Her Majesty Queen Silvia (Silvia Renate Sommerlath), styled Her Majesty The Queen, was born on 23 December 1943 in Heidelberg in Germany. The Queen is the daughter of Walther Sommerlath and his Brazilian wife Alice ( born Soares de Toledo), and was raised in São Paulo, Brazil, between 1947 and 1957 when her family returned to Germany.
The Queen is an educated interpreter and speaks six languages: Swedish, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and English. Her work experience (before her marriage) included working at the Argentinian Consulate in Munich, being an educational host during the Summer Olympics in Munich, and serving as the Deputy Head of Protocol for the Winter Games in Innsbruck in Austria.
It was during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich that Silvia Sommerlath met Crown Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden. The couple were married on June 19, 1976, and she thus became Queen Consort. The Swedish singing group ABBA premiered(in Sweden) the song 'Dancing Queen' for the event.
The Queen is devoted to charity, especially in the area of disadvantaged children, and has made several statements about Human rights and the sexual exploitation of children. She was a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation in 1999. She also works actively for handicapped, among other things as the Chairman of the Royal Wedding Fund and Queen Silvia's Jubilee Fund. In 1990, The Queen was awarded the prestigious German prize "Deutsche Kulturpreis" for her work for the handicapped. The Queen is also a honorary board member of the international Mentor Foundation, that works against drugs.
Her commitment for the work with dementia and the care of elderly people at the end of life is also well known and respected. On her initiative, Silviahemmet is established in Stockholm. It works to educate hospital personnel in how to work with people suffering from dementia, and also initiates research in the area.
The Queen is a protector of many organisations, honorary board member and member of organisations and societies, - holds a number of honorary doctorates, and has received many international prizes and medals for her work.
Her marriage with the King has produced three children:
- HRH Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Westrogothia (1977- )
- HRH Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Wermelandia (1979-)
- HRH Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Helsingia and Gestricia (1982-)
Her namesday on August 8 and her birthday on December 23 are official flag days in Sweden.
- Page on Queen Silvia (http://www.royalcourt.se/4.53abbbfd7ffdfa677fff24524.html) from the website of the Royal Court of Sweden
- World Childhood Foundation (http://www.childhood.org/) - Official site