14 September 2013

Child(ren) of Princess Madeleine of Sweden to receive a royal title

The Swedish weekly magasine Svensk Damtidning this week (no. 38/2013) - printed edition only - provided some rather interesting information concerning Princess Madeleine's future child, and it is a bit strange that the royalty discusions forums haven't picked up on it yet.

In the said issue on page 3 the Swedish Royal Court's solicitor, Axel Calissendorff, says that Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill's child will, contrary to what I had expected, become a Prince or a Princess. The solicitor adds that as the princess is still a royal highness, the child will also be born as a royal highness and enter the line of succession as no. 5, referring to the Act of Succession's Article 1. He then goes on to mention that in order to inherit the throne, it is among others required that one is Lutheran, is brought up within the realm and doesn't marry without the government's consent.

I commented in my recent blog article on the rather poorly formulated Article 4 of the Act of Succession. This time I quote the complete text:
Art. 4. In accordance with the express provision of Article 2 of the Instrument of Government of 1809 that The King shall always profess the pure evangelical faith, as adopted and explained in the unaltered Confession of Augsburg and in the Resolution of the Uppsala Meeting of the year 1593, princes and princesses of the Royal House shall be brought up in that same faith and within the Realm. Any member of the Royal Family not professing this faith shall be excluded from all rights of succession.
As I have already commented on, the article is very clear on the consequences for not professing "the pure evangelical faith", but doesn't say anything about what will happen if one is brought up outside the realm, as also the preparatory works to the changes to the succession law in 1979 (Prop. 1977/78 no. 71) says. The Solicitor Royal is obviously of the opinion that being brought up outside the realm will also have consequences for his or her succession rights. This is not an unreasonable interpretation, but still rather problematic. As it seems now Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill plan to live in the USA, but doesn't rule out the possibility of settling in Sweden some time in the future. How long can they remain abroad before it becomes problematic constitutionally speaking for Prince or Princess X? It is a pity that Riksdagen didn't do anything about the article back in the late 1970s, but the politicians decided to focus on the articles relevant for adopting full cognatic succession and nothing else. The reason for requiring the princes and princesses to be brought up within the realm is obviously that they should be familiar with the Swedish society in case they inherit the throne. It sill most likely turn out to be an academic question only, as Crown Princess Victoria's line is to inherit the throne and she will hopefully have more children in order to secure the succession.

So as of now we know that the future child, expected in early March 2014, will be titled Prince or Princess of Sweden. The solicitor didn't say anything about a royal dukedom, but I find it natural that the child will get a ducal title as well, as traditionally it has been linked to those with sucession rights since the Constitution of 1772. We can also expect the child to have a Lutheran christening. 

We can also expect that Prince Carl Philip's future children, if he ever marries, will be titled as well. But it is still to early to say if we can see a pattern here. Will royal titles for the monarch's grandchildren also be "the rule" also in future generations? The Solicitor Royal even claims children of royal highnesses automatically will become royal highnesses themselves, but this would mean that we could get an endless number of princes and princesses in the future. It has to be restricted somehow. Personally I would have found it more sensible if only Crown Princess Victoria's children were titled and that the titles will be restricted for those expected to be "working royals". Now as the king thinks differently, I can only hope that he (or his successor) will draw the line for the next generation so that Prince Carl Philip's and Princess Madeleine's grandchildren are not titled. Well, time will show!

Updated on Tuesday 9 October 2018 at 14:10 (minor language errors corrected).

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