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Sweden's royals visit Germany

Sabine Oelze kbm
October 5, 2016

A German native, Queen Silvia of Sweden regularly visits her home country. This time, she and her husband King Carl XVI Gustaf are meeting Chancellor Merkel and President Gauck - and seeing a refugee project in Berlin.

King Carl XVI. Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden
Image: Henrik Garlov

Swedish-German ties have continually been strengthened by Queen Silvia, who was born in Germany. Just a few weeks before her third official visit to Germany, the Queen of Sweden spoke out in support of Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy, saying that taking in asylum-seekers was a gesture of Christian charity.

During the official visit, which begins Wednesday with a meeting with German President Joachim Gauck in Schloss Bellevue, the royal couple are to experience a refugee project first-hand. "Refugio" is a house in the Neukölln district of Berlin in which Berliners and refugees live side-by-side.

Queen Sylvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf are also slated to meet with Berlin Mayor Michael Müller at the Brandenburg Gate, tour the Reichstag building and talk with Chancellor Merkel in the afternoon. 

Sweden's Silvia - a queen from Germany

After spending time in Berlin, Silvia and Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will head on to Hamburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. Their trip will also include a visit to Wittenberg, where church reformer Martin Luther lived and studied and posted his 95 Theses nearly 500 years ago, in 1517.

The anniversary celebrations marking half a millennium since Martin Luther sparked the Reformation are set to begin on October 31, 2016.

Queen Silvia frequently visits Germany. She was born on December 23, 1943 in Heidelberg and completed high school in Dusseldorf. After that, she studied languages - English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian - in Munich.

It was during the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 that she met her husband, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. They married four years later.

The couple have children: Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine.