Military planning for Swedish king’s birthday bash

With less than two months to go until King Carl XVI Gustaf turns 60, the programme for the two-day celebration has been announced.

The Swedish king hits the big six-o on April 30th, but the festivities begin on the 28th – with youngsters from Fryshuset, a Stockholm-based youth foundation.

Fryshuset is to invite a hundred young people from across Sweden to take part in a workshop with the king in the Palace’s Bernadotte Library. The founder of Fryshuset, Anders Carlberg, is expected to lead a panel discussion on the theme of young people’s isolation and how it can be solved.

On the day itself, the pomp and ceremony takes over, with celebrations in the presence of royalty from near and far as well as top dogs from Swedish business, media, culture and politics.

The palace chief of staff, former vice commander-in-chief Frank Rosenius, will be responsible for making sure the festivities pass off with military precision.

“The birthday will begin with the king and queen attending a service in the palace chapel, which will be broadcast live on SVT and Swedish Radio,” he said in a statement.

Between 12.30pm and 1pm children will have the opportunity to meet the king before he steps out onto the Lion Terrace to be congratulated by the crowd on Norrbro, the bridge linking the palace to Gustav Adolf square.

Thousands of well-wishers are expected to gather to hear the military music and choir singing which will be performed for the king.

The king and queen will then travel in a horse-drawn carriage to Stockholm’s City Hall for a late lunch with members of parliament. Police say that the public is likely to line the route to see the king pass by.

In the evening there will be a concert in Rikssalen, the State Room, with 300 guests. It has been organised by former head of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Lars Löfgren, and will be broadcast live on television and radio.

After the concert, the whole audience will join the king for dinner.