I hung out with the King on Thursday. King Carl Gustaf, the King of Sweden, that is. It was his birthday and there was a big ceremony going on at the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan (Old Town). If truth be told, I did not actually get to talk to or meet the King, but I did go to his birthday celebration. You see, I was out walking with friends when we heard the firing of cannons on Sheppsholmen, one of the 14 islands that form the center of Stockholm. Leslie remembered that it was the King’s birthday, so we made our way up the hill to the palace where all the celebrations were happening.
Crowds of well-wishers with cameras and Swedish flags were gathered around the palace where all the king’s horses and men were putting on a show that featured the standard changing of the guard along with some extra touches. The marching band played a hilarious medley of ABBA favorites and the crowd also sang happy birthday, first in Swedish and then a small but determined group sang in English as well. Although I did not see Prince Carl Philip, the rest of the royal family was there, including Queen Silvia, heir apparent Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine. I should have been working, but the day was gorgeous and it was fun to hang in such close proximity to the royals. Maybe I can meet them for real next time . . .