23 February 2012

Royal birth in Sweden

I had just eaten breakfast this morning and was about turn off the radio when I was told that Prince Daniel of Sweden was about to give a press conference at Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset in Stockholm.

I was therefore able to listen to the prince's initial comments broadcasted on NRK P1 before I had to make my daughter and myself ready for a new day at kindergarten (day care) and at work.

So all this is «old news» already, but for the record: Prince Daniel could inform the media and through it the Swedish people the great news that Crown Princess Victoria at 04:26 had given birth to a girl, who was 51 centimetres long and weighed 3280 grams. Sweden has finally got a new member of the royal family, happy news that have been rejoiced throughout the country. A birth gives the monarchy new, positive energy and popularity.

The birth was duly announced at Kungahuset.se and Facebook:
The Office of the Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce that H.R.H Crown Princess Victoria gave birth to a daughter on Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 04.26 am.

Both mother and child are in good health.
The birth was marked by a 2 x 21 gun salute. Tomorrow there will be several formal events, as earlier explained: A witness statement (confirmation) will be drawn up, King Carl Gustaf will at 11.15 a.m. preside over an extraordinary Council of State where he will inform about the names and titles of the new princess, and a thanksgiving service, a so-called Te Deum, will be held in the Royal Chapel at noon.

The Swedish prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, issued the following statement today:
– My warmest congratulations to Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and Sweden's new princess. It is a great day for the whole royal family and it is also a great day for Sweden. I and many Swedes with me shares the happiness with the Crown Princess couple and the longed-for child. At the birth of a new princess will the Swedish monarchy soon enter a new era of queens, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says.
Only a few hours after giving birth, Crown Princess Victoria left the hospital together with Prince Daniel and the newborn child. The royal court issued statements by members of the family. The King and Queen said that they «very much shared the happiness with the Crown Princess couple. We remember well the joy of becoming parents and we wish the new family a wonderful time in peace and quiet. It is a grandchild we have longed for and we are both very proud and happy today».

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine, younger brother and sister of Crown Princess Victoria, said: «– We are both thrilled about our new family member. We have looked forward to becoming an uncle and aunt, and we wish all happiness and love to our sister, Daniel and their daughter.»

Prince Daniel's parents Olle and Ewa Westling followed up: «– We are feeling a great joy today as our Daniel and our Victoria now have become parents. We wish Daniel and Victoria all happiness with the new family member and we will support and help out as grandparents. »

Also Prince Daniel's sister Anna Maria Westling Söderström and her family sent their best wishes: «–I feel a great joy as my brother and Victoria now have become parents. It is a very longed-for child. As an aunt I together with my family look forward to learn to know the child and to follow her developments. It is also very nice that my daughters have got a cousin, something they have longed for.»

The new princess became second in the line of Succession to the Swedish throne the very second she wa born. For the first time since 5 January 1997 when Prince Bertil died there are now four persons in the line of succession. And as many people have commented on today, we will some years from now have a generation of at least 5 reigning Queens in Europe: Baby Bernadotte, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands and Infanta Leonor of Spain. One should of course take in mind that the Prince and Princess of Asturias could become parents to a boy who would take Infanta Leonor's position as second in line. So for now Prince Christian of Denmark will be «the only man at the hen party». The picture could change a little bit if/when Prince William of Wales, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Prince Albert of Monaco get children. One should of course not forget Prince Joseph Wenzel, the oldest son of Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein. But born in 1995 he is some years senior to the future reigning European queens and kings.

The name game has been going on for a long time already, and has of course been intensified after the birth. Many educated guesses have been given about what call name the new princess will have. Christina, Sofia, Margareta and Ulrika seem to stand out, but other names like Astrid, Désirée, Katarina and Lovisa have been mentioned. One could perhaps also add names like Amelia and Cecilia from the Holstein-Gottorp period. Names like Silvia, Sibylla and Ewa are quite possible choices as one of the four names the princess is expected to get. Well, the names are of course already decided on, but will first be announced tomorrow. My personal favourite call name would be Astrid, but I think it is more likely that the princess will be named either Christina, Sofia or Margareta. What about the duchy? There are of course many possibilities, but one title that have been mentioned often today is Duchess of Närke.

The surname will of course be the same as the dynastic name, Bernadotte. As earlier explained under the current name law new royals have to be registered with a surname.

Friday 24 February will be a great and exciting royal day in Sweden, as 23 February was!

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