Carl XVI Gustaf met Silvia Sommerlath at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, however, at that time, it was still prohibited for Swedish princes to marry commoners so the couple had to wait until Carl Gustaf became king before they could marry. The couple announced their engagement on 12 March 1976, but the Swedish public were not enthusiastic about their king marrying a commoner. As plans for the wedding got underway, they began to warm up to the idea of having Silvia as their queen.
The royal couple were married in Stockholm Cathedral on 19 June 1976. After the ceremony, the newlyweds were carried in an open horse-drawn landau through the streets of Stockholm, waving to the crowds lining the streets, many of who had been there since the early morning hours. The couple then boarded the royal barge to review the Swedish naval ships, while Swedish Air Force jets drew a large white heart in the sky during a 21-gun salute.
After the harbor tour, the royal couple remained at the Royal Palace for a luncheon with 300 guests in the Vita Havet stateroom hosted by Prince Bertil, Carl Gustaf’s uncle, who formally welcomed Silvia to the family. The wedding buffet included salmon mousse baked in puff pastry, jellied consommé with caviar, Scottish forest pigeon, foie gras, and wild strawberries and ice cream.
Dag Öster, a master confectioner from Stockholm’s most famous restaurant, Operakällaren, created a magnificent four-tier croquembouche with a crest. The cake was decorated with 160 marzipan roses, one of which was carefully preserved and presented to Queen Silvia with a specially made silver stem and leaf to mark her silver wedding anniversary.
Silvia’s dress was designed by Marc Bohan of Dior and the silk duchesse gown reflected the fashion of the time with its high neck, long sleeves, slim skirt and train extending from the shoulders.
The plainness of the dress was alleviated by the antique lace veil, originally worn by Sofia of Nassau, and the Cameo Tiara, both of which have become traditional choices for Swedish brides. Unfortunately, a miscalculation resulted in the length of Silvia’s train being too short to support the length of the veil so it had to be folded over under the tiara to protect it, but it spoiled the look and appeared too bulky.
Silvia carried a bouquet of orchids, wax flowers, lilies of the valley and the traditional sprigs of myrtle from Sofiero.