Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Royal Rio 2016: the arrival of the Queen of Sweden

The King and Queen of Sweden have arrived at the Rio Olympics
(photo kungahuset.se/ Peter Knutson)

If ever the Rio Olympics were made for a royal, it was Queen Silvia. These games have plenty of reasons to be special for Sweden's longest reigning consort and the performance of her country's team is just one of them. Silvia's royal romance began at the Olympics while the host nation of Brazil was also her home for part of her childhood and the country where her mother was born. These games have plenty of meaning for Queen Silvia.

The Queen of Sweden arrived in Rio with her husband, King Carl XVI Gustaf, at the weekend and they didn't leave it long to head out and see some Olympic action although Silvia had a reason to cheer for both sides in the sport she watched.

The royal couple were courtside for a handball game between Sweden and Brazil with the European team coming out on top. There are plenty more big Olympics moments for them to enjoy in the coming days - this time round, Swedish royal representation at the Games is down to them as their three children stay at home with their five grandchildren.

Silvia and Carl Gustaf's royal romance is one of the most famous to come from the Olympics. Silvia Sommerlath went to the 1972 Olympics in Munich as an educational host. She met the then Crown Prince of Sweden who famously said later that they just 'clicked'. The following year, he became his country's king on the death of his very traditional grandfather who had been insistent on royals only marrying royals. In 1976, Silvia became Queen of Sweden when she said 'I do' to Carl Gustaf in Stockholm. Earlier this summer, they marked their ruby wedding and Silvia's 40th anniversary as her country's consort.

So these Olympics will be very special for this particular queen. They'll also be a chance for a bit of a break before heading back for an already packed autumn which will start in style with the christening of her youngest grandson, Prince Alexander, who was born in April. In the meantime, these few days are all about the King of Sweden and his queen whose path to a throne is linked forever to Brazil and the Olympics.

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