Gustaf VI Adolf, Kung av Sverige (King of Sweden)

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King Gustaf VI Adolf Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Bernadotte, King of Sweden

Swedish: Gustav Vl. Adolf Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Bernadotte, Kung av Sverige
Also Known As: "Gustaf VI Adolf"
Birthdate: (90)
Birthplace: Stockholms slott, Stockholm, Sverige
Death: September 15, 1973 (90)
Helsingborgs lasarett, Helsingborg, Skåne, Sverige (pneumonia)
Place of Burial: Solna, Stockholm, Sverige
Immediate Family:

Son of Kung Gustaf V av Sverige and Victoria Drottning av Sverige
Husband of Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah of Great Britain and Ireland, Princess, Crownprincess of Sweden, Duchess of Scania and Louise Mountbatten, Queen consort of Sweden
Father of Gustaf Adolf Bernadotte; Sigvar Bernadotte; Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta Bernadotte av Sverige, Princess, Queen Consort of Denmark; Hertig Bertil av Halland, Sveriges arvfurste.; Carl Johan Bernadotte, count of Wisborg and 1 other
Brother of Prince Wilhelm, Duke of Södermanland and Prins Eric Gustav Bernadotte i Sverige
Half brother of Verner Larsson

Occupation: Statschef, King of Sweden, Yk:n rauhansovittelija Arabien-israelin konfliktissa 1947-19 Kreivi, Kronprins
Managed by: Günther Kipp
Last Updated:

About Gustaf VI Adolf, Kung av Sverige (King of Sweden)

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Predecessor: Gustaf V Successor: Carl XVI Gustaf


Gustaf VI Adolf was King of Sweden from 29 October 1950 until his death. He was the eldest son of King Gustaf V and his wife, Victoria of Baden, and had been Crown Prince of Sweden for the preceding 43 years in the reign of his father.

Gustaf VI Adolf was a lifelong amateur archeologist particularly interested in Ancient Italian cultures.

He was born at the Royal Palace in Stockholm and at birth created Duke of Scania. A patrilineal member of the Bernadotte family, he was also a descendant of the House of Vasa through maternal lines. Through his mother, Victoria, he was a descendant of Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden of the deposed House of Holstein-Gottorp.

Gustaf Adolf became Crown Prince of Sweden on 8 December 1907, on the death of his grandfather, King Oscar II.

In 1938 he was elected an honorary member of the Virginia Society of the Cincinnati.

On 29 October 1950, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf became king at age 67 upon the death of his father, King Gustaf V. He was at the time the world's oldest heir apparent to a monarchy (this in turn was broken by Charles, Prince of Wales on 2 November 2016). His personal motto was Plikten framför allt, "Duty before all".

During Gustaf VI Adolf's reign, work was underway on a new Instrument of Government to replace the 1809 constitution and produce reforms consistent with the times. Among the reforms sought by some Swedes was the replacement of the monarchy or at least some moderation of the old constitution's provision that "The King alone shall govern the realm."

Gustaf VI Adolf's personal qualities made him popular among the Swedish people and, in turn, this popularity led to strong public opinion in favour of the retention of the monarchy. Gustaf VI Adolf's expertise and interest in a wide range of fields (architecture and botany being but two) made him respected, as did his informal and modest nature and his purposeful avoidance of pomp. While the monarchy had been de facto subordinate to the Riksdag and ministers since 1917, the king still nominally retained considerable reserve powers. Even these nominal powers were removed when Sweden's constitutional reform became complete in 1975, thus making Gustaf Adolf the last monarch to wield even nominal political power.

The King died in 1973, ten weeks shy of his 91st birthday, at the old hospital in Helsingborg, Scania, close to his summer residence, Sofiero Castle, after a deterioration in his health that culminated in pneumonia. He was succeeded on the throne by his 27-year-old grandson Carl XVI Gustaf, son of the late Prince Gustaf Adolf. He died the day before the election of 1973, which is suggested to have swayed it in support of the incumbent Social Democratic government. In a break with tradition, he was not buried in Riddarholmskyrkan in Stockholm, but in the Royal Cemetery in Haga alongside his two deceased wives. He was the last surviving son of Gustaf V.

Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf meets some English footballers (c. 1910–1915). The King's reputation as a "professional amateur professor" was widely known; nationally and internationally, and among his relatives. Gustaf VI Adolf was a devoted archaeologist, and was admitted to the British Academy for his work in botany in 1958. Gustaf VI Adolf participated in archaeological expeditions in China, Greece, Korea and Italy, and founded the Swedish Institute in Rome.

Gustaf VI Adolf had an enormous private library consisting of 80 000 volumes and – nearly more impressively – he actually had read the main part of the books. He had an interest in specialist literature on Chinese art and East Asian history. Throughout his life, King Gustaf VI Adolf was particularly interested in the history of civilization, and he participated in several archaeological expeditions. His other great area of interest was botany, concentrating in flowers and gardening. He was considered an expert on the Rhododendron flower. At Sofiero Castle (the king's summer residence) he created one of the very finest Rhododendron collections.

Like his sons, Prince Gustaf Adolf and Prince Bertil, Gustaf VI Adolf maintained wide, lifelong interests in sports. He enjoyed tennis and golf, and fly fishing for charity. He was president of the Swedish Olympic Committee and the Swedish Sports Confederation from their foundations and until 1933, and these positions were then taken over by his sons in succession, Gustaf Adolf until 1947 and then Bertil until 1997.

Then Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf with his first wife Crown Princess Margareta and children in 1912. Gustaf Adolf married Princess Margaret of Connaught on 15 June 1905 in St. George's Chapel, at Windsor Castle. Princess Margaret was the daughter of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of the United Kingdom.

King Gustaf VI Adolf and Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden had five children:

Name Birth Death Notes Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten 22 April 1906 26 January 1947 (aged 40) died in a plane crash at Copenhagen Airport, father of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland 7 June 1907 4 February 2002 (aged 94) later Sigvard Count of Wisborg Princess Ingrid 28 March 1910 7 November 2000 (aged 90) later Queen of Denmark; wife of Frederick IX of Denmark and mother of the present Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland 28 February 1912 5 January 1997 (aged 84) married Lillian Davies, no issue Prince Carl Johan, Duke of Dalarna 31 October 1916 5 May 2012 (aged 95) later Carl Johan Count of Wisborg. Crown Princess Margaret died suddenly on 1 May 1920 of an infection following surgery. At the time, she was eight months pregnant and expecting her sixth child.

Gustaf Adolf married Lady Louise Mountbatten, formerly Princess Louise of Battenberg, on 3 November 1923 at St. James's Palace. She was the sister of Lord Mountbatten and aunt of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It was Lady Louise who became Queen of Sweden. Both Queen Louise and her stepchildren were great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

His second marriage produced only one stillborn daughter on 30 May 1925.

While his first wife visited her native Britain in the early years of their marriage, it was widely rumored in Sweden that Gustaf Adolf had an affair there with operetta star Rosa Grünberg. Swedish vocalist Carl E. Olivebring (1919–2002) in a press interview claimed to be an extramarital son of Gustaf VI Adolf, a claim taken seriously by the king's biographer Kjell Fridh (1944–1998).

King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden was the grandfather of his direct successor King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and also of former Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

Om Gustaf VI Adolf, Kung av Sverige (King of Sweden) (Dansk)

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Predecessor: Gustaf V Successor: Carl XVI Gustaf

About Gustav Vl. Adolf Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Bernadotte, Kung av Sverige (svenska)

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Predecessor: Gustaf V Successor: Carl XVI Gustaf

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Gustaf VI Adolf, Kung av Sverige (King of Sweden)'s Timeline

1882
November 11, 1882
Stockholm, Sverige
November 11, 1882
- December 8, 1907
Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
1883
January 14, 1883
Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
1906
April 22, 1906
Age 23
Stockholm, Sverige
1907
June 7, 1907
Age 24
Ekerö, Stockholm County, Sweden
December 8, 1907
- October 29, 1950
Age 25
Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
1910
March 28, 1910
Age 27
Stockholm, Sverige
1912
February 28, 1912
Age 29
Stockholm, Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden
1916
October 31, 1916
Age 33
Stockholm, Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden