Thursday, December 8, 2011

The King of Sweden is dead


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December 8, 1907

The New York Times and other newspapers are reporting the death of King Oscar II of Sweden.   The king died this morning at 9:10 a.m., at the palace in Stockholm.

The king's eldest son, Gustav, has succeeded to the throne and will be known as King Gustav V.

Members of the late king's family, including the aged Queen Sophie, Crown Prince Gustav and members of the Swedish government.  "Great crowds" gathered outside the palace learned of the king's death when the palace flag was lowered to half staff.  Thousands "stood about the palace with bowed heads and tearful eyes" long after the official announcement was made of the "loss of their well-beloved sovereign."

All of Sweden is "stricken with grief," as King Oscar was more than "the ruler of his people."  He had "endeared himself to them as an intimate and personal friend."

The official statement read:  "We declare upon oath that his Majesty King Oscar II, expired peacefully at 9:10 o'clock this morning in the castle at Stockholm, at the age of 78 years, 9 months and 17 days, as the result of calcification of the cerebral and cardiac blood vessels."

The king was unconscious for the final hours of his life, and "up to the end he gave no sign of recognizing those about him."   Queen Sophie was described as "grief stricken" because her husband could "not bid her farewell."

After the king was pronounced dead, most everyone in the room left with the exception of the royal family.  Queen Sophie, "surrounded by her children and grandchildren, knelt and prayed."

At one p.m.,  King Gustav V "took the oath of office before the Cabinet and Court assembled in the grand gallery."   The other male members of the royal family swore allegiance to the King, "who embraced and kissed them, giving his favorite brother, the giant Carl, a hearty slap on the back." 

King Gustav V read his proclamation and "announced his motto: "With the people for the Fatherland.'"

In the afternoon, a memorial service was conducted in the palace chapel, which was attended by nearly all members of the Royal Family, with exception of Queen Sophie and the new Queen Victoria, who is not expected to return to Sweden until tomorrow.  

King Oscar II reigned for almost thirty-five years.  He came to throne in 1872, succeeding his eldest brother, King Carl XV.  In 1857, he married Princess Sophie of Nassau.    He is survived by Queen Sophie, and four sons,  King Gustav V,  Prince Oscar (who renounced his rights to the throne when married Miss Ebba Munck), Prince Carl and Prince Eugene.

The new heir to the throne is King Gustav V's elder son, Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, who is married to Princess Margaret of Connaught.

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