27 February 2014

HRH Princess Leonore Lilian Maria of Sweden, Duchess of Gotland

In the Council of State at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on Wednesday 26 February 2014, King Carl Gustaf informed his government that his new granddaughter, born in New York City on 20 February 2014, had got the name Leonore Lilian Maria. Her call name was Leonore, and besides her princess title with style of Royal Highness she had also got the title Duchess of Gotland.

According to Dagens Nyheter's coverage of Chris O'Neill's press meeting last Friday, the newborn princess had got five names, but that seems to have been a misquote, unless O'Neill referred to his daughter's middle name and surname as well (Bernadotte O'Neill or the other way around). I guess three given names are far enough...

Princess Leonore's parents have not yet said anything in public about the given names, so it is impossible to know for a fact their motivation behind their choices. We can only guess. It is, however, not difficult to gather that the name Lilian comes from Princess Madeleine's late great-aunt Princess Lilian, who died in 2013. Princess Leonore's paternal grandmother is named Eva Maria, so that surely explains her third name.

The name Leonore surely surprised most people. It could be described as a more modern and trendy version of the name Eleonora, which is well.rooted in Swedish royal history. Queen Ulrika Eleonora (1688-1741), who became reigning Queen of Sweden in 1719, but abdicated in favour of her husband, Fredrik I, the year after, is just one example. One can also find the name, or a variation thereof, in other European royal families (Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands). I think the Swedish connection is more important, but Princess Madeleine and her husband have most likely chosen the name because they like it. It is as simple as that.

The last Duke of Gotland was King Oscar II's second son Prince Oscar (1859-1953), who lost his succession rights, membership of the royal house as well as his ducal title when he married a Swedish "private man's daughter", Ebba Munck af Fulkila in 1888. It is nice that such and old ducal title has come back to light again. It is also nice that in this way the beautiful island of Gotland might get more attention and attract more tourists, as the governor of Gotland, Cecilia Schelin Seidegård, touched upon in an interview on Wednesday. The county administration issued a short press statement, expressing happiness in the fact that the island of Gotland would have a special place in the heart of the royal family.

After the Council of State, the Marshal of the Realm, Svante Lindqvist, informed that the requirement in article 4 in the Act of Succession, which says that "princes and princesses of the Royal House shall be brought up [...] within the Realm", was interpreted into saying that it would be fulfilled if the princess lived and started school in Sweden from the age of 6. In other words, while Princess Leonore and her parents live in New York City today, they would have to move to Sweden by August 2020.

The christening will take place in the Royal Palace Church in the spring.

25 February 2014

Sweden: Name of royal baby to be announced in Council of State on Wednesday 26 February 2014

In connection with the birth of  Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill's daughter on 20 February, a Council of State ("konselj") will - according to a statement released by the Swedish Royal Court (*) today - take place at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 3 p.m.

In the Council of State, King Carl XVI Gustaf will inform the government about the child's title, names and call name. Soon after the Council of State has taken place the Marshal of the Realm will inform the media about the same.

(*) The English version of the press release was made available after my article was published.

Updated on 25 February 2014 at 16.05 (link added, one typo corrected).

23 February 2014

Program for the Royalty Weekend 2014

The Royalty Weekend 2014 will take place on 5-6 April 2014 at the Ticehurst and Flimwell Church of England Primary School, Steellands Rise, Ticehurst in East Sussex, England.

The updated program tells that the speakers will include:
  • Coryne Hall on They Were Not all Kings - Lesser Known Descendants of Christian IX
  • Ricardo Mateos Sainz de Medrano on The Infanta Eulalia of Spain 
  • Colin Parrish on Aunt Gloucester- the Life of Queen Victoria’s aunt, Princess Mary 
  • Margreeth Pop-Jansen on Portraits of Royal Children 
  • Helen Rappaport on Four Sisters - the research behind her just released latest book on the daughters of Nicholas II followed by a signing session at Van Hoogstraten's bookstall 
  • Ian Shapiro on Royal Manuscripts and Letters from Elizabeth I 
  • Katrina Warne on Residences of the Russian Imperial Family 
  • John Wimbles on The Duchess of Edinburgh’s Farewell to England 
  • Charlotte Zeepvat on Maurice of Battenberg
There will also be other royal authors present including Janet Ashton, Bobby Golden and Ilana Miller.

Booksellers van Hoogstraten of the Hague will be in attendance til teatime on Sunday 6 April, and they can take orders in advance if you wish them to bring books from their shop. Judith Grant will have a Royal Ephemera stall on the Saturday only.

There will also be the usual bring and buy Royal Ephemera sale, and it will be possible to buy second-hand books as well.

Cost: for all lectures, tea, coffee and snacks, two buffet lunches & one evening meal with wine:
  • £110 for those paying in sterling before Feb 28th 2014
  • £115 for those paying with Paypal; or sterling later than Feb 28th 2014
Please contact Sue Woolmans at royalweekend[at]gmail.com for more details.

Go here for my article about the 2011 conference and here for the 2013 conference.

I would have loved to attend the conference, but it will have to pass this year. My wife and I bought a new home last fall, and as it took so long to sell our old flat, we will have to reduce the number of trips abroad this year. I hope to make a comeback next year instead!

21 February 2014

Swedish Royal Birth in New York City

The Swedish Royal Court announced early this morning that Princess Madeleine the evening before, at 10.41 p.m. (local time), at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, USA, had given birth to a girl. Princess Madeleine, the youngest child of King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, has been married to Christopher O'Neill since June 2013. The pregnancy was announced on 3 September 2013.

According to another press statement released later the same morning, both mother and child are in good health and Mr Christopher O’Neill was present at the hospital throughout the birth. The birth was marked by a 21-gun salute at noon today. The names and titles of the baby girl, who was born into this world as no. 5 in the line of succession to the Swedish throne, will be announced in a cabinet meeting, probably early next week (no date has been set yet). The Royal Court's solicitor informed last fall that Princess Madeleine's child woult be titled, so it would be rather surprising if the king in the meantime has changed his mind.

Chris O'Neill told in a press meeting tonight that baby girl has got five names, which might be somewhat surprising, considering that the newborn's grandfather as well as Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Estelle, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine all received four names "only". On the other hand, King Carl Gustaf's sisters all got three names, so the "four names tradition" is far from being deep-rooted. And if we go back to the king's father's generation, Prince Gustaf Adolf had six names, the then Prince Sigvard three, Princess Ingrid (later Queen Ingrid of Denmark) five, Prince Bertil also five and the then Prince Carl Johan only three.

According to the information given at the press meeting, the newborn princess weighed 3150 grams and measured 50 cm. She looked like her mother, O'Neill said, and had brown hair and dark brown eyes.

It will of course be interesting to hear the names the parents have chosen. After the announcement of Princess Estelle's call name, I am not sure if I will take the chance to make a guess. But as I have said on similar occasions before, I would love a tradtional royal name or at least a name with Swedish/Norse roots, but Princess Madeleine and Chris ONeill might have opted for a more "modern" and trendy call name. Katharina Leibring at the Department of Scandinavian Languages at Uppsala University, who has researched personal names traditions, finds it hard to imagine "something like Hjördis", a comment I thought was rather amusing. According to the Dagens Nyheter article, Elouise and Desirée are the betting companies' favourites.

The Royal Court has informed that a Te Deum thanksgiving service will take place on 2 March in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.