Silvia Sommerlath and then Crown Prince Carl Gustaf met at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Four years later they married in Stockholm and the trained interpreter became Queen of Sweden.
“But Sweden was not foreign to me. My father had worked for the Swedish forestry and steel company Uddeholm in Brazil. Many Swedes therefore came to Brazil and to our home. They brought herring. And books and music,” she tells a new book released today.
The Queen, who was at the time still learning Swedish, tells the book's author, Maria Gunnarsson, of her slight feeling of intimidation arriving in Sweden, to a male-dominated and conservative Royal Palace.
“But everybody had kind intentions. Everyone wanted to support me and was there. And the King was wonderful, he said: 'Say what you think, explain what you want, say what you're going to do'. He has really supported me,” the Expressen tabloid quotes her as saying in the interview.
“But it could be lonely. The King's mother Princess Sibylla was no longer alive. Nor was Queen Louise there to tell me about the tasks of a Queen. But Princess Christina was there. The King's sister has given me a lot of support,” says Silvia.
The interview was carried out at Solliden Palace – the Royal Family's summer residence on Öland – in May this year. It is part of the 39th edition of the annual book 'The Royal Year' ('Det kungliga året') which is released on Tuesday.