21 April 2016

HRH Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland

Many «royalty watchers» seem to have been taken by surprise when the name of the newborn son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden was announced in the Council of State at the Royal Palace in Stockholm today: Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil. Not like the «bombshell» created when Princess Estelle's name was announced back in 2012, however.

Even though the name Alexander, which will be in daily use, is new to the royal family of Sweden, it is at least an often-used name in royal Europe. There are plenty of examples from Russia, Germany (including Prince Carl Philip's second cousin Prince Alexander of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha). Serbia as well as the Netherlands, and even Denmark. Olav of Norway was named Alexander before he became Crown Prince of Norway, remember. The parents of the 2 days' old prince might tell later why they chose Alexander. Most likely they were not thinking about any royal name bearers in particular, but just happened to like the name. It is a rather common name in Sweden, as it as of 1 January 2016 ranks as no. 28 on the list of the most popular male names, according to the Statistics Sweden.  As many as 77 817 men have Alexander as one of their given names, while 35 771 have Alexander as their call name. The numbers for the alternative spelling Aleksander are 1262 and 658 respectively.

I was pleased to see Erik as one of the other given names. Several kings have bore the name, as well as King Gustaf V's youngest son Erik Gustaf Ludvig Albert, Duke of Västmanland (1899–1918). Erik is also the name of Princess Sofia's father Erik Oscar Hellqvist. King Carl Gustaf's fourth given name is Hubertus, which explains the young Prince Alexander's third name. King Carl Gustaf got Hubertus from his maternal uncle Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1909–1943). Bertil of course comes from the king's uncle and Prince Carl Philip's sponsor Prince Bertil (1912–1997).

An interesting point, as made by Robert Warholm at the Facebook group Kungligt forum today, is that the three princes Nicolas (Paul Gustaf), Oscar (Carl Olof) and Alexander (Erik Hubertus Bertil) all have got one of their names from their grandfather King Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus. So maybe we can expect Folke as one of the given names if another prince comes along?

Prince Alexander was also assigned the duchy of Södermanland (Sudermania). The last duke of Södermanland was Prince Wilhelm (1884–1965), second son of King Gustaf V (and the elder brother of Prince Erik mentioned above).

The current line of succession to the throne of Sweden is as follows:
  1. Crown Princess Victoria (1977)
  2. Princess Estelle (2012)
  3. Prince Oscar (2016)
  4. Prince Carl Philip (1979)
  5. Prince Alexander (2016)
  6. Princess Madeleine (1982)
  7. Princess Leonore (2014)
  8. Prince Nicolas (2015)

No comments:

Post a Comment