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Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf to undergo heart surgery

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Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf is to undergo a planned surgery “in the heart area”, the Swedish royal court, called Kungahuset, has announced. The head of state, who is not known to have had any surgery aimed at tackling a serious ailment before, will be operated on February 20. 

The King, who is 76, will be treated with a keyhole surgery, the Kungahuset explained in a brief statement shared on February 14.

The operation will be followed by a period of rest and recovery for the monarch.

The statement read: “On the advice of his physician, HM The King will undergo a planned surgical procedure on Monday 20 February 2023.

“The procedure will be performed using laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery in the heart area.

“The procedure will be followed by a period of rest. The King’s planned official engagements between 20 February and 3 March will therefore be postponed until later this spring.

“The King is in good health and until 20 February will carry out his official engagements as planned.”

The statement did not include further details on the nature of the surgery nor explained why it was needed by the Swedish sovereign.

The day after the announcement, King Carl XVI Gustaf showed it was very much business as usual for him as he attended a World Scout Foundation digital meeting, according to his diary.

King Carl XVI Gustaf is the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Sweden and the successor of his grandfather Gustaf VI Adolf.

The reigning monarch became the heir to the throne only aged nine months, as his father Prince Gustaf Adolf was killed in a plane crash in Denmark in 1946.

Carl Gustaf acceded on the throne on September 15 1973, which means this year he is marking his 50th year on the throne.

The Swedish monarch marked the beginning of his Jubilee year by releasing in early January a new official portrait.

Taken by Thron Ullberg in the Royal Palace of Stockholm’s Hall of State, the portrait shows the monarch and father-of-three standing next to his silver throne in his admiral uniform.

A number of events are scheduled to take place throughout Sweden over the next few months to mark the Jubilee.

King Carl Gustaf insisted to have the Swedish law be changed in 1979 to allow his eldest daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, to succeed him rather than his son, Prince Carl Philip.

As the law was changed in 1980, Carl Philip, born in May 1979, was the heir to the throne only for a few months. 

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