SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


A stunning gala dinner to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of King Carl XVI Gustaf

With his family, the royal families of Denmark and Sweden, and gathered dignitaries surrounding him as the sun set on his Golden Jubilee, King Carl XVI Gustaf told guests, “No monarch in Sweden has had the privilege of serving as long as I have.”

It was a touching scene inside the Rikssalen at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on Friday evening as the King wrapped up a day of festivities to mark the exact anniversary of his accession to the Swedish throne 50 years ago.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia—dressed in a beautiful yellow gown and the stunning Braganza Tiara—led guests into the banquet hall. Inside, the King and his cousin Queen Margrethe of Denmark, who celebrated her own Golden Jubilee last year—walked to the head table while Queen Silvia and King Harald of Norway walked behind them.

SVT/Screenshot/Fair Use

Queen Sonja of Norway and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway rounded out the royals at the head table.

Scattered inside the hall, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, Princess Madeleine, Christopher O’Neill, and Princess Christina dined at tables with other guests.

SVT/Screenshot/Fair Use

In a speech, King Carl XVI Gustaf expressed his appreciation for being trusted with the job he’s held since 1973, saying: “My feelings about the office are the same today as then: pride, gratitude and humility.

“To be able to represent a country that is a stable democracy, a peaceful and solidary country, is a favour. And it is a great honour that the heads of state of the other Nordic countries are here with us tonight. It marks our trust and community with each other.”

SVT/Screenshot/Fair Use

Of his bride, he said, “Three years after I took office, Sweden got a Queen. I could never have had a better life partner. I am so happy, lucky and impressed by her efforts for everyone’s country for so many years.”

And he said of Crown Princess Victoria, “To be a link in a long chain is a great benefit. With love and confidence, I regard Crown Princess Victoria’s dedication and focus in the task of representing Sweden.”

SVT/Screenshot/Fair Use

His eldest daughter and heir gave her speech, beginning with “Dear Father.”

Over several minutes, Crown Princess Victoria praised him as the King of Sweden, her father, and her role model. “You are a constant. A safety. For me, and for many others. And I am so happy to celebrate this historic anniversary together with you and all of Sweden.”

She added: “To walk with you, through the palace’s corridors and halls, on your way to a council or a foreign affairs committee. Or to accompany you when you perform your duties around Sweden. It’s not entirely unlike a trip in the mountains. You get to listen and learn, lean back and engage. Sometimes it goes fast! Then you can increase the pace.

“Regardless of the weather, mood or day: you always push forward. You and Mom together. The pace, it’s fast. Cancelling is out of the question. The strong sense of duty that drives you—it’s probably a bit old-fashioned. But also completely necessary, in order to cope with the task that you were given to shoulder at such a young age.”

SVT/Screenshot/Fair Use

As she ended her speech, she again thanked her father, telling him, “I am proud and grateful to follow in your footsteps. Tonight I want to say thank you. Thank you for all you have done, and for all you do.

“For your country. For your family. And for me.”

The Crown Princess’s speech was followed by a tender moment where father and daughter met eyes across the table and toasted each other with their drinks. Andreas Norlén, the Speaker of the Riksdag, and Ulf Kristersson, the Prime Minister, also gave speeches in tribute to the King.

SVT/Screenshot/Fair Use

Tomorrow, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will participate in a procession through Stockholm before joining the wider Swedish Royal Family for a concert at Norrbro.

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.