Monday, November 29, 1999

FACTBOX - Sweden`s Royal Family

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REUTERS - Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling are to marry on Saturday.Here are some details on the wedding and on Sweden's royal family:* THE EVENT:-- The royal wedding celebrations will last several days, and include a private dinner at Drottningholm Palace, a lunch at the City Hall of Stockholm and a gala performance at the Stockholm Concert Hall.-- Crown Princess Victoria will be escorted down the aisle by her father, King Carl XVI Gustav, in a decision that is considered old-fashioned and quite controversial in Sweden, where couples normally walk to the altar together.-- As Crown Princess Victoria's husband, commoner Daniel Westling will be granted the title H.R.H. Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland.* ROYAL ANCESTRY AND A CONTROVERSY:-- Gustav V, who succeeded to the throne in 1907, disliked pomp and refused a coronation thus becoming the first uncrowned King of Sweden.-- At the approach of World War One, he challenged the government to increase defence spending in an attempt to assert the personal power of the monarchy. He was the last Swedish king to intervene directly in the politics of the country.-- Immediate demands for his abdication were quashed by the actual outbreak of war in August 1914, when Sweden mobilized but remained neutral.-- During World War Two, Gustav, despite German sympathies, came to symbolize the unity of the nation. He died in 1950 having become the longest reigning king so far in Swedish history.* A NEW GENERATION:-- King Gustav VI, the son of Gustav V, succeeded to the throne in 1950 at the age of 67. He had married Lady Louise Mountbatten, sister of Earl Montbatten of Burma in 1923 and on his accession, Louise became the first British-born queen in Swedish history.-- His first marriage to Margareta, who died in 1920, had produced five children. The eldest son and heir to the throne, Gustaf Adolf, was killed in an air crash in 1947.-- It therefore fell to Gustav VI's grandson to succeed to the throne on the king's death in 1973.-- King Carl XVI Gustav, born in 1946, is the seventh sovereign in the house of Bernadotte.-- He is head of state but does not preside over cabinet meetings in accordance with the 1975 constitution. He is also not head of the armed forces.-- He married commoner Silvia Sommerlath in 1976 and they have three children of whom Crown Princess Victoria is the eldest.Sources: Reuters/Chambers Biographical Dictionary/ by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;)

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