My monkey was my best friend': Queen Silvia

My monkey was my best friend': Queen Silvia

Silvia Renate Sommerlath, now Queen Silvia, was born in 1943 in Heidelberg, Germany.

Her father was German and her mother Brazilian (born in Toledo/Paraná). In 1947 she and her family moved to Brazil where they lived for twelve years and attended the Colégio Visconde de Porto Seguro - a bilingual school in German and Portuguese.

On her Brazilian and German heritage influencing her role as Queen, she said: "I was born in Germany during the Second World War and when I was just two years old I moved with my family to Brazil. Twelve years later, in 1957, we moved back to Germany, so these two countries have marked me very much. You could say that I have traces of both cultures, something that has helped me to get to know the best of both worlds. My mother was Catholic and my father, a Protestant, grew up in a home where tolerance and respect were always present.

King commented on her personality that she "has a personality with Brazilian traits and a very German touch".

"Portuguese is the language we speak when we feel good, when we are happy. When we have a problem, we speak German. Portuguese has something special, it is the language of the heart. "Queen Silvia of Sweden.

In 1957 the family returned to West Germany and Silvia graduated from the Luisenschule in Düsseldorf in 1963.


My monkey was my best friend': Queen Silvia

"He was a good listener and especially when I was sad or happy. Then he would follow me and comfort me," Silvia told the children's magazine Kamratposten (KP).

According to the Queen, the Sommerlath family was gifted the animal by some missionaries when they were distributing medicines. He stayed with them for four years, much to the delight of the nine-year-old girl.

Today, the Queen does not think it appropriate to keep a wild animal as a pet and away from its natural habitat, but at the time, she told the newspaper, Mickey was regarded more as a friend than a pet.

When he first came to the family, Mickey was very angry and frightened and it took a lot of fawning from young Silvia to make him better. She approached the distressed animal with great caution.

"I would sing and be happy. The next day I would do the same, but a little closer," the Queen told KP.

Eventually, the animal became attached to her and from that day on they became "best friends".

However, the animal was very mischievous and Silvia remembers many occasions when she got into trouble because of her friend.

"Sometimes he would run away and once he climbed on the roof and broke the neighbours' TV aerial. Another time, he stole all their fruit," she told the newspaper.

Extracted from the report The site / rm

Silvia met King Carl XVI Gustaf (then Crown Prince Carl Gustaf) at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, where she worked as a translator and hostess.

In 1974, Silvia moved to Sweden and was living in a flat in Stockholm owned by the King's older sister, Princess Cristina.

Silvia worked as Deputy Chief of Protocol of the Organizing Committee in 1976 for the Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

During the 1972 Summer Olympics, Silvia met Crown Prince Carl Gustaf. At the time, she was leading a marketing campaign for the city of Munich. Silvia and the other Olympic hosts wore sky-blue casual dresses to promote Bavarian cultural identity.

After the death of King Gustaf VI Adolf on 15 September 1973, Carl XVI Gustaf ascended the throne.

He and Silvia announced their engagement on 12 March 1976 and were married three months later on 19 June at Stockholm Cathedral ("Storkyrkan Cathedral") in Stockholm. It was the first marriage of a reigning Swedish monarch since 1797.

Silvia's engagement ring

Silvia's engagement ring is a simple ring with a single solitaire diamond, estimated by some to be around two carats, and said to have belonged to King Carl Gustaf's mother, Princess Sibylla - she died a few years before the couple's engagement. Silvia now wears the ring with others on the same finger, including a ruby ring.

During the engagement interview, Silvia was still learning to speak Swedish and at one point she looks at Carl Gustaf and asks in English "Can you help me?"

Silvia renounced her German citizenship and surrendered her German passport two days before the wedding and became a Swedish citizen.

The night before the wedding ceremony, a Royal Variety Performance was held, where the Swedish pop group ABBA performed their new song "Dancing Queen" as a tribute to Silvia. The group later noted that the song had not been written specifically for the new queen, but they wanted to dedicate it to her that night.

Silvia, wearing a dress designed by Dior, married King Carl XVI Gustaf on 19 June 1976 in Stockholm Cathedral.

She wore the same veil as the king's mother, which dates back to the time of Queen Sophia.

Carl Gustaf and Silvia's eldest daughter Victoria wore the same veil and tiara as her mother on their wedding day, exactly 34 years after her parents' marriage.

The wedding lunch was broadcast worldwide to over one million people.

The couple initially lived in a flat in the Royal Palace, but later moved to Drottningholm Palace.

She was known to sneak around Sweden wearing a blonde wig to go unnoticed by the press.

His father was a member of the Nazi Party in Germany, but this did not come to light for decades.

The Queen did not know her father had been a member of the Nazi Party and said it was "a big shock" when she found out.

She said the way the media dealt with her father's Nazism links a "character assassination".

The Queen speaks several languages (German, English, Portuguese, Swedish, Spanish and French) and has a good knowledge of Swedish Sign Language.

The king and queen have three children: Crown Princess Victoria (b. 1977), Prince Carl Philip (b. 1979) and Princess Madeleine (b. 1982).

The couple also have eight grandchildren: Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar (through Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel), Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel (through Prince Carl Philip and his wife, Princess Sofia), and Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas, and Princess Adrienne (through Princess Madeleine and her husband, Chris O'Neill).

Her granddaughter, Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary was named in her honour.

About being a grandmother, Silvia said: "Being a grandmother makes me very happy".

The Queen gave birth to Victoria at Karolinska University Hospital, but she gave birth to Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine in makeshift delivery rooms at the Royal Palace and Drottningholm Palace respectively.

Her Majesty admitted she felt intimidated and lonely at first when she moved into the male-dominated royal palace, but her husband was always there to encourage and support her.

She surprised people at the Royal Palace after her wedding when she asked for a typewriter, as she was used to handling her own correspondence.

Silvia commented on the cold weather when she moved to Sweden, and the Swedes sent 70 scarves - many of which were hand sewn.

She told the Swedish newspaper Expressen : "I am extremely grateful to have received a wonderful welcome from the Swedish people.

Her daughters like to wear their dresses back to royal ceremonies. Princess Victoria wore her mother's 1995 Nobel dress to the 2018 Nobel ceremony.

In a recent interview with Swedish Elle, she talked about Victoria sharing her clothes, "That makes me very happy! I like that she shares my taste, and thinks it's beautiful and wants to wear my clothes. "

She does not like it when people call her daughter, Princess Madeleine "Madde".

Queen Silvia is said to be closest to her youngest daughter, Princess Madeleine.

She set up the World Childhood Foundation in 1999, and the organisation supports "abused and sexually exploited children, street children, children in alternative care and families at risk in over 100 programmes annually in 17 countries".

The Queen said she hopes Princess Madeleine will take over as head of the World Childhood Foundation.

Queen Silvia also founded Mentor International in 1994.

Her Majesty is an honorary board member of the Mentor Foundation.

In honour of her 70th birthday, the Queen Silvia - Caring for Children Foundation was created.

She is dedicated to working with people who have dementia, in memory of her mother.

Silvia is the sponsor or an honorary member of 37 organisations.

A pillow in her office reads, "It's not easy being Queen!"

She is Sweden's longest-serving queen consort, overtaking Queen Sophia in 2011.

The Queen shares the same interests as the King in relation to nature and the outdoors.

Her Majesty also enjoys gardening.

The Queen won a swimming pool on her 50th birthday.

She no longer runs to keep fit because of her age, but nothing to keep fit for.

While the Queen visited Princess Madeleine in New York City in April 2011, photographers followed them closely. Queen Silvia ended up injured after a fall trying to leave the side entrance of a shop.

The Royal Court said: 'The Queen likes to go to the theatre, opera and concerts.

After her 73rd birthday celebrations, she was admitted to hospital, suffering from a severe cold. She was released on Christmas Day.

Her Majesty said she has no intention of retiring and neither does her husband. "We will continue as long as we can."

Silvia holds the following national honours: Royal Order of the Seraphim, Royal Family Decoration of King Carl XVI Gustaf First Class, King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Emblem Medal, Princess Victoria's Wedding Medal for Daniel Westling, King Carl XVI Gustaf Jubilee Ruby Emblem Medal, and King Carl XVI Gustaf's 70th Anniversary Badge Medal.

She has received foreign honours from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, Thailand and Ukraine.

Queen Silvia received the Grand Cross of the Social Order of Amaranth from Sweden, the German National Sustainability Award from Germany and the Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Maternity and Childhood Award from the United Arab Emirates.

Her Majesty has honorary doctorates from the University of Turku, the Karolinska Institute, Linköping University and the University of Gothenburg.

My monkey was my best friend': Queen Silvia

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