Early on the King's biggest interests were clear: cars and tools. On his fifth birthday he received a pedal car, a trowel, bricks, gardening tools and a yoke with two buckets.

The interest in motoring has stuck with him. At the annual classic car King’s Rally on the island of Öland, the King drives a Volvo PV 60 from 1946, which the King received on his 50th birthday.

Nature, sport and outdoor life

Since his childhood the King has enjoyed being surrounded by nature. He very much appreciates outdoor life, different sports activities plus hunting and wildlife. The King is an accomplished skier and has participated in the Vasaloppet cross-country ski race three times, in 1977, 1987 and 1997.

The Crown Prince steering a motorboat during the summer holiday of 1958. Photo from the Bernadotte Library's archive.

The King has a holiday cottage in Storlien which he inherited from his parents. After the death of Prince Bertil, the Royal Family also inherited Villa Mirage in Sainte-Maxime, France. The Royal Family spend their summers at Solliden Palace on the island of Öland.

Art, music and food

The King is interested in art, music and food. He is a member of the Gastronomic Academy.

The King presenting the 2011 Polar Music Prize to American singer and poet Patti Smith. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix

The King has initiated a number of music events at the Royal Palace of Stockholm and has also exhibited works from King Gustaf VI Adolf's graphics collection. The King has worked actively to open up the Royal Palace of Stockholm and its unique art collections to the general public.