ROYALS OUT IN FORCE AT KING'S BIRTHDAY BASH

1 MAY 2006

Leading royals from all over Europe gathered in the Swedish capital of Stockholm over the weekend when King Carl Gustaf marked his 60th birthday. The households of Monaco, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain were all represented as the Scandinavian monarch hosted a day of lavish celebrations.

Denmark's Crown Princess Mary was stunning in an off-the-shoulder creation when she made her entrance at Drottingholm Palace on the arm of her father-in-law Prince Henrik. And Norway's Mette-Marit, who was accompanied by her husband Crown Prince Haakon, made an equally elegant impression in her draped, floor-length number.

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima were on hand to offer congratulations on behalf of the Dutch royal family, while Albert of Monaco was there to represent his glamorous homeland.

The calibre of the guest list wasn't the only thing making Saturday's party an unforgettable event, though, as Carl Gustaf was also showered with countless gifts. These ranged from the state portrait he received from Sweden's parliament to homemade cheesecake and jellies brought to his home by members of the public.

Stockholm's police department even gave the sovereign a global satellite positioning system, prompting his daughter Princess Madeline to joke that the gadget would likely take over from Queen Silvia as official royal map reader.

The first in line, Crown Princess Victoria, was likewise enjoying the festivities with her boyfriend Daniel Westling, but perhaps the most significant sign of her father's enormous popularity was the huge number of royal fans who gathered outside the palace to show their support.

The sovereign, who has been on the throne for 33 years, was greeted by a deafening roar of approval when he and his wife appeared on the balcony of their magnificent home. The people of Sweden took Carl Gustaf into their hearts many years ago when, as a baby, he lost his father in a plane crash.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
King Carl Gustaf was greeted by thousands of royal fans when he appeared on the balcony of Drottingholm Palace. His wife Queen Silvia and children Victoria, Carl Philip and Madeleine were there to share the moment with himPhoto: © AFPClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Denmark's Crown Princess Mary makes her entrance with father-in-law Prince HenrikPhoto: © AFP
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