September 20 in Swedish History
1881: Crown Prince Gustaf V (1858-1950) and Victoria av Baden (Victoria of Baden, 1862-1930) get married. The Crown Prince was the eldest son of King Oscar II of Sweden and and Sophia of Nassau, she was the daughter of Grand Duke Frederick I of Baden, and Princess Louise of Prussia. The couple got married in Karlsruhe, Germany (where she was born). It was an arranged marriage, and the German Emperor and Empress were present at the wedding, which was seen as a sign that Sweden belonged to the German sphere in Europe. It was a popular marriage in Sweden; Victoria was called “The Vasa Princess”, because of her descent from the old Vasa dynasty, and she received a very elaborate welcome on the official cortege into Stockholm 1 October 1881.

In February 1882, Victoria and Gustaf visited Oslo, where they were welcomed with a procession of 3,000 torch bearers. Alas, it was not thought to have been a very happy marriage, although t produced three children. They traveled to Egypt to repair their relationship, but it did not succeed, allegedly due to Victoria's interest in one of the courtiers, and she repeated the trip to Egypt in 1891–1892. After 1889, the personal relationship between Victoria and Gustaf is considered to have been finished, in part, perhaps due to the possible bisexuality of Gustaf. She suffered depression after the birth of her first child in 1883, and after this, she often spent the winters at spas abroad: she would continue to spend the winters outside of Sweden from that year until her death. By 1888, her winter trips had made her unpopular, and she was described as very haughty. In 1889, she had pneumonia, and was formally ordered by the doctors to spend the cold Swedish winters in a southern climate. She had conflicts with her parents-in-law about her expensive stays abroad. By inclination, Gustaf V was a conservative man, and did not approve of the democratic movement or demands for workers' rights. Theoretically, he was a near-autocrat under the 1809 Instrument of Government.


Gustaf V was considered to have German sympathies during World War I. His political stance during the war was highly influenced by his wife, who felt a strong connection to her German homeland. On 18 December 1914, he sponsored a meeting in Malmö with the other two kings of Scandinavia to demonstrate unity within and between them.

Another of Gustaf V's objectives with this three-king conference was to dispel suspicions that he wanted to bring Sweden into the war on Germany's side. Gustaf V was a devoted tennis player, appearing under the pseudonym Mr G. As a player and promoter of the sport, he was elected in to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1980.