9 October 2019

Sweden: Changes to the Royal House

Court decision 7 October 2019. Photos of documents published at the Swedish Royal Court's Facebook page.

The Swedish Royal Court announced on Monday 7 October 2019 that the King had decided to «downsize» the Royal House, which meant that the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia and of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill had ceased to be members of the Royal House and now only were members of the Royal Family. They are also no longer styled Royal Highness. The press release in full said:
His Majesty The King has decided on changes to The Royal House. The purpose of these changes is to establish which members of The Royal Family may be expected to perform official duties incumbent on the Head of State or related to the function of the Head of State.

His Majesty The King has decided that the children of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O’Neill will no longer be members of The Royal House.

Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne will continue to be members of The Royal Family. However, they will no longer enjoy the style of Royal Highness and, in the future, will not be expected to perform duties incumbent on the Head of State.

Prince Alexander (Duke of Södermanland), Prince Gabriel (Duke of Dalarna), Princess Leonore (Duchess of Gotland), Prince Nicolas (Duke of Ångermanland) and Princess Adrienne (Duchess of Blekinge) will retain their titles of Duke and Duchess previously granted by His Majesty.

His Majesty The King and Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess are, together with Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Daniel, Sweden’s highest representatives within the Realm and vis-à-vis other States.

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine will continue their work in the non-profit foundations and organisations which they have founded or in which they are involved. In addition, they will perform official duties to the extent decided by His Majesty.


7 October 2019

Fredrik Wersäll
Marshal of the Realm
I was not very surprised by the news – the downsizing was bound to happen some day – but the timing was odd. It had made more sense if the king had clarified the membership prior to the birth of Princess Leonore. As the royal children in question were never expected to take on official engagements, I have earlier on several occasions (see for instance my article of 14 September 2013) said that I would have preferred if they hadn't got any titles at all. Only royals expected to represent the royal house should have titles. The Swedish king has now made a system which somewhat resembles the Norwegian, where those who are styled Majesty or Royal Highness are members of the royal house, while the others are «only» members of the royal family. The only difference is that both children of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are styled Royal Highness, while among the Norwegian Crown Prince's children only Princess Ingrid Alexandra has that style. In addition, in the Norwegian Royal Family Prince Sverre Magnus, Princess Märtha Louise and Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner are styled Highness while abroad (but not in Norway – although the Royal Court has never given a satisfactory explanation to this, I guess the decision was made because titles and styles means more abroad than at home).

In the press conference which followed the announcement, the Marshal of the Realm among others stressed that the prince(ss) and ducal titles for the royal children in question were personal and could
not be transferred to their spouses and children.

King Carl XVI Gustaf's decision does of course not affect the line of succession. However, the question of the upbringing of Princess Madeleine's children outside the realm, cf. the Act of Succession Article 4, remains unsolved. Another question is what would happen if Prince Carl Philip or Princess Madeleine had another child. I expect that the king would make no difference and would settle on the personal title of prince/princess (and ducal title), but of course not give the style Royal Highness.

Members of the Royal House
  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf (b. 1946)
  • HM Queen Silvia (b. 1943)
  • HRH Crown Princess Victoria (b. 1977)
  • HRH Prince Daniel (b. 1973)
  • HRH Princess Estelle (b. 2012)
  • HRH Prince Oscar (b. 2016)
  • HRH Prince Carl Philip (b. 1979)
  • HRH Princess Sofia (b. 1984)
  • HRH Princess Madeleine (b. 1982)
  • HRH Princess Birgitta (b. 1937)
Members of the Royal Family

The Royal Family consists of the members of the Royal House as well as the King's other grandchildren and sisters as well as the widow of the King's Uncle Count Sigvard of Bernadotte.
  • Prince Alexander (b. 2016)
  • Prince Gabriel (b. 2017)
  • Princess Leonore (b. 2014)
  • Prince Nicolas (b. 2015)
  • Princess Adrienne (b. 2018)
  • Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler (b. 1934)
  • Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld (b. 1938)
  • Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson (b. 1943)
  • Countess Marianne Bernadotte of Wisborg (b. 1924)
The Line of Succession to the Swedish Throne

As said, the line of succession remains unchanged:
  1. HRH Crown Princess Victoria (b. 1977)
  2. HRH Princess Estelle (b. 2012)
  3. HRH Prince Oscar (b. 2016)
  4. HRH Prince Carl Philip (b. 1979)
  5. Prince Alexander (b. 2016) 
  6. Prince Gabriel (b. 2017)
  7. HRH Princess Madeleine (b. 1982)
  8. Princess Leonore (b. 2014)
  9. Prince Nicolas (b. 2015)
  10. Princess Adrienne (b. 2018) 
Updated on Thursday 10 October 2019 at 21:05 (minor spelling mistake corrected, last time on Sunday 1 December 2019 at 13.30 (grammatical error corrected).