Swedish king shrinks his own royal family
Five of King Carl Gustaf ’s grandchildren have ‘royal highness’ titles removed to reduce line of succession
The King of Sweden has removed five of his grandchildren from the country’s royal house, to the delight of Swedish republicans. King Carl XVI Gustaf ruled on Monday that the children of his two younger offspring, Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip, would from now on be treated as private citizens. They will no longer have the title of royal highness, will not be expected to carry out official duties and can no longer expect a share of the royal allowance as adults.
THE King of Sweden has removed five of his grandchildren from the country’s royal house in a historic step that brought celebrations from Swedish republicans.
In a surprise decision, King Carl XVI Gustaf on Monday ruled that the children of his two younger offspring, Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip, would from now on be treated as private citizens.
They will no longer have the title of royal highness, will not be expected to carry out official duties and can no longer expect a share of the royal “apanage”, the king’s state-funded annual allowance, when they become adults.
“We have a growing royal family and the king finds it proper to define who within the royal family should be expected to perform official duties in the future,” said Fredrik Wersäll, the marshal of the realm.
The three children of Princess Madeleine, Leonore (five), Nicolas (four) and Adrienne (one), and the two of Prince Carl Philip, Alexander (three) and Gabriel (two), will now have a similar role to that of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie in the UK. The UK princesses have not been working Royal family members since they left fulltime education, do not receive public funding, and are not required to attend official engagements.
Karin Lennmor, the former editor of Svenska Damtidning, Sweden’s leading royal gossip magazine, said it would be wrong to see the ruling as a demotion. “I think it was out of concern for the grandchildren ... They have the opportunity to grow up in a different way.”
Sweden’s order of succession states that those in line to inherit the crown should grow up in Sweden, leading to criticism of Princess Madeleine who lives overseas with Christopher O’neill, her British-american husband, first in London and now in Miami, Florida.
“Chris and I think that it’s good that our children will now be better able in the future to lead their own lives as private people,” she wrote on Instagram.
Lisa Bjurwald, the chairman of Sweden’s republican association, told the Expressen newspaper that the decision was “a major victory in the republican battle”. “It’s definitely worth cracking open a little Pommac or mini-champagne to celebrate,” she said.
The ruling appeared timed to preempt a review of the appanage system.
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia
‘I think it was out of concern for the grandchildren. They have the opportunity to grow up in a different way’
said they were pleased that their children would be “freer” while retaining their titles. “They will continue to hold their titles as princes and their dukedoms of Södermanland and Dalarna, which is something we value and are proud about,” they wrote on Instagram.
The news will be welcomed by those who favour a more streamlined British Royal family. The Queen’s children, her cousins and their spouses have an active role in public life, but in future it is unlikely to include so many faces.
The Prince of Wales is understood to appreciate the potential benefits, while Zara and Peter Phillips proved it is possible to be born into the family without requiring public funds. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that their son, Archie Mountbatten-windsor, would not take a royal title, giving him greater freedom as he grows up.