Sweden prepares for king's 60th birthday fete

Sweden is preparing for two royal fetes this year as King Carl XVI Gustaf celebrates his 60th birthday in April and the king and Queen Silvia mark their 30th wedding anniversary in June.

The guest list has not been released, but royals, heads of state and government, lawmakers and business leaders are likely to gather in the Swedish capital to honor the monarch at the royal palace on his birthday on April 30, royal court spokeswoman Nina Eldh said Monday.

A crowd of 10,000 people congratulated the popular figurehead king outside the palace when he turned 50, and at least as many are expected this time, Eldh said.

"But it very much depends on the weather," she added.

The birthday celebrations will begin with a service in the Stockholm Cathedral, followed by a changing of the palace guard and a lunch at the Stockholm City Hall, where the king and queen will arrive in a horse-drawn state coach. In the evening the royal couple will attend a concert in the palace's Throne Room, followed by a gala banquet at the palace.

The wedding anniversary will be marked by an exhibition at the palace of the gowns the queen has been wearing at her 29 Nobel banquets. She missed one, in 1980, because of illness.

The Heidelberg, Germany, native celebrated her 60th birthday in 2003, reports the AP.


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