Sunday, 15 September 2013

King Carl Gustaf 40 years on the throne

The Sunday newspapers reported on the King's death.

On the death of King Gustaf VI Adolf on 15th September 1973 his grandson, Crown Prince Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus, Duke of Jämtland, became King of Sweden at the age of 27 . As motto for his reign he chose the motto: För Sverige - I tiden (“For Sweden - With the times").

Prince Carl Gustaf was born as heir presumptive on 30th April 1946. He was son of then heir presumptive Prince Gustaf Adolf, who died in a plane crash in Denmark on 26th January 1947, and Princess Sibylla of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, who died in 1972. 

King Carl XVI Gustaf's proclamation on 19th September 1973.

In 1971 the Riksdag (Parliament) had decided to strip the Monarch of his last powers. The changes did not take place under the old king, but came into force in 1974, one year after King Carl Gustaf ascended to the throne. The (technically) advisory Council of State (Swedish: Statsrådet) was changed into the collegial Government (Swedish: Regeringen) in which all executive power was vested, and thus the Monarch was stripped of all executive powers, while still retained as purely ceremonial figurehead with residual executive authority over only his own court and household. Responsibility for appointing and dismissing the Prime Minister was transferred to the Speaker of the Riksdag. The Prime Minister now appoints and dismisses his ministers at his or her sole discretion. Bills passed in the Riksdag become law without having to acquire royal assent: two Cabinet Ministers in unison sign it "On Behalf of the Government" (Swedish: På regeringens vägnar). Thus, in Sweden, unlike most constitutional monarchies, the Monarch is no longer even the nominal chief executive.
His Majesty opening the Riksdag at the request of the speaker. (here in 2012)

As Swedish Head of State the King has purely ceremonial functions. According to the Swedish Constitution, the King has a number of constitutional duties. The Monarch formally, at the request of the Speaker, opens the annual session of the Riksdag and chairs a special Cabinet Council in a session that establishes the new government following a general election or major cabinet reshuffle. He also chairs this Council approximately four times a year to get information from the Cabinet apart from that given by the Prime Minister. The Monarch also chairs the Advisory Committee for Foreign Affairs (Swedish: Utrikesnämnden), a body which serves to officially inform the head of state and the leaders of the opposition on foreign affairs.

For the past 40 years, The King has received foreign ambassadors who have submitted their credentials, and — together with The Queen — has hosted and carried out many state visits.

Sweden celebrates the anniversary of King Carl Gustaf's accession to the throne.

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