The 80-year-old Swede suffered a stroke in 1990 which left his speech slurred, and he was in a wheelchair on Saturday.
Absent was one of the three winners of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, Ralph Steinman of Canada, who died of cancer just three days before the award was announced on October 3.
While Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously, the committee decided to maintain its decision to give him one half of the prestigious prize since it had not been aware of his death.
His wife Claudia accepted the honour on his behalf and speaking from the gala dinner, daughter Louise Steinman told Swedish Radio News how her father would have loved all the pomp and cermony of the day, always held on the anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel.
"He would have been so thrilled, he was a very simple, practical man but when something really special happened he became boisterous and joyful."
The laureates and their families are attending a royal dinner at the castle on Sunday.