Saturday, 30 April 2016

King Carl XVI Gustaf's birthday: the Te Deum

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden arrive at the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace in Stockholm for the Te Deum on April 30th 2016, the monarch's 70th birthday

It has been a day of happy celebrations. King Carl XVI Gustaf turned 70 and the party started early and ended late, as all birthdays should. It was a day of surprises and smiles and it all started in the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace with a Te Deum.

The King and Queen of Sweden at the Te Deum surrounded by their royal guests

The service began at 10am local time and in the minutes before, royal guests from around the world had taken their seats. Among the first to arrive were King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, making a rare public appearance together.

Prince Albert II of Monaco was there - Princess Charlene stayed at home to look after their twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella who are now sixteen months old.  The King and Queen of Norway along with Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit missed the day, staying at home to mourn with their fellow country men and women following the helicopter crash which claimed thirteen lives on Friday. 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was there bright and early for the Te Deum in marvellous mint - one of the outfits of the day.

Princess Madeleine and her husband, Chris O'Neill, arrived soon afterwards with the princess in pink and patterns and looking rather pretty.

And then, as expected, Princess Sofia broke royal records and made a first public appearance just eleven days after giving birth. On the arm of her husband, Prince Carl Philip, Sofia looked stunning in pale pink and very smiley. Motherhood suits her.

Almost eight weeks after giving birth to her second child, Crown Princess Victoria was in top form as she attended the ceremony with husband, Prince Daniel, and Princess Estelle who just about stole the show with another display of well behaved cuteness.

Victoria, Estelle and Daniel of Sweden arrive for the Te Deum on King Carl XVI Gustaf's birthday

And then it was time for the arrival of the birthday king. Carl XVI Gustaf, with his queen, Silvia, looked rather moved as he walked through the chapel for this short and simple ceremony of thanks. 

Surrounded by his royal relatives and friends, he began his birthday celebrations in a quiet and emotional way with a Te Deum lit by sunshine.


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