King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden Changes Royal Styles

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, his daughter Crown Princess Victoria and granddaughter Princess Estelle, the first and second in the line of succession to the Swedish throne; Photo Credit – Sandra Birgersdotter I, The Royal Court of Sweden

On October 7, 2019, the Swedish Royal Court announced that King Carl XVI Gustaf had decided to make changes regarding the children of his son Prince Carl Philip and his daughter Princess Madeleine. Their children would no longer be members of The Royal House but would continue to be members of The Royal Family. Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas, and Princess Adrienne would no longer enjoy the style of Royal Highness but they would retain their titles of Prince/Princess and Duke/Duchess previously granted by King Carl XVI Gustaf. They will remain in the line of succession to the Swedish throne. In the future, they will not be expected to perform any royal duties. They will be styled Prince/Princess <Name>, Duke/Duchess of <Geographical Area>:

  • Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland
  • Prince Gabriel, Duke of Dalarna
  • Prince Leonore, Duchess of Gotland
  • Prince Nicolas, Duke of Ångermanland
  • Prince Adrienne, Duchess of Blekinge

The text of the communiqué regarding these changes released on October 7, 2019, by Fredrik Wersäll,  Marshal of the Realm is at the end of this article.
Members of the Swedish Royal House officially represent the Kingdom of Sweden and its Head of State, the monarch. They perform royal duties and receive taxpayer-funded payments. The Swedish Royal Family is made up of the members of The Royal House as well as the monarch’s extended family.
The five children affected by the change range are five-years-old and younger. In the future, they will have considerably more freedom in their lives. Fredrik Wersäll, Marshal of the Realm, said that King Carl XVI Gustaf and his family had been discussing the possible change for several years and that both sets of parents were happy with it.  Because only members of the Swedish Royal House receive taxpayer-funded payments, the change will also reduce the burden of the Swedish taxpayer.
On October 7, 2019, in a Facebook post, Princess Madeleine explained the reasoning and said that the change had been planned for a long time.
“Today the Court announced that Leonore, Nicolas and Adrienne should no longer belong to the Royal House, while remaining part of the Royal Family. This change has been planned for a long time. Chris and I think it is appropriate that our children will now have a greater opportunity to shape their own lives as private individuals.
We were honoured when my parents bestowed upon Leonore a royal title when she joined Estelle as the 2nd grandchild of our Swedish Royal Family. We have always believed in giving our children the freedom to choose their future, that’s why we welcome this decision wholeheartedly. I will continue with my royal responsibilities by supporting my parents and my sister.”
At the time of the marriages of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s four sisters, if a non-royal marriage was made, royal status was lost and if a male, succession rights were lost. Women could not inherit the throne at that time, which has since changed. Since 1980, there is no restriction based on nationality or royal rank, on whom a prince or princess can marry, apart from the fact that permission must be granted. The current succession law states that only the descendants of King Carl XVI Gustaf may inherit the throne. Sweden’s line of succession to the throne is based on cognatic primogeniture where males and females have equal succession rights.
According to the official website of the Swedish monarchy, on October 7, 2019, The Royal House, the House of Bernadotte consisted of:

  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf (born 1946)
  • HM Queen Silvia (born 1943)
  • HRH Crown Princess Victoria (born 1977) – Heir Presumptive, the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf
  • HRH Prince Daniel (born 1973) – Crown Princess Victoria’s husband
  • HRH Princess Estelle (born 2012) – Second in the line to the throne, the eldest child of Crown Princess Victoria, Estelle will succeed her mother
  • HRH Prince Oscar (born 2016) – Crown Princess Victoria’s second child
  • HRH Prince Carl Philip (born 1979) – King Carl XVI Gustaf’s second child
  • HRH Princess Sofia (born 1984) – Prince Carl Philip’s wife
  • HRH Princess Madeleine (born 1982) – King Carl XVI Gustaf’s third child
  • HRH Princess Birgitta (born 1937) – King Carl XVI Gustaf’s second eldest sister. Because she married a man of princely status, Birgitta retained her royal style and title as Princess of Sweden and is the only one of her sisters to remain a member of the Swedish Royal House.

The members of The Royal House, above, are also members of The Royal Family. As of October 7, 2019, the additional members of the Royal Family were:

  • Prince Alexander (born 2016) – Prince Carl Philip’s first child
  • Prince Gabriel (born 2017) – Prince Carl Philip’s second child
  • Princess Leonore (born 2014) – Princess Madeleine’s first child
  • Prince Nicolas (born 2015) – Princess Madeleine’s second child
  • Princess Adrienne (born 2018) – Princess Madeleine’s third child
  • Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler (born 1934) – King Carl XVI Gustaf’s eldest sister. Because of her non-royal marriage, Margaretha lost her royal style. At the time of her marriage, women could not succeed to the throne. Her descendants were not eligible to inherit the throne and they still are not.
  • Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld (born 1938) – King Carl XVI’s third eldest sister. Because of her non-royal marriage, Désirée lost her royal style. At the time of her marriage, women could not succeed to the throne. Her descendants were not eligible to inherit the throne and they still are not.
  • Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson (born 1943) – King Carl XVI’s youngest sister. Because of her non-royal marriage, Christina lost her royal style. At the time of her marriage, women could not succeed to the throne. Her descendants were not eligible to inherit the throne and they still are not.
  • Marianne Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg (born 1924), the last surviving aunt or uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf, second commoner wife of his uncle Sigvard Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg, born Prince Sigvard of Sweden. He lost his royal status and succession rights when he married his first commoner wife.

On October 7, 2019, Fredrik Wersäll,  Marshal of the Realm released the following communiqué:
“His Majesty The King has decided on changes to The Royal House. The purpose of these changes is to establish which members of The Royal Family may be expected to perform official duties incumbent on the Head of State or related to the function of the Head of State.
His Majesty The King has decided that the children of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O’Neill will no longer be members of The Royal House.
Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne will continue to be members of The Royal Family. However, they will no longer enjoy the style of Royal Highness and, in the future, will not be expected to perform duties incumbent on the Head of State.
Prince Alexander (Duke of Södermanland), Prince Gabriel (Duke of Dalarna), Princess Leonore (Duchess of Gotland), Prince Nicolas (Duke of Ångermanland) and Princess Adrienne (Duchess of Blekinge) will retain their titles of Duke and Duchess previously granted by His Majesty.
His Majesty The King and Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess are, together with Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Daniel, Sweden’s highest representatives within the Realm and vis-à-vis other States.
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 organisations which they have founded or in which they are involved. In addition, they will perform official duties to the extent decided by His Majesty.”

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