Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden

Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Gustaf VI Adolf
King of Sweden, of the Goths and of the Wends
King of Sweden
Reign 29 October 1950 – 15 September 1973
Predecessor Gustaf V
Successor Carl XVI Gustaf
Spouse Princess Margaret of Connaught
Louise Mountbatten
Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten
Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland
Ingrid, Queen of Denmark
Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland
Carl Johan Bernadotte
Full name
Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf
House House of Bernadotte
Father Gustaf V of Sweden
Mother Victoria of Baden
Born 11 November 1882(1882-11-11)
The Royal Palace in Stockholm
Died 15 September 1973(1973-09-15) (aged 90)
Helsingborg Hospital, Sweden
Burial Royal Burial Grounds, Solna
Religion Church of Sweden

Gustaf VI Adolf - Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf - (11 November 1882 – 15 September 1973) was King of Sweden from October 29, 1950 until his death. His official title was King of Sweden, of the Goths and of the Wends. He was the eldest son of King Gustaf V and his wife Victoria of Baden. Through his mother Victoria, Gustaf VI Adolf was a descendant of Gustav IV of Sweden of the deposed House of Holstein-Gottorp and the House of Vasa as well as the Bernadotte kings of Sweden. He was the grandfather of Queen Margarethe II of Denmark and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.



He was born at the Royal Palace in Stockholm and at birth created Duke of Skåne. On 29 October 1950, he succeeded his father on the throne. His personal motto was Plikten framför allt, "Duty before all".

He married, firstly, 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.

He married, secondly, 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.


Then Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf with his first wife Margaret of Connaught and children in 1912.

In 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 Crown Prince.

During Gustaf VI Adolf's reign, work was underway on a new Instrument of Government — eventually taking effect in 1975 after the king's death — 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. The monarchy was, however, made subordinate to a democratic state. Additional powers of the monarch were removed when Sweden's constitutional reform became complete in 1975.

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 at Rome.

He was the 1126th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain in 1910 and the 915th Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1954.

The King died in 1973 close to 91 years old at Helsingborg Hospital 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. In a break with tradition, he was not buried in Riddarholmskyrkan in Stockholm, but in the Royal Burial Grounds in Haga alongside his two deceased wives.

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


Name Birth Death Notes
Prince Gustav Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten 01906-04-22 22 April 1906 26 January 1947(1947-01-26) (aged 40) died in a plane crash, father of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland 01907-06-07 7 June 1907 4 February 2002(2002-02-04) (aged 94) later Count Sigvard Bernadotte af Wisborg
Princess Ingrid 01910-03-28 28 March 1910 7 November 2000(2000-11-07) (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 01912-02-28 28 February 1912 5 January 1997(1997-01-05) (aged 84) married Lillian Davies, no issue
Prince Carl Johan, Duke of Dalarna 31 October 1916 (1916-10-31) (age 95) later Count Carl Johan, Bernadotte af Wisborg, married Countess Gunilla Wachtmeister af Johannishus, had adopted issue

Crown Princess Margaretha of Sweden died suddenly on 1 May 1920 of an infection following surgery. At the time, she was eight months pregnant and expecting her sixth child.

Prince Gustaf Adolf later married Lady Louise Mountbatten, on 3 November 1923. This second marriage produced only one stillborn daughter on 30 May 1925.

King Gustaf VI Adolf with his second wife Lady Louise Mountbatten; Queen Louise, in the 1950s.

King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden was the grandfather of both his direct successor King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and also of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

Styles of
King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Royal Monogram of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.svg
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Sir


Upon his creation as Duke of Skåne, Gustaf VI was granted a coat of arms with the arms of Skåne in base. These arms can be seen on his stall-plates both as Knight of the Swedish order of the Seraphim in the Riddarsholmskyrkan in Sweden, but also the Frederiksborg Chapel in Copenhagen, Denmark as an Knight of the Danish Order of the Elephant. Upon his accession to the throne in 1950, he assumed the Arms of Dominion of Sweden.

Blason Oscar II de Suède.svg
Arms of Gustaf VI as Duke of Skåne.
Arms of Gustaf VI Adolf as King.


The King's reputation as a "professional amateur professor" was widely known; nationally and internationally, and among his relatives.

Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf meets the some English footballers (c. 1910-1915).

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 (The king's summer residence) he created one of the very finest Rhododendron collections.

Like his son, Bertil, Gustaf VI Adolf maintained wide, lifelong interests in sports. He enjoyed tennis and golf, and fly fishing for charity.


32. Henri Bernadotte
16. Charles XIV John of Sweden
33. Jeanne de St. Vincent
8. Oscar I of Sweden
34. François Clary
17. Désirée Clary
35. Françoise Rose Somis
4. Oscar II of Sweden
36. Alexandre de Beauharnais
18. Eugène de Beauharnais
37. Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie
9. Josephine of Leuchtenberg
38. Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
19. Princess Augusta of Bavaria
39. Landgravine Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt
2. Gustaf V of Sweden
40. Charles Christian, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg
20. Frederick William, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg
41. Princess Carolina of Orange-Nassau
10. William, Duke of Nassau
42. Wilhelm Georg, Count of Sayn-Hachenburg, Burgrave of Kirchberg
21. Burgravine Louise Isabelle of Kirchberg
43. Isabella Auguste Reuss of Greiz
5. Sofia of Nassau
44. Frederick I of Württemberg
22. Prince Paul of Württemberg
45. Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
11. Princess Pauline of Württemberg
46. Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
23. Catherine Charlotte of Saxe-Hildburghausen
47. Duchess Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
1. Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
48. Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Baden-Durlach
24. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden
49. Princess Amalia of Nassau-Dietz
12. Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden
50. Baron Ludwig Heinrich Philipp Geyer von Geyersberg
25. Louise Caroline of Hochberg
51. Countess Maximiliana Christiane of Sponeck
6. Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden
52. Gustaf III of Sweden
26. Gustaf IV Adolf of Sweden
53. Sophia Magdalena of Denmark
13. Sophie of Sweden
54. Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden
27. Frederica of Baden
55. Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
3. Victoria of Baden
56. Frederick William II of Prussia
28. Frederick William III of Prussia
57. Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt
14. William I, German Emperor
58. Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg
29. Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
59. Landgravine Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt
7. Princess Louise of Prussia
60. Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
30. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
61. Landgravine Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt
15. Augusta of Saxe-Weimar
62. Paul I of Russia
31. Maria Pavlovna of Russia
63. Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg

External links

Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Born: 11 November 1882 Died: 15 September 1973
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Gustaf V
King of Sweden
Succeeded by
Carl XVI Gustaf
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Gustaf, Duke of Värmland
Heir to the Swedish throne
Succeeded by
Carl Gustaf, Duke of Jämtland
later became Carl XVI Gustaf
Title last held by
Charles XV
Duke of Skåne
Preceded by
United Kingdom William Grenfell
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
President of Organizing Committee for Summer Olympic Games
Succeeded by
Belgium Henri de Baillet-Latour

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