Ball at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, 1960

A plethora of Royal Guests and Relatives from around Europe pose ahead of a glittering Ball at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on this day in 1960, which were among a series of Balls hosted by King Gustav VI Adolf, Queen Louise, Princess Sibylla to find suitable Royal matches for the Haga Princesses and other the Royal Guests. The Royals in this group portrait are:

First Row, L-R; Princess Margaretha of Sweden, Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Princess Sibylla of Sweden, Queen Frederica of Greece, King Gustav VI Adolf and Queen Louise of Sweden, Princess Astrid of NorwayPrincess Alexandra of Kent, and Princess Sophie of Greece.

Middle Row, L-R; Crown Prince Harald of Norway, Princess Birgitta of Sweden, Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Crown Princess Margrethe of Denmark, Princess Irene of Greece, Princess Desiree of Sweden, Princess Beatrix of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and Prince Bertil of Sweden.

Third Row, L-R; The Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Duke of Aosta, Prince Carl of Hesse, Crown Prince Constantine of Greece, Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria, the Duke of Kent, Prince Moritz of Hesse, Prince Ludwig of Baden, Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Count Hans Veit of Törring-Jettenbach.

A special thanks to our friend JR for translating the following sections from Veckorevyn’s Biography of King Gustav VI Adolf about the Ball!

The Palace Ball in 1960, one of the last large ones with 27 royal participants, the majority of them young people: At 20.30, guests gather two stairs up the eastern vault [with general curtsey training]. Most the girls have long dresses. The boys are in white tie, except the officers who have uniforms. Everyone has gloves, but they start debating whether to take them off or not when greeting. The court official who`s giving directives usually intervenes with the result that the right glove is taken off.

Another court official (usually a chamberlain) makes sure that the invitees stands two and two, gentleman and lady, outside the door of the White Sea, where the royals wait. The chamberlain takes care to find out the names and introduces them by shouting their names when the couple enters. They then cross the floor to firstly greet the royal couple, the girls do deep curtseys, the gentlemen kiss the queen’s hand, after which they curtsey and bow for Sibylla and the princesses.

Everyone then socialises in the White Sea until the dance is opened with a Viennese waltz. Champagne and wine punch are served. The King and Queen opens the ball by dancing the first dance. This year Arvid Sundins orchestra plays, and everything from waltz to cha cha cha and rock’n’roll dance.

In each room there are magnificent sets of flowers in pots and vases [lilacs, azaleas, daffodils and tulips]. Bowls with sweets and cigarettes are everywhere. Christina and Carl Gustaf usually sit on the balcony above the White Sea with some friends and look at their older sisters and their friends. Christina are not allowed to take part until she reaches the age of 18. Supper is served at midnight. The guests are seated at small tables. The food – soup, main course, dessert, coffee – is placed on long tables placed by the walls and while the main course and dessert is self service, the soup and coffee are served by lackeys. With the exception of the princess’ three tables which are seated according to placing, everyone may sit wherever they want. The King and Queen and their older guests are seated in a separate chamber.

The dancing goes on until two o’clock. The invitation says, “To be collected at 0200” and that means that the ball is over. And then the about 300 guests can go home after a successful evening. Because everyone has fun at the palace.” This ball had been arranged by Princess Sibylla to find suitable matches for her daughters. King Gustav VI Adolf felt uncomfortable with it all since he feared that there would be rumours about romances in the press.


3 thoughts on “Ball at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, 1960

  1. It would be fascinating to know if any “matches” arose from this Ball. It all seems so strange and “arranged”, like something that would have been done decades before this. Of course many of the guests were related in some manner. Just imagine what The Press would say about such an event today!

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