless of their gender. This amendment was passed by Swedish Parliament in 1980, just 3 years after Crown Princess Victoria was born and 1 year after Prince Carl Philip was born. Without this succession rule change, the prince would have been next in line for the throne despite being the second born child of the family.
2. A Queen with a Career
Silvia is the first queen of Sweden to have had a professional career outside of royal duties. Before marrying King Carl, she was an interpreter for the Argentine Consulate in Munich. The couple met during the 1972 Summer Olympics, where Queen Silvia was working as an educational host. As a former interpreter, she is fluent in 6 languages, with Swedish being the last one she learned.
3. Environmentally Conscious
The royal family is known for being very passionate about the environment. King Carl XVI even received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Award in 2006 for his dedication to promoting sustainability and climate change awareness. The family does a lot of environmental work internationally as well, such as when the king and queen met with Indian officials to sign agreements regarding maritime environment protection in 2019.
4. ABBA Performance
The Swedish pop band ABBA’s first live performance of their hit song “Dancing Queen” was at a gala in the king and queen’s honor the night before their wedding. The performance took place at the Royal Swedish Opera in 1976, where the band dressed in dramatic ruffled sleeves and feathered hats.
5. History of Dyslexia
King Carl XVI, Crown Princess Victoria, and Prince Carl Philip all have dyslexia. Their experiences with the learning disorder have led them to speak out against the stigma surrounding it. Prince Carl Philip in particular, is a patron of the Dyslexia Association in Sweden and has opened up about his struggles in school and being labelled as unintelligent because of his dyslexia.
6. Longest-Reigning Swedish Monarch
The current king of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, ascended the throne in 1973 when he was 27 years old. He has been king for 48 years, thus making him the longest-reigning monarch in Swedish history. The royal family is known for living well into their 90s, so King Carl XVI Gustaf may have many years yet to reign.
7. Personal Trainer Made Husband
Crown Princess Victoria met her husband, the man now known as Prince Daniel, when he became her personal trainer in 2001. They became good friends right away, which eventually led to romance. Although the king and queen initially worried that Daniel would not be able to handle life as a royal, he has since proven to be a loyal and productive member of the family.