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When Garbo met Queen Silvia and
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

In 1988, the Queen and King of Sweden visited America and Garbo.

On their first visit to New York, the young European couple had already taken in the standard tourist highlights – Broadway, the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations – all quite nice, if not terribly exciting.

But on their last day in town, they were in a state of high anticipation en route to the East Side for an appointment requested far in advance but unconfirmed until the last minute.

The woman they were coming to visit, for her part, was just as nervous: The King and Queen of Sweden were coming to pay their respects. Normally, it would be the other way around, but where Greta Garbo was concerned, all rules were suspended.

The door was opened. Carl XVI Gustaf, his royal consort, Silvia, and the eighty-two-year-old former actress exchanged a proper protocol of handshakes and bows, then sat down to tea and chatted in Swedish about the weather and other simple things, excluding movies.

In Swedish history, no private citizen had ever declined a king's invitation and then been rewarded by his visit. But this was Garbo.

The royal couple left after forty-five minutes, dazzled. By mutual agreement, the meeting was kept secret. The news media, for once, were eluded.

A king and two queens wanted to be let alone. “She was magical” is all Queen Silvia will say about the meeting. Garbo, of course, said nothing.

Some time later, Garbo told her friend Sven Broman about the meeting:

"Queen Silvia was quite marvellous we really do have the most beautiful queen in the world. But Mr Broman, I must tell you that I did something very silly: I wore my dark glasses, which may have meant the king couldn't see what I looked like I met his father, you know, Prince Gustav Adolf'"

Karen Swenson - Greta Garbo: A life apart

Garbo Stories
Greta's Childhood Stories
Garbo Stories - Part 1
Garbo Stories - Part 2
Small Garbo Stories & Anecdotes - Part 1
Small Garbo Stories & Anecdotes - Part 2
Small Garbo Stories & Anecdotes - Part 3
Funny Garbo Stories


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