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Queen Silvia of Sweden turns 71: ten facts about the royal

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Queen Silvia of Sweden celebrates her 71st birthday on 23 December. To honour the Swedish consort's birthday, HELLO! Online have gathered ten facts about the royal you may not know.

queen silvia © Photo: Getty Images

Happy Birthday to Queen Silvia, who turns 71 on 23 December

 1. Silvia was born on 23 December 1943 in Heidelberg, Germany, to parents Walther and Alice Sommerlath.2. In 1972, during the Summer Olympics in Germany, Silvia met the then Crown Prince Carl Gustaf where the pair "just clicked" according to the prince.

queen silvia3 © Photo: Getty Images

The queen consort pictured with her mother Alice Sommerlath in 1944

3. A year later in September 1973, Carl Gustaf succeeded to the Swedish throne and three years later the couple announced their engagement.4. In June 1976 royals from around the world gathered at Stockholm Cathedral for the first wedding of a reigning Swedish monarch since 1797. The night before the wedding, super band ABBA performed their hit Dancing Queen on national television in tribute to their future queen.

queen silvia4 © Photo: Getty Images

The royal couple married in 1976

5. Since becoming a member of the Swedish royal family, Silvia has championed many charities close to her heart including helping disadvantaged children and preventing sexual exploitation of children. In 1999, she co-founded the World Childhood Foundation. 6. Silvia is also respected for her work bringing dementia and dyslexia to the public arena in Sweden.

queen silvia2 © Photo: Getty Images

King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia have three children together

7. In 1977 Silvia and her husband, King Carl XVI Gustaf, welcomed their first child Crown Princess Victoria, who was followed by Prince Carl Philip in 1979 and Princess Madeleine in 1982.8. The Swedish royal shares her birthday with former Blue Peter host Matt Baker and France's former First Lady Carla Bruni.9. In February 2012 Queen Silvia became a grandmother for the first time when daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, gave birth to her first child, Princess Estelle.

queen silvia1 © Photo: Getty Images

Queen Silvia with her first granddaughter, Princess Estelle

10. Silvia became the longest serving Queen of Sweden in 2011.

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