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Queen Silvia of Sweden

  (Redirected from Silvia Sommerlath)

Queen Silvia of Sweden (born Silvia Renate Sommerlath on 23 December 1943) is the spouse of King Carl XVI Gustaf and mother of the heir apparent to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria. In 2011, Silvia became the longest-serving queen of Sweden, a record previously held by Sophia of Nassau.

Silvia
Queen Silvia of Sweden, June 8, 2013 (cropped).jpg
Queen Silvia, 8 June 2013
Queen consort of Sweden
Tenure 19 June 1976 – present
Born Silvia Renate Sommerlath
(1943-12-23) 23 December 1943 (age 74)
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Spouse
Issue Crown Princess Victoria
Prince Carl Philip
Princess Madeleine
Father Walther Sommerlath
Mother Alice Soares de Toledo
Religion Church of Sweden
Signature Silvia's signature

Contents

Childhood and parentageEdit

Silvia Renate Sommerlath was born in Heidelberg, 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 two older brothers: Ralf and Walther Sommerlath. They and their families were guests at the 2010 wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling [2] and the wedding of Princess Madeleine in 2013. Her third brother, Jörg Sommerlath, died in 2006. The Mother-Child House Jörg Sommerlath in Berlin, operated by Queen Silvia's World Childhood Foundation,[3] is named after him.

She has some fluency in Swedish Sign Language, a national sign language used by the deaf community in Sweden.[4]

Marriage and familyEdit

During the 1972 Summer Olympics, 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.[5] 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.[6][7]

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

Father's Nazi reported linksEdit

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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".[11]

Charity involvementEdit

 
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.[12]

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.[13] She has also been involved in the Global Child Forum, which she helped initiate, as a keynote speaker in several forums. [14][15]

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.[16]

Honours and awardsEdit

Styles of
Queen Silvia as consort
 
Reference style Her Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Ma'am

HonoursEdit

National honoursEdit

Foreign honoursEdit

AwardsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

Silvia Sommerlath
Born: 23 December 1943
Swedish royalty
Vacant
Title last held by
Louise Mountbatten
Queen consort of Sweden
1976–present
Incumbent