Gustaf V of Sweden

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Gustaf V (Oscar Gustaf Adolf 16 June 1858 – 29 October 1950) was King of Sweden from 1907. He was the eldest son of King Oscar II of Sweden and Sophia of Nassau, a half-sister of Adolphe I, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Dying at age 92, he holds the record of being the oldest monarch of Sweden and the second-longest reigning monarch of Sweden (after Magnus IV).


Early life

Gustaf V was born in Drottningholm Palace in Ekerö, Stockholm County and at birth was created Duke of Värmland. On 8 December 1907, he succeeded his father to the Swedish throne, which had been separated from the Norwegian throne two years earlier.

On 20 September 1881 he married Princess Victoria of Baden in Karlsruhe, Germany. She was the granddaughter of Princess Sophie of Sweden, and her marriage to Gustaf V united, by a real blood link (and not only so-called adoption), the reigning Bernadotte dynasty with the former royal house of Holstein-Gottorp.

Public life

Gustaf V was the last Swedish king to intervene directly in the politics of his country (in 1914 on the disputes over defence budgets). He was a conservative man, who did not approve of the democratic movement and the demands for workers' rights. Gustaf V was also the last Swedish King to be Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces (between 1907 and 1939).

Gustaf V was considered to have German sympathies during World War I. His political stance during the war was highly influenced by his wife, who felt a strong connection to her German homeland. On 18 December 1914, he sponsored a meeting with the other two Kings of Scandinavia to demonstrate unity within and between them. Another of Gustaf V's objectives with this three-King conference was to dispel suspicions that he wanted to bring Sweden into the war on Germany's side.

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