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Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf’s birthday celebrations

This year, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II isn’t the only monarch celebrating a milestone birthday. Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf will turn seventy on 30 April. The popular monarch has been on the throne for 42 years. His family and the people of Sweden are giving him five days of festivities to welcome him in to his next decade.

Many of the events will take place at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. Some of which include lavish banquets, carriage processions, concerts and a 21 gun salute. The celebrations will begin on 25 April.

On Saturday 30 April, the King’s actual birthday, the festivities will begin at 8am in the morning. Following tradition from past birthday celebrations, 43 Swedish flags will be raised in the outer courtyard of the royal palace on Skeppsbron while a royal band plays.

The royal family will then attend the Te Deum thanksgiving service to be held in the royal chapel. All his children with Queen Silvia, Crowned Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip will attend. Whether Princess Sofia will attend is questionable as she is do to give birth at any time. Running concurrently with the service, Grenadier Guards from the Life Guards will parade at the South Gate.

Later that morning, King Carl will exit the West Gate as the army band plays a parade march. He will greet well-wishers in the outer courtyard and receive flowers from children. At exactly 12 pm noon, a 21 gun salute will ring out from Skeppsholmen, an island around Stockholm. Others will join the parade march including scouts and members of the armed forces as they make their way through the city, passing landmarks such as city Hall.

The king and his exclusive guests will dine at a royal reception followed by a lavish banquet at the palace’s state hall. The king, along with his family will then take to the palace balcony where he can wave to the crowds of well-wishers.

The evening before will feature a concert that will take place at the Nordic Museum of Stockholm. It is to be followed by a private reception for His Majesty and the royal family. In attendance will also be friends, Swedish dignataries and other royal guests that could include Queen Margrethe II of denmark and the King and Queen of Spain.

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