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European RoyalsSweden

The King and Queen of Sweden celebrate 500 years of the Swedish Navy

Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf
Frankie Fouganthin / CC BY-SA Wiki Commons

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were on hand to help celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Swedish Navy over the weekend, with the King calling the navy one to be proud of.

The royals were the guests of honour at the dinner, hosted at the Stockholm City Hall and organised by the municipality and the Naval Officers’ Association. Among the guests were members, past and present, of the Swedish Navy, and representatives from navies all over the world.

In a speech, King Carl XVI Gustaf reminisced about his own naval career, saying: “For me, personally, the navy has a special meaning. As many of you know, I had my basic military training in the navy. And I have many fond memories from my time on the cadet training vessel HMS Älvsnabben, on which we sailed around the world.

“The friendship and duty made it an unforgettable experience, that I carry with me even today.

“Since those early days, I have continued to follow the navy and its development through many decades.”

The King also recalled the story of the Swedish Navy’s formation and how the soon-to-be King Gustav Vassa purchased the ships that would launch the beginning of Sweden as a sovereign nation.

“So, I must thank my predecessor for buying those ships,” he quipped.

King Carl XVI Gustaf celebrates his Golden Jubilee in 2023, having succeeded his grandfather in September 1973.

The King continued: “The story of the ten war ships shows the close ties between our navy and the very existence of our nation.

“And those ties live on today, as our navy keeps a watchful eye on the horizon. Every hour of every day. Through the years and the centuries.

“Ladies and gentlemen. Your service under the Swedish flag is a strong and vital link. A link in an unbroken chain that stretches through history. From Gustav Vasa into the future. Be proud of that task and carry the torch to the next generation of naval officers.

“If you do, in 500 years, I hope that my successor will also be able to toast the naval officers of a free, prosperous, and peaceful nation.”

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.