Swedish Royalty: Gustav VI Adolf


Figure 1.--

Gustav VI was born in 1882 at Stockholm, Sweden. He mairred Margaret Victoria Wettin in 1905 at Windor Castle, England. The royal crown couple had five children: Gustav Adolf, Sigvard Oscar Fredrik (Count of Wisborg), Ingrid Victoria, Bertil Gustaf Oscar, and Carl Johan Arthur (Count of Wisborg). Gustaf VI at an advanced age inherited a very different crown than his father and served in less monentous times, rising to the throne after World War II (1939-45). Gustaf VI Adolf strictly observed the rules which had emerged for a constitutional monarchy during his reign, 1950-73. His personal qualities were in tune with developments and perhaps more than any other of the admittedly few contemporary monarchs he helped to create a new type of kingship--a democratic monarchy. Practically throughout the reign of Gustaf VI Adolf work was being done on a new Constitution, one which in 1975 replaced the 1809 Constitution. During the period the constitutional reform was being prepared, Gustaf VI Adolf probably meant more than anyone else for the perpetuation of the monarchy in Sweden.

Parents

Gustaf VI Adolf was the son of the future king Gustav V (1858- ) and Victoria of Baden (1862- ). Her parents were Zähringen, Frederick I of Baden (1826- ), Grand Duke of Baden and the Prussian Pincess Louise of Hohenzollern (1838).

Childhood

Gustav VI was born in 1882 at Stockholm, Sweden. HBRC at this time has little information on Gustav's childhood.

Childhood Clothes

HBRC at this time has little information on Gustav's childhood clothing.

Education

Gustav studied at the University of Uppsala.

Early Life

Gustav entered the army in 1902 and by 1932 had risen to the rank of general.



Figure 2.--The four older Swedish royal children are seen here in 1915. Prince Bertil on the left, born in 1912 wears a white dress with a "broderi". This seems to be a Danish or Sweedish word meaning embroidery, and refers to the ornate decoration of Bertils blouse, better seen seen in the figure 3 enlargement.

First Marriage

Prince Gustaf married Margaret Victoria Wettin in 1905 at Windor Castle, England. Her parents were Arthur William Patrick Wettin, English Duke Connaught & Strathearn and the German Princess Louise Margaret Hohenzollern of Prussia, Duchess of Clarence. Through his first marriage, to Princess Margaret of Connaught, who died in 1920, Gustav had five children, the eldest of whom, Gustav Adolf, duke of Västerbotten, became his heir. In 1923 Gustav married Lady Louise Mountbatten. There were no children from the second mairrage.

Children

The royal crown couple, Gustaf and Margaret, had five children, four boys and a girl. A sixth child dies in child birth along with Princess Margaret. Their oldest child, Gustav Adolf, was the crown prince and Duke of Västerbotten. Tragically he never became king. He died in 1947 as a result of an airplane accident in Denmark before his father assumed the throne. The future King Gustav VI's grandson Carl Gustaf, the son of Gustav Adolf, became crown prince after his father's death in 1947. In 1965 the Riksdag raised to 25 the age at which a king could begin his rule, and in 1971 it enacted legislation, effective at Gustav's death in 1973, stripping the monarchy of its most important political functions. The crown prince acceded to the largely ceremonial throne as Carl XVI Gustaf. HBRC has little information on Prince Sigvard. He was made Count of Wisborg. Swedish Princess I Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta was born (1910). She was the third child and only daughter of King Gustaf VI Adolf and his first wife, Princess Margaret of Connaught. She was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Ingrid's mother died in 1920 while pregnant with her sixth child. King Gustaf married Lady Louise Mountbatten (1923). Louise was a Ingrid's cousin. Ingrid met the British Prince of Wales (1928). There were rumors about a romance, but nothing developed. It was Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark who courted Ingrid. They married (1935). They were related through different family lines. The Germans during World War II invaded and occupied Denmark (1940). She gained great respect with her husband passively resisting the German occupation forces during World War II. Princess Ingrid became the Queen of Denmark when her husband assended to the Danish throne as Frederick IX (1947). Queen Ingrid died (2000). She was interred next to her husband outside Roskilde Cathedral near Copenhagen. HBRC has little information on Prince Bertil, but some available images show how he was dressed as a boy. Carl became Count of Wisborg on the death of his older brother. The children were close in age and grew up together. With four boys, they were a rambunctious lot and Princess Ingrid was right in the middle.


Figure 3.--The Swedish royal princes, like Bertil on the left still wore dresses at age 3. The girl to the right is his older sister, Ingrid Victoria

Children's Clothes

Photographs from the 1910s show that the princes wore dresses until about 4 years old when they appear in tunics. Beril here wears a long-sleeved back buttoning dress with a belt. Dressy footwear was strap shoes. The boys than wore long short pants. I'm not sure about the hosiery. The younger children wear short white socks. They probably wore long dark stockings in the winter. The younger children wore floppy white sun hats for play. One of the older boys wore a kind of Australian bush hat.

Second Marriage

The King later married Lady Louise Mountbatten, a sister of Lord Mountbatten and an aunt of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Reign

Gustav VI Adolf aceded to the throne in 1950 at quite an advanced age. He ruled until his death in 1973. Gustaf VI inherited a very different crown than his father and served in less monentous times, rising to the throne after World War II (1939-45). Gustaf VI Adolf strictly observed the rules which had emerged for a constitutional monarchy during his reign, 1950-73. His personal qualities were in tune with developments and perhaps more than any other of the admittedly few contemporary monarchs he helped to create a new type of kingship--a democratic monarchy. Practically throughout the reign of Gustaf VI Adolf work was being done on a new Constitution, one which in 1975 replaced the 1809 Constitution. During the period the constitutional reform was being prepared, Gustaf VI Adolf probably meant more than anyone else for the perpetuation of the monarchy in Sweden. He was thus the last Swedish monarch to hold real political power after constitutional reforms initiated in 1971.

Interests

Gustav had a lifelong interest in archaeology began during his university studies. Throughout the 1920s he participated in archaeological expeditions in Greece, Italy, and Cyprus. He also excavated and wrote papers on ancient Swedish monuments and was considered an authority on Chinese ceramics, owning one of the world's largest private collections of Asian pottery. At the age of 88, he took part in excavations at Etruscan ruins in Acquarossa, Italy.

Final Years

King Gustaf VI died in 1950. As his oldest son, the Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf was killed in abn airplane acciudent, it was his grandson who inherited the throne as Carl XVII Gustav, The boy was born in 1946 and was only about 4 years old at the time. He had four older sisters, but the throne could only be inherit through the male line.

Swedish Information

HBRC has found some information on King Gustav in Swedish, but has not yet been able to translate it.

Vem är Sveriges mest populära person? frågade en tidning sina läsare i slutet av 1960-talet. Det var varken någon TV-kändis, någon idrottsman eller popstjärna som vann. Det var kungen, Gustav VI Adolf. Han fick många fler röster än någon annan. "Han verkar så vänlig mot alla", tyckte en av de ungdomar som röstat på kungen. Snäll, vänlig, kunnig, intresserad. Så sa alla som hade träffat kungen. De egenskaperna märktes redan när Gustav Adolf var liten. "Den gossen har ett hjärta av guld", sa Oskar II. Han föddes den 11 november 1882. Hans faster skrev: "Den lille käre Gustav Adolf vägde 10 1/2 skålpund och hade blåa ögon, mörkt hår, lagom stort huvud, var bred axlad och över alnen lång, så att Han såg ut som en pilt på 2 månader. Mycket tyst är Han och skriker sällan. Den unge Fadren grät i två dagar, dels av glädje dels av oro. Den unge Fadren var kronprins Gustav (som blev Gustav V). Mamma var kronprins Viktoria. Gustav Adolf hade ingen rolig barndom. Hans mamma, Viktoria, tyckte inte att små kungabarn skulle uppfostras med andra barn. Enskild undervisning på slottet skulle det vara. Prinsen hade inga andra lekkamrater än sina yngre bröder, Wilhelm och Erik. En av lärarna på slottet har berättat om hur nyfikna prinsarna var på hur "vanliga" barn hade det. De frågade sin lärare om vad hans pojkar, som var i samma ålder, brukade göra. När läraren berättade om det vardagliga livet, med lekkamrater, hemsysslor, sa en av prinsarna en gång: åh, den som ändå fick göra sådana saker!" Inte blev barndomen roligare av att mamma Viktoria ständigt reste utomlands och var borta i månader. Avskeden var hemska. Prinsarna grät och det var ingen tröst att få höra: "Mamma kommer tillbaka när det blir sommar".

Gustav Adolfs räddning var att skaffa sig intressen, och det gjorde han tidigt. Han samlade mynt, frimärken, fossil. Redan när han var 15 år började han intressera sig för arkeologi. Kungen skulle så småningom bli en mycket framstående vetenskapsman med arkeologi och kinesisk konst som huvudämnen. Han blev hederdoktor vid en rad olika universitet runt om i världen. Alla som kände kungen berättade att lyckligast var han när han fick delta i någon spännande utgrävning. Klädd i svart basker, med uppkavlade skjortarmar, låg han på alla fyra och letade efter rester från två tusen år gamla kulturer. Han var en mycket vetgirig människa. När HåKåHå (som Hans Kungliga Höghet kallades i vardagslag) tagit studenten reste han till Egypten för att studera arkeologi. Där träffade han en engelsk prinsessa som hette Margaret. De gifte sig och fick fem barn, Gustav Adolf, Sigvard, Ingrid, Bertil och Carl Johan. Margareta blev snart mycket omtyckt av svenskarna. Hon var inte så märkvärdigt kunglig. Hon lekte med sina barn, åkte skidor och skridskor, planterade blommor, ordnade insamlingar för de fattiga. När flaggan sänktes på halv stång på slottet kom det som en chock. Den 38-åriga kronprinsessan hade dött efter en vanlig influensa. Hela Sverige grät vid begravningen. Efter vagnen med kistan gick Gustav Adolf med fyra av sina barn. Han höll Ingrid hårt i handen. "Plikten framför allt". Det var Gustav VI Adolfs kungliga valspråk. Privat hade han ett annat valspråk: "Se framåt!" Han var 38 år när kronprinsessan dog och han hade hela livet framför sig. Han träffade engelskan Louise Mountbatten och gifte om sig med henne. De fick ett långt och roligt liv tillsammans. De reste jorden runt. Överallt var det fester och mottagningar för det populära kronprinsparet från Sverige. Louise hade humor. Man kan tänka sig att hon fick sig ett gott skratt när Gustav Adolf utnämndes till indianhövdingen "enslige Björn" och kläddes i en jättelik fjäderskrud.

Gustav VI Adolf var 68 år gammal när han blev kung. När han hyllades vid tronskiftet hade han en 4-årig liten pojke på armen. Det var sonsonen Carl Gustav. Hans far hade dött i en flygolycka tre år tidigare. Carl Gustav skulle ärva kronan efter farfar. På äldre dagar levde kungen ett mycket regelbundet liv: Det var jular med stora släkten på Drottningholm, vår på vackra Ulriksdal och sommar på Sofiero. På sitt kära Sofiero kunde kungen ägna sig åt ett av sina stora intressen: trädgårdsskötsel. Hans älsklingsblomma var rododendron. Han hade samlat 300 olika arter. Det var på Sofiero kungen avled 1973, 91 år gammal.






HBRC








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Created: March 19, 2001
Last updated: 4:36 AM 9/26/2011