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ABBA members reunite to receive Sweden’s top award

Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, who rarely perform together in public and are now in their 70s, received their orders from King Carl to the Royal Court.

The hugely popular group, which formed in 1972 and split in the early 1980s, has sold an estimated 385 million records and still has legions of fans around the world with enduring hits such as ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Thank You For The Music ‘ and “Fernando”.

The members of the music group ABBA Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Benny Andersson receive the Royal Vasa Order from Swedish King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia for their outstanding contributions to Swedish and international musical life during a ceremony at the Royal Stockholm Palace, in Stockholm, Sweden, May 31, 2024. TT News Agency/Henrik Montgomery/via REUTERS

Sweden resumed awarding knighthoods to Sweden this year after a fifty-year hiatus.

2024 will also mark fifty years since ABBA won the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Great Britain in 1974 with the song ‘Waterloo’, which brought them to worldwide attention.

The members of the music group ABBA Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Benny Andersson receive the Royal Vasa Order from Swedish King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia for their outstanding contributions to Swedish and international musical life during a ceremony at the Royal Stockholm Palace, in Stockholm, Sweden, May 31, 2024. TT News Agency/Henrik Montgomery/via REUTERS

The musical “Mamma Mia!”, composed by Ulvaeus and Andersson and based on their songs, has been seen by more than 70 million people around the world since its first opening in 1999, according to its creators. It has also led to two blockbuster films.

Ulvaeus told Swedish TV4 after the ceremony that he felt “very emotional” upon receiving the order, especially as it came from the Swedish public.

Sweden has four knightly orders, founded in the 18th century, of which the Vasa Order is the youngest. Members of the public nominate recipients and formal decisions are made by the government.