Queen Silvia of Sweden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Queen Silvia of Sweden, June 8, 2013 (cropped).jpg
Queen Silvia, 8 June 2013
Queen consort of Sweden
Tenure19 June 1976 – present
BornSilvia Renate Sommerlath
(1943-12-23) 23 December 1943 (age 76)
Heidelberg, Republic of Baden, Germany
(m. 1976)
FatherWalther Sommerlath
MotherAlice Soares de Toledo
ReligionChurch of Sweden
SignatureSilvia's signature

Silvia (born Silvia Renate Sommerlath; 23 December 1943) is the Queen consort of Sweden as the spouse of King Carl XVI Gustaf; she has held this title since her marriage to the king in 1976. She is the mother of the heir apparent to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria. In 2011, she became the longest-serving Queen of Sweden, a record previously held by Sophia of Nassau.

Childhood and parentage[edit]

Silvia Renate Sommerlath was born in Heidelberg, South Germany, on 23 December 1943,[1] the only daughter of Alice (née Soares de Toledo) and Walther Sommerlath. Her father was German and her mother was Brazilian.

She has one older brother: Ralf Sommerlath (born 1929). Her other brothers were Walther Sommerlath, who died in 2020, and Jörg Sommerlath, who died in 2006. The Mother-Child House Jörg Sommerlath in Berlin, operated by Queen Silvia's World Childhood Foundation,[2] is named after her brother.

She attended high school in Düsseldorf, graduating in 1963; and she attended the Munich School of Interpreting from 1965 to 1969, majoring in Spanish.[1]

She has some fluency in Swedish Sign Language, a national sign language used by the deaf community in Sweden.[3] She is a trained interpreter and Swedish is actually her sixth language. She speaks her native German, her mother's language of Portuguese, as well as French, Spanish, and English.

Marriage and family[edit]

During the 1972 Summer Olympics where she was employed as a hostess, Silvia Sommerlath met Crown Prince Carl Gustaf. In a later interview, the King explained how it just "clicked" when they met. After the death of King Gustaf VI Adolf on 15 September 1973, Carl XVI Gustaf succeeded to the throne.

He and Silvia announced their engagement on 12 March 1976 and were married three months later, on 19 June in Stockholm Cathedral ("Storkyrkan Cathedral") in Stockholm.[4] It was the first marriage of a reigning Swedish monarch since 1797. 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 future queen.[5][6]

The King and Queen of Sweden have three children and seven grandchildren:

Father's alleged Nazi links[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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".[10]

Charity involvement[edit]

Queen Silvia in Oslo during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden

Queen Silvia established Mentor International in 1994 in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Her vision was to offer mentoring as inspiration, empowerment, and motivation for young people to make healthy life choices and view their futures more positively. Mentor's work has been recognized by the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, the Organization of American States, and the Council of Europe. She is now an honorary board member of Mentor Foundation.[11]

She was also a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation in 1999, having been inspired by her work as Patron of the first World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm.[12] She has also been involved in the Global Child Forum, which she helped initiate, as a keynote speaker in several forums.[13][14]

Her commitment to the work with dementia and the care of the elderly at the end of life is also well known and respected. On her initiative, Silviahemmet was established in Stockholm. It works to educate hospital personnel in how to work with people suffering from dementia, and also initiates research in the area.[15]

She chairs the Royal Wedding Fund, which supports research in sports and athletics for disabled young people[16] and the Queen Silvia Jubilee Fund for research on children and disability.[16]

Queen Silvia holds honorary positions in the Swedish Amateur Athletic Association, the Children's Cancer Foundation of Sweden and Save the Children Sweden.[16]

Honours and arms[edit]

Styles of
Queen Silvia as consort
Greater coat of arms of Silvia, Queen of Sweden.svg
Reference styleHer Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty





  1. ^ a b "Biography – Sveriges Kungahus" (in Swedish). Kungahuset.se. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Startpage". Childhood. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Essener LVR-Schule zu Gast bei Königin Silvia von Schweden" [Students of an LVR School in Essen visit Queen Silvia of Sweden] (in German). 8 April 2009. Archived from the original on 25 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  4. ^ Kilborn, Peter (20 June 1976). "Swedish Monarch Marries German as 150,000 Turn Out". The New York Times. p. 3. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Retro Romance: Sweden's Dancing Queen Silivia". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  6. ^ Dancing Queen Royal Swedish Opera by ABBA World Hit Song Track Theatrical Stage Act Video on YouTube
  7. ^ Berlin, by Allan Hall in. "Swedish queen's family 'made fortune from Jewish factory seized by Nazis'". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  8. ^ "Silvia klagade på naziprogram – i brev till TV 4:s vd". Aftonbladet. 31 December 2010.
  9. ^ "Swedish queen's report denies father had Nazi links". BBC News. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  10. ^ Åter med kungafamiljen, SvT Channel 1, 29 December 2011.
  11. ^ "ECEB Mentoring – A mentoring programme in the spotlight: Mentor International". www.ecebmentoring.eu. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  12. ^ "Startpage". Childhood. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  13. ^ "Queen Silvia of Sweden and HRH Princess Haya open Global Child Forum". Emirates News Agency. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  14. ^ Persson, Joakim (2016-05-10). "Queen Silvia of Sweden closes Global Child Forum". ScandAsia. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  15. ^ "History". Silvia Hemmet.
  16. ^ a b c "Queen Silvia – Royal Engagements". Kungahuset.
  17. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for a dinner in 1987. | Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara | Pinterest | Tiaras, Queens and Dinners". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  18. ^ "KÖNIGIN SILVIA-BERNADOTTE-Adel-Royal-ORIGINAL POSTCARD-Monarchie-Königshaus | eBay | Royals | Pinterest | Tiaras, Ebay and Queens". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  19. ^ "June 13, 2015.. The Royal ladies of Sweden... Queen Silvia of Sweden | ♔♛Royalty – Sweden♔♛ | Pinterest | Sweden, Queens and Royals". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  20. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for the 2012 Nobel Prize Ceremony and Dinner. | Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara | Pinterest | Sweden, Queens and Nobel Prize". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  21. ^ "Swedish Queen Silvia. She looks just like her daughter, Princess Victoria in this picture! | Royalty – Swedish Royal Family | Pinterest | Royal Families, Queen‌". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  22. ^ "Queen Silvia (Sue wrote, "A queen with tan lines, I love it." | History: European | Pinterest | Queens, Tan Lines and Sweden". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  23. ^ "Queen Slivia of sweden Photos: Christening of Princess Estelle of Sweden | Princess Estelle, Sweden and Queens". Pinterest.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  24. ^ "The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Royal Splendor 101: Family Jewel Foundations | Tiaras & trinkets | Pinterest | Sweden, Tiaras and Queens". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  25. ^ "elegantempress: Queen Silvia and Daniel on his wedding day to Crown Princess Victoria. This is a great pic! | Royalty – Swedish Royal Family | Pinterest | Wedd‌". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  26. ^ "Swedish Ruby Jubilee Part 1 | Reign, Queens and September". Pinterest.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  27. ^ Toast photo during the Gala Dinner Archived 2016-11-17 at the Wayback Machine of the State Visit of Argentine President to Sweden, on 1998-05-26. Ph: Erhan Güner/SCANPIX SWEDEN (Id:sdlsp098835).
  28. ^ "Photographic image". Corbisimages.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  29. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (PDF) (in German). p. 551. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  30. ^ "Princess Birgitta, wearing a diamond bracelet as a tiara. | Jewels, Royals, tiaras | Pinterest | Diamond Bracelets, Tiaras and Princesses". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  31. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for one of the dinners during the Swedish State Visit to Belgium in May 2001. | Nine Prong Tiara | Pinterest | Funny Faces, Belgiu…". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  32. ^ State visit of Sweden in Belgium 2001, Gala dinner, group photo Archived October 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ State visit of Lula da Silva in 2007, ANP Photo of Presidential & Royal couples
  34. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for a dinner during the Swedish State Visit to Brunei in February 2004. | Nine Prong Tiara | Pinterest | Tiaras, Queens and US sta…". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  35. ^ State visit of President Georgi Parvanov of Bulgaria in Sweden 2007, Gala dinner, group photo
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2017-01-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ "Sveriges Kungahus – Sveriges Kungahus". www.kungahuset.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  38. ^ [1]
  39. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for the dinner celebrating Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's Ruby Jubilee in January 2012. | Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara | Pinterest…". Pinterest.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  40. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for the last dinner during the Swedish State Visit to Denmark in May 2007. | Connaught Tiara | Pinterest | Denmark, Tiaras and Que…". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  41. ^ "Pure Danish Glitter". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  42. ^ "Vabariigi President". President.ee. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  43. ^ "Vabariigi President". President.ee. 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  44. ^ Swedish Royal Website (Swedish), Gala dinner with photos 1-6-7
  45. ^ "Noblesse et Royautés" website Archived January 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (French), State visit of Estonian presidential couple in Sweden (18-20/01/2011)
  46. ^ State visit of Finland in Sweden 2012, Photo of presidential and royal couples
  47. ^ "Six various photographic images". Reservoirphoto.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  48. ^ "HM Queen Silvia of Sweden wearing the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure from the Swedish Royal Jewels | Jewels Fit For A Queen | Pinterest | Queens, Royal Jewels an…". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  49. ^ Gallery on www.theroyalforums.com, State visit of President Johannes Rau in Sweden in 2003: Group photo
  50. ^ "Queen Silvia | Royal Style, Maternity Wear | Pinterest | Queens". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  51. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for the dinner during the German State Visit in May 2003. | Nine Prong Tiara | Pinterest | Tiaras, Queens and US states". Pinterest. 2014-12-26. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  52. ^ Gala dinner during the state visit of Greek President Karolos Papoulias (21/05/2008)
  53. ^ http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Vhxekqq2T44/U1vfPTLQ7aI/AAAAAAAAJks/IctVhv5a1Ok/s1600/1the+visit-HH.MM.+King+Carl+XVI+Gustaf+and+Queen+Silvia+of+Sweden+at+Vatican.jpg
  54. ^ "Photos and Pictures – Pope John Paul II with King Carl Gustav, Queen Silvia, Princess Madeleine, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Victoria 1991 Photo by Reportagebild-ipol-Globe Photos, Inc". Imagecollect.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  55. ^ Seegers Press, Photo from State visit of Swedish Royal Family in Iceland, theroyalforums.com; accessed 7 April 2016.
  56. ^ "Fálkaorðuhafar". Falkadb.forseti.is. 1981-10-26. Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  57. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for one of the dinners during the Swedish State Visit to Iceland in September 2004. | Nine Prong Tiara | Pinterest | Iceland, Tiar…". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  58. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for one of the dinners during the Swedish State Visit to Iceland in June 1987. | Connaught Tiara | Pinterest | Iceland, Tiaras and…". Pinterest. 2015-01-18. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  59. ^ Italian Presidency website, S.M. Silvia la Regina di Svezia Archived September 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italian
  60. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for the second dinner during the Swedish State Visit to Japan in March 2007. | Connaught Tiara | Pinterest | Tiaras, Queens and US…". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  61. ^ Getty images, State visit of Sweden in Japan 2007.
  62. ^ State visit of Jordan in Sweden (2003), Group photo of Swedish & Jordanian sovereigns wearing reciprocal orders
  63. ^ State visit of Latvia in Sweden (2005), Gala dinner, Group photo
  64. ^ vestnesis.lv. "Par Atzinības krusta piešķiršanu – Latvijas Vēstnesis". www.vestnesis.lv (in Latvian). Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  65. ^ "Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentė" (in Lithuanian). Lrp.lt. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  66. ^ "Lithuanian president: Swedish royal visit is consolidation of bonds between the countries – News in English – LRT". Lrt.lt. 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  67. ^ Swedish Royal website, kungahuset.se; accessed 7 April 2016. (in Swedish)
    State visit of Grand-Dukes of Luxembourg in Sweden, gala dinner (15 April 2008)
  68. ^ "Visite d´Etat en Suède – Cour Grand-Ducale de Luxembourg – Avril 2008". Monarchie.lu. 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  69. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for the dinner during the Luxembourg State Visit in April 2008. | Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara | Pinterest | Luxembourg, Tiaras and…". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  70. ^ State Visit of Malaysian King in Sweden, 2005, King Carl XVI Gustav & Queen Silvia during gala dinner, theroyalforums.com; accessed 7 April 2016.
  71. ^ "The Royal Watcher : Photo". Royalwatcher.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  72. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang, dan Pingat Persekutuan".
  73. ^ https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/56/84/f1/5684f1525d093174d06deb8aa5fa67fa.jpg
  74. ^ "Noblesse et Royautés" Archived December 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (French), State visit of Sweden in the Netherlands (04/2007), Gala dinner
  75. ^ "King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Sonja of Norway, Queen Silvia of Sweden, and King Harald V of Norway attend a dinner gala during the Swedish … | Pinteres…". Pinterest.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  76. ^ "Queen Silvia of Sweden wearing the Braganza (or Bragança) tiara. Composed of arabesques, flowers, and leaves depicted in diamonds and mounted in go… | Pinteres…". Pinterest.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  77. ^ "King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway with Crown Princess Victoria, Queen Silvia, and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden during the Norwegian State V… | Pinteres…". Pinterest.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  78. ^ "Photographic image". Gpdhome.typepad.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  79. ^ Portuguese Presidency Website, Orders search form Archived 2013-01-17 at the Wayback Machine : type "RAINHA SÍLVIA" in "nome", then click "Pesquisar"
  80. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for a dinner during the State Visit to Portugal in September/October 1986. | Nine Prong Tiara | Pinterest | Tiaras, Portugal and Q‌". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  81. ^ Portuguese Presidency, King Carl XVI receives the Grand Collar of the Order of Saint James of the Sword and Queen Silvia receives the Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry : Photo.
  82. ^ "Queen Silvia wore this tiara for the first dinner during the Swedish State Visit to Portugal in May 2008. | Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara | Pinterest | Tiaras, P…". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  83. ^ Recipients of Order of the Star of Romania (Excel file) Archived July 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, canord.presidency.ro; accessed 7 April 2015. (in Romanian)
  84. ^ PPE Agency Photo among gala dinner gallery, ppe-agency.com; accessed 7 April 2016.
  85. ^ "Vestidos de Gala de la Reina Sofía | Jewels, Royals, tiaras | Pinterest | Vestidos, Tiaras and Spanish". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  86. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado, boe.es; accessed 7 April 2016. (in Spanish)
  87. ^ "Statsbesök från Tunisien – dag 1 – Sveriges Kungahus". Kungahuset.se. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  88. ^ Hellen Electra (2015-11-04). "NEWMYROYALS & HOLLYWOOD FASHION: Banquet for President Beji Caid Essebsi at the Stockholm Palace". Newmyroyals.com. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  89. ^ "Queen Silvia of Sweden | Favorite Royals | Pinterest | Sweden, Diamond Tiara and White Gowns". Pinterest. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  90. ^ State visit of Sweden in Thailand, 2003, Gala dinner
  91. ^ Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, zakon1.rada.gov.ua; accessed 7 April 2016.(in Ukrainian)
  92. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Content.foreningshuset.se. Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  93. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Content.foreningshuset.se. Retrieved 2016-04-07.

External links[edit]

Silvia Sommerlath
Born: 23 December 1943
Swedish royalty
Title last held by
Louise Mountbatten
Queen consort of Sweden