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Happy birthday King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden: 10 facts about the royal

30 April 2014
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King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden celebrated his 68th birthday on Wednesday 30 April. To honour the reigning Swedish monarch's birthday, HELLO! Online has gathered a list of ten facts you may not have known about the popular King. 
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden© Photo: Getty Images

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden 1. Carl Gustaf was born on 30 April 1946 at the Haga Palace in Solna, Stockholm County, as the only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibyalla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.2. Nine months after he was born, his father Prince Gustaf Adolf was killed in an airplane crash meaning the little prince was now second-in-line to the throne, behind his grandfather the then Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf. However, when his great-grandfather Gustaf V died at the age of 50, the four-year-old Carl Gustaf became the heir apparent of Sweden.3. Just like Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, Carl Gustaf is a huge supporter of the Scouts and is the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden© Photo: Getty Images

King Carl and the future Queen Silvia married in 1976 4. The prince is a passionate collector of automobiles and owns several Porsche 911s, which is said to be the Swedish monarch's favourite.5. In June 1976 just three years after Carl Gustaf had become King, Sweden celebrated as he married Silvia Sommerlath, who he had met at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The couple were cheered on by huge crowds after their nuptials, which took place at the Stockholm Cathedral.6. The night before, both King Carl Gustaf and his future wife Silvia had been serenaded by ABBA at the Royal Variety Performance, where the supergroup performed Dancing Queen in honour of the wedding.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden© Photo: Getty Images

King Carl and Queen Silvia welcomed their first child Victoria in 1977 7. In July 1977, the new royal couple welcomed their first child Crown Princess Victoria, who was followed by Prince Carl Philip in 1979 and Princess Madeleine in 1982.8. Like many royals, the Swedish King is very sportive and enjoys riding, water sports and sailing. Carl Gustaf also participated in the famous Vasa Ski Race in 1977, 1987 and 1997.9. The King shares his birthday with actress Kirsten Dunst, Glee star Dianna Agron and country singer Willie Nelson.10. As one of Europe's youngest monarchs and with his modern touch, King Carl Gustaf has been credited with helping continue support and admiration for the Swedish Royal Family.

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