A right royal gathering Saturday in Stockholm for the 70th birthday bash of King Carl XVI Gustaf. Royals from far and near gathered in the sunny Swedish capital to honour the king, who this year marks 43 years on the throne. Spanish king-emeritus Juan Carlos and queen Sofia ventured outside of Spain for the first time together since April 2014, when Juan Carlos was still reigning monarch. Also present was former Dutch queen Beatrix, and the former tsar (king) and queen of the Bulgarians, Simeon II and Margarita.
Notably absent from the festivities were the king and queen of neighbouring Norway, along with Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. They cancelled their trip after a helicopter crash killed 13 on Friday. The Norwegian royal huse will still represented though, by Princess Märtha Louise and husband Ari Behn.
There was a royal debut: Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel decided to bring their two months old Prince Oscar to the musical tribute to the King in front of the Palace. Princess Estelle enjoyed times on the arms of her father and of her uncle, Prince Carl Philip. He and his wife Princess Sofia, who made her first public appearance since giving birth earlier this month, kept their baby son Prince Alexander out of sight. Princess Madeleine and husband Chris O'Neill did the same with their two children.
The festivities for the king's birthday already started on Monday, and found their high point in a festive concert Friday evening in the Nordic Museum. Crown Princess Victoria gave a poignant tribute to her father, and some of the foreign royal guests already joined in, e.g. the Bulgarian royal couple, Crown Princess Margarita of Romania and husband Prince Radu, and Serbian Crown Prince Aleksandar and Crown Princess Katherine.
Saturday's celebrations started with a service of Thanksgiving at the Royal Chapel, attended by king Juan Carlos, queen Sofia, queen Margrethe and Princess Benedikte, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Takamodo of Japan, along with the extended Swedish royal familiy, including the king's four elder sisters Margaretha, Birgitta, Desirée and Christina.
© RB Hans Jacobs; Screenshots SVT