Swedish king – I was not ready for the throne

Sweden’s king has said that he was not ready to take over the burdens of being monarch when he ascended to the throne at the age of 27 in 1973.

In a new biography by well-known Swedish writer Herman Lindqvist to mark King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 60th birthday next year, the king tells of his feelings over becoming Sweden’s head of state.

“The King ascended at a politically turbulent time. He paints a graphic picture of how difficult it was to always be the youngest – younger than the members of the cabinet, younger than other heads of state, Lindqvist told Aftonbladet.

The author also interviewed Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria for the book, revealing details of how the king conducted a four-year secret relationship with the then Silvia Sommerlath before the pair could go public.

Lindqvist told Aftonbladet that Silvia would sometimes wear wigs to conceal her identity.

The book also contains chapters written by Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg, former royal press secretary and now head of Crown Princess Victoria’s household, in which she talks about the King’s constitutional role and gives personal reflections on her life in the royal household.