Royal Court Announces Change of Titles
This morning, the Royal Court in Sweden issued a statement which resulted in the King (with discussion with the family) removing the titles of “His/Her Royal Highness” from the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. With this announcement, the children are no longer considered a part of the “The Royal House”.
Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas, and Princess Adrienne all continue to hold their Duchy and continue to remain a part of the Royal Family, however in the future their titles will not pass along to their spouse/children and they will not be expected to perform duties incumbent on the Head of State. The 5 children, do remain in the line of succession with this change (as a change in the line of succession must come from a change in the Constitution.)
As of today, the members of The Royal House include:
King Carl XVI Gustaf
Crown Princess Victoria
Prince Carl Philip
While the announcement was a surprise, in the timing of it (no one was expecting it to come this morning), it is not a surprise for it to be made. Since their children’s births, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia as well as Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill have made it clear that they wish for their children to live relatively private lives.** Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill have had what I would consider the hardest time with this with the paparazzi following them through the streets of New York City, London and now in their new location of Miami, Florida.
Many have questioned why the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine were given titles originally, and to that there is a logical answer. When Princess Madeleine announced that she was pregnant and later gave birth to Princess Leonore- Prince Carl Philip was not yet engaged, and Princess Estelle as the only grandchild. Additionally, there was the open-secret/rumor that Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel struggled to conceive so it was unknown if they would have a second child. So for better words, Princess Leonore was the “spare”. Since the birth of the other 5 grandchildren, there is no longer such a need for the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine to take on a public role in the future.
One interesting observation that came along with this announcement, was the statement:
“Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine will continue their work in the non-profit foundations and organizations which they have founded or in which they are involved. In addition, they will perform official duties to the extent decided by His Majesty”
While we have noticed for years, that Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, and Princess Madeleine have had significantly minor engagement numbers than compared to the King, Queen, Crown Princess, and Prince Daniel; this statement begs the question- will we see those numbers decrease even more in the coming years? My answer is that eventually- yes we will. As the Crown Princess and Prince Daniel’s children get older and are in school full time during the day, I expect their numbers will increase (and we have already begun to see that occur this year). The King and Queen*** are both aging and while they remain active and involved, they will inevitably slow down. (We’ve been observing that from the Queen already over the past few years). As the years progress, I expect that Prince Carl Philip will continue to hold a steady number of engagements and obligations during a year at least until Princess Estelle turns 18, however I expect when that point hits, he will slowly back away (much like Princess Christina or Princess Lilian did) and let Princess Estelle (and later Prince Oscar) have the limelight.
With this news, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia released a statement on their joint Instagram Account (as well as a new family photo). In this statement, they stated
“We see this as positive as Alexander and Gabriel will have freer choices in life. They will retain their prince titles and their duchies, Södermanland and Dalarna, which we value and are proud of. Our family has strong connections to both landscapes and we maintain our commitment there.”
Additionally, Princess Madeleine shared a statement on her Instagram Account about the decision as well. She stated:
This change has been planned for a long time. Chris and I think it is good that our children now have a greater opportunity to shape their own lives as individuals in the future.
One consistency throughout all of these announcements, and the press conference that was held in connection- is that while this decision comes from the King, it was made after discussions within the family and with advisors. The statements released by Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, and Princess Madeleine show no signs of discord or disagreement with the choice- rather signal almost a sigh of relief for their children.
If you would like to read the full statement from the court, it is available in English.
With this announcement, the court released a new photo of the King, Crown Princess Victoria, and Princess Estelle. In this photo, Crown Princess Victoria wore a new dress from ByTiMo (appropriately named) with her Dior pumps and Dulong jewels. Princess Estelle wore a dress from Bonpoint and Pom D’Api shoes. In the new family portrait, Princess Sofia wore a new coat from Stand Studios (thanks Suvi).
**Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel also have stated that they would like their children to live relatively private lives, but they also understand the roles their children will later need to fulfill so they have tried hard to expose the children and include them on various occasions when it seems event and age appropriate. From my observations, this approach has worked extremely successfully for them and they alongside of the press seem to be pleased with the result.
***My prediction is, when the day comes that the Queen inevitably dies, her patronages will be split among Princess Sofia and Princess Madeleine and when the day that the King inevitably dies comes, his will be spread among Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, and Prince Carl Philip…. but I digress and that is a whole other topic of discussion.