30 May 2010

HRH Prince Daniel of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland

The Swedish Royal Court announced today, in connection with the publishing of the banns of marriage for Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling in the Palace Church in Stockholm, that King Carl Gustaf on the wedding day 19 June 2010 will confer on Daniel Westling the titles of Prince of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland with the style of Royal Highness.

The decision to confer the titles Prince of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland was announced already on the day the couple was officially engaged, 24 February 2009. I took it for granted that the titles would go along with the style of Royal Highness, something I also commented on in connection with Princess Madeleine's engagement (now broken) to Jonas Bergström in August 2009. The lack of clarity in the original press release of 24 February 2009 has lead to some confusion as well as discussions in the media as well as in various newsgroups and message boards.

There was of course no reason to doubt that the future Prince Daniel would not become a Royal Highness. The king had already consented the marriage, and as the press release says, Daniel is to become a member of the royal house, "det vil säga Kunglig Höghet" ("in other words Royal Highness"). Should he have not become a Royal Highness, it would be a rather strange break with tradition and many would have interpreted it as a sign of the king's dissatisfaction with Crown Princess Victoria's choice.

The court also explains that Daniel will become Duke of Västergötland because his wife-to-be is a Duchess of Västergötland. This should be interpreted as saying that he gets his titles in connection with marriage, not "in his own right".

The mystery is why on earth the royal court decided to announce the decision about the style at the day the banns of marriage was published - the banns and the decision upon titles and style have no connection whatsoever. For a member of the royal house the title and style go hand in hand, so there is no reason to believe that the decision was not yet made, as Anette Wallner at the Royal Court claimed in a comment to Swedish TV earlier this week. She just had her mind somewhere else that day. It is quite possible that the Royal Court did not think about the question of style when the original press statement was released, as it took it for granted.

Good then that everything is cleared out, and that everyone now can focus on other aspects of the royal wedding instead. The Royal Court has, by the way, made a separate website for the royal wedding: in Swedish and in English. Another source of information would be The Local's royal wedding page.


1 comment:

  1. I think you must be right that the Court just took it for granted. It should be a lesson to Royal Courts (and others) that in the digital age, every press release and statement may be scrutinized and debated on the internet with Talmudic precision, so it is good to be clear and even state what seems to be obvious.