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Victoria
Crown Princess of Sweden
Duchess of Västergötland
The Crown Princess at the opening ceremony of Götatunneln, 2006
Full name
Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée
Father Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Mother Silvia Sommerlath
Born 14 July 1977 (1977-07-14) (age 32)
Stockholm, Sweden

Swedish Royal Family
Coat of Arms of Sweden.svg

HM The King
HM The Queen



Styles of
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am

Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland (Swedish: Victoria, Sveriges kronprinsessa, hertiginna av Västergötland, Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée; born Stockholm, 14 July 1977) is the heiress-apparent to the Swedish throne. If she ascends to the throne as expected she will be Sweden's fourth queen regnant (after Margaret, Christina, and Ulrika Eleonora).

Contents

Early life

Victoria is the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, and belongs to the Royal House of Bernadotte. Born as a Princess of Sweden, she was designated Crown Princess in 1979 (SFS 1979:932) ahead of her younger brother. Her first place in succession formally went into effect on 1 January 1980 with the parliamentary change to the Act of Succession that introduced equal primogeniture. Victoria is the only female heir-apparent in the world currently (though there are several females who are heiresses-apparent of an heir-apparent) and is usually styled HRH The Crown Princess. She is currently 194th in the Line of Succession to the British Throne through her father, who is a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, thus making him (along with Margaret II of Denmark and Juan Carlos I of Spain) a third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

Her given names honors various relatives. Her first name comes primarily from her great-great-grandmother, Victoria of Baden, the queen-consort of Sweden as wife of King Gustaf V. The same name also glorifies her (twice-over) great-great-great-grandmother, Victoria of the United Kingdom. Her other names honor her great-aunt Ingrid of Sweden of Denmark; her maternal grandmother, the Brazilian Alice Sommerlath (née de Toledo), her ancestor Désirée Clary, the queen-consort of Charles XIV John and a former fiancée of Napoleon I of France.

She was christened at The Royal Palace Church on 27 September 1977. Her godparents are King Harald V of Norway, her maternal uncle, Ralf Sommerlath, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and her aunt, Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld.

The Crown Princess is also godmother [1] to a number of royal children, most of them future heirs including Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands and Prince Christian of Denmark, as well as Princess Eléonore of Belgium.

Education

Crown Princess Victoria.

Victoria attended a state elementary school and Enskilda Gymnasiet in Stockholm, graduating in 1996. Afterward, she studied for a year (1996/97) at Université Catholique de l'Ouest at Angers in France and in the fall of 1997 Victoria followed a special program following the work of the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament). During the years 1998-2000 the Crown Princess resided in the USA where she studied various subjects at Yale University in Connecticut.

In June and September 2002 Victoria interned at the United Nations in New York and in May 1999 at the Swedish Embassy in Washington D.C. In the autumn of 2000 she studied conflict resolution and international peacekeeping at the Swedish National Defence College and in 2001 Victoria followed the Swedish presidency of the European Union and completed a study program at the Government Offices (Rosenbad).

During the spring of 2002 Victoria completed a study program with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and that fall she interned at the Swedish Trace Council's offices in Berlin and Paris. In 2003 the Crown Princess' education continued with visits to Swedish businesses, a study and intern program in agriculture and forestry, as well as completing the basic soldier training at SWEDINT (the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre).

In 2004 Victoria continued with visits to Swedish businesses, and that fall she continued with courses in political science, international relations and conflict resolution at the Swedish National Defence College. In 2005 she continued with private tutored studies in society related subjects as well as some courses at the Stockholm University.

In the fall of 2006 Victoria enrolled in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' Diplomat Program, running from September 2006 to June 2007. The program is a training program for young future diplomats and gives an insight to the ministry's work, Swedish foreign and security politics and Sweden's relations with the rest of the world. The education entails lectures, seminars, group work and visits to authorities and institutions.

During the autumn 2007 Victoria studied French privately as well as underwent an internship at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the European Union.

Victoria has also completed a short infantry course given by SWEDINT, identical to the course given to Swedish UN-troops without previous military training.

In June 2009 Victoria graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Uppsala University.

Change in status

She was made Crown Princess and heir apparent on 1 January 1980, by the change made in 1979 to the Act of Succession of 1810 (Successionsordningen). This constitutional reform meant that the throne would be inherited by the monarch's eldest child without regard to gender. Sweden was the first country to adopt absolute primogeniture. This not only made Victoria the first heiress apparent to the Swedish throne, but it also made her the first female in the line of succession. The retroactive constitutional change was apparently not supported by the King, who favored his son as heir-apparent because he was born as such, a view that has been commented in the media.[2]

When she became heiress, she also was made titular Duchess of Västergötland, which is one of the historical provinces of Sweden.

Prior to this constitutional change, the heir-apparent to the throne was her younger brother, the then-Crown Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland. He is now second in line to the throne. She also has a younger sister, Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.

Declaration of Majority

Crown Princess Victoria's Declaration of Majority

Unofficial English language translation

"Your Majesties; Daddy dear,

Coming of age entails a big change for anyone, bringing as it does personal responsibility for ones actions and future. For me as Crown Princess it entails sharing the King's duties to a greater extent and helping the King and Queen in the important work they are performing on behalf of our country.

I would like to thank my parents for all the support they are giving me in every aspect of my life. This is of great importance to me and will help me assume with confidence the responsibilities and obligations I have as heir to the Swedish Throne. I will always be loyal to King and Parliament, and I will closely observe the Constitution of Sweden.

Daddy dear - last I would like to express my gratitude for the Order of the Seraphim which I received today. It means a lot to me and will serve as a reminder of my duties toward King and country."

For Victoria, this important event took place in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on July 14 1995. As of the day she turned 18 she is allowed to be Head of State when her father is not in the country. Victoria made her first public speech on this occasion.

Located on its usual dais in the background was the same silver throne that her father used at his enthronement, still in symbolic use since 1650.

Later the Royal Family took part in the annual public celebration on Öland of her birthday, called Victoria Day.

Royal duties

As heir apparent to the throne, the Crown Princess is a working member of the Swedish Royal Family with her own agenda of official engagements and she holds a significant supportive role to her father. Victoria attends the regular Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and the information councils with Government ministers headed by the King and steps in as a temporary regent (Riksföreståndare) when it is needed. Victoria also takes part in the regular official dinners hosted by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, state visits to Sweden, high level and official visits from foreign dignitaries, the opening of the Riksdag (Parliament), celebrations of the Swedish National Day and the annual Nobel festivities.

The declaration of the Crown Princess's majority (coming of age) took place at a ceremony in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on 14 July 1995, when she delivered her first speech to the Riksdag (Parliament).

The Crown Princess has made many official trips abroad as a representative of Sweden. Her first major, official visit on her own was to Japan in the autumn of 2001, where she promoted Swedish tourism, design, music, environmental sustainability and gastronomy during the "Swedish Style" event. That same year, Victoria also travelled to the west coast of the United States were she participated in the celebrations of the Nobel centenary.

In 2002 she paid official visits to Kosovo where she visited Camp Victoria, the United States, Spain, Uganda and Ethiopia. In 2003 she made official visits to Egypt and the United States. In the beginning of 2004, she paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia, as a part of a large official business delegation from Sweden, and in October 2004 she travelled to Hungary.

The Crown Princess at the brass works in Skultuna.

In January 2005 Victoria made a long official visit to Australia, promoting Swedish Style and businesses, and in April she visited Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to follow aid work and become informed about the work in the aftermath of the tsunami. In April 2005 the Crown Princess made an official visit to Japan where she visited the Expo 2005 in Aichi, laid the foundation for a new IKEA store in Yokohama together with Princess Takamado and met with Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Sayako Kuroda. In June 2005 Victoria travelled to Turkey on an official visit where she participated in the Swedish Business Seminar and Sweden Day celebrations in Ankara during a historic visit which was organised by the Swedish Embassy in Ankara and Swedish Trade Council in Istanbul. Victoria also visited the historic sights such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia. This was the first official Royal visit from Sweden to Turkey since 1934. In September 2005 the Crown Princess made an official visit to China.

In March 2006 Victoria made an official visit to Brazil where she followed the Volvo Ocean Race and visited projects supported by the World Childhood Foundation, such as the Abrigo Rainha Sílvia. In December that same the Crown Princess paid a four-day official visit to Paris where she attended a French-Swedish Soirée arranged by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, The Swedish Trade Council and the Embassy of Sweden, during which she also awarded the Prix d’Excellence 2006. The visit to Paris also included events with the Swedish Club in Paris, attendance at a church service in the Sofia Church (the Swedich church in Paris), a study visit to the OECD headquarters and meetings with the Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría, the Swedish Ambassador to the OECD, Gun-Britt Andersson, and other senior officials. She also attended a gala dinner hosted by La Fondation Pour L’Enfance at Versailles.

Victoria has traveled extensively as representative for Sweden during her life. Some of the countries she has visited include Egypt, China, Brazil, Australia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Japan, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy.

State visits, in which she has participated
in Sweden Austria 1997, South Africa 1999, France 2000, Germany 2003, Jordan 2003, Latvia 2005, Malaysia 2005, Republic of Botswana 2006, China 2007, Brazil 2007, Bulgaria 2007 abroad Finland 1996 (her first), Belgium 2001, Finland 2003, Iceland 2004, Denmark 2007

The Crown Princess Victoria Fund

The Crown Princess on the National holiday of Sweden, 2006.

The Crown Princess Victoria Fund was set up in 1997 and is run as a part of Radiohjälpen, the fundraising branch of Sveriges Television and Sveriges Radio. The fund’s aim is to provide support for leisure- and recreational activities for children and young people with functional disabilities or chronic illnesses. Applications can be addressed to the fund year round and the use of grants can cover everything from compensations to assistants at recreational trips to leisure activities such as horseback riding, skiing, wheelchair floorball, camps and outings.

Every summer Sveriges Television carries out fundraising drives for the fund via messages on television, these are especially concentrated around the Swedish national day on 6 June and the Crown Princess’ birthday, Victoriadagen, on 14 July. On the Crown Princess birthday, when a long televised entertainment program is aired from Borgholm where the people and the Royal Family celebrate Victoria, the public is also able to call in and donate money at the same time as they compete for prizes.

The Crown Princess Victoria Fund’s means mainly derive from donations by the public, but large companies such as Arla Foods, Swedbank and AB Svenska Returpack are constant sponsor partners. Additional support comes from The Association of Swedish Bakers & Confectioners who every year arrange a national “princess cake week” during which the participating cafés and bakeries give 2,50 SEK per sold princess pastry and 10 SEK per sold princess cake to the fund. The result of this fund-raising drive is usually presented to Victoria herself on her name day on 12 March every year; in 2007 the total amount was 200,000 SEK. Congratulatory and memorial cards are also issued by Radiohjälpen benefitting the fund, a simple way to pay respects and do a good deed in one act. In 2006 The Crown Princess Victoria Fund raised a total of 5,5 million SEK.

Every year Victoria visits one or several clubs or projects that have been granted money. These visits are not announced via the official royal diary but kept private, instead Sveriges Television often accompanies her and airs short programs from these visits at some time during the year.

Personal life

Though the Crown Princess has long refused to discuss her private life, she has frequently been the object of press speculation regarding purported romances. Only two men were ever confirmed as her boyfriends, both for a considerable length of time.

Victoria’s first such boyfriend was Daniel Collert. They socialized in the same circles, went to the same school and were already friends when their romance developed in the mid-1990s. When the Crown Princess moved to the United States in 1998 to study and recover from her eating disorders, Collert moved with her across the Atlantic and settled in New York.[3] In September 2000, Victoria's relationship with Collert was confirmed [4] by her during an interview at Expo 2000 and later by Marshal of the Court Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg (then Director of the Press and Information Department at the Royal Court). They broke up in 2001.

In May 2002 Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that Victoria had a new boyfriend, her personal trainer at Master Training, Daniel Westling. When the news broke and the media turned its attention on him, it was obvious that he did not like being in the public eye. Once Westling was even photographed crossing a street against a red light in order to avoid a camera.[5] In July 2002 Victoria and he were pictured kissing for the first time;[6] at a birthday party for Caroline Kreuger, a close friend of Victoria's.

In a popular personal report called Tre dagar med Victoria, profiling her work during a three-day period, which aired on TV4 in December 2004, the Crown Princess commented on criticism directed at Westling: “Many unfair things are written. I understand that there is speculation, but some day justice will be done there, too”, she said. Victoria also gave her opinion that happiness is important, and that these days it is not so much about background and pedigree but about two people who have to live with each other. She said that if they aren't happy and comfortable with each other, it is impossible to do a good job.[7]

During her April 2005 visit to Expo 2005 in Nagakute, the Crown Princess was interviewed by Mikio Yikuma of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun. Yikuma brought up the subject of royals marrying commoners, to which the princess responded, "I think the general idea with the Swedes is that the modern way is to marry someone you love, not necessarily based on where she or he comes from". Though she did not mention Westling by name, the Crown Princess did admit, "There is someone in my life", but that marriage was not on her mind then. The interview was conducted at the Swedish embassy in Tokyo and published in the paper on 18 April 2005.

Almost four years later, on 24 February 2009 the Royal Court of Sweden officially announced the engagement of Crown Princess Victoria to Westling. Their wedding is set to take place on 19 June 2010 in Stockholm.

Godchildren

Victoria has twelve godchildren, and three are heirs to monarchies.

Her godchildren are:

  • Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, daughter to Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.
  • Prince Christian of Denmark, son of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
  • Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, daughter to Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands.
  • Princess Eléonore of Belgium, daughter of Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant and Princess Mathilde of Belgium.
  • Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark, son of Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece (Prince of Denmark) and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece (Princess of Denmark)
  • Leopold Sommerlath, son to Victoria's cousin Patrick Sommerlath and Camilla Lundén.
  • Diana Engsäll, daughter to Victoria's friends Andrea Brodin Engsäll and Niclas Engsäll.
  • Ian Persson, son to Karl-Johan and Leonie Persson.
  • Baroness Madeleine von Dincklage, daughter to Victorias's cousin Baroness Sybilla Ambler von Dincklage and Baron Cornelius von Dincklage.
  • Vivien Sommerlath, daughter to Victoria's uncle Jörg Sommerlath and Simone Junge.
  • Giulia Sommerlath, daughter to her cousin Thomas Sommerlath and Susanne Sommerlath.
  • Isabella Chloé Nilsson, daughter to one of her closest friends Caroline Kreuger Nilsson and Jesper Nilsson.

Engagement

Swedish media have constantly speculated about upcoming engagements and marriages for all of the years her relationships have been known. On 24 February 2009, rumors of wedding plans being imminent became particularly intense preceding an information council between the King and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.[8] Under the terms of the Swedish Act of Succession, the government has to approve a marriage of a prince or princess of Sweden, on request of the King, otherwise he or she loses his or her right to the throne. Later that day, it was confirmed that permission had been granted and that the Crown Princess will marry Daniel Westling in the summer of 2010.[9] The wedding date has been set for 19 June 2010 in the Stockholm Cathedral,[10] - the 34th anniversary of her parents' marriage. It has been reported that Daniel Westling's style and title after the marriage will be His Royal Highness Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland.[11][12]

Anorexia

In 1996 it was established that the Crown Princess suffered from anorexia, it was however not confirmed until the next year.[13] Already at that time she was getting professional help, but given her public position in Sweden it was getting increasingly difficult to handle the situation. Victoria had planned to study at Uppsala University, but after intense media speculation and public discussion when pictures of an evidently too slim Victoria in sleeveless dresses at the Order of the Innocence’s ball and the gala dinner for the incoming state visit from Austria surfaced in April 1997, the Royal Court decided to confirm what was feared.

After a press release from the Royal Court announced that the Crown Princess had eating disorders in November 1997, plans changed for her and Victoria moved to the United States where she received professional help and studied at Yale University. By making this drastic decision Victoria lived an anonymous life while getting professional help and recovering, without having to worry about media speculations or if people were recognizing her on the streets.[13]

In an interview with Björn Carlgren for SVT2 in June 1999 the Crown Princess said: “It was a really hard time. This kind of illness is hard, not only for the individual but for the surroundings. Today I’m fine”.[13]

In November 2002 the book “Victoria, Victoria!” came out, speaking further about her eating disorder. Victoria said: “I felt like an accelerating train, going right down… during the whole period. I had eating disorders and was aware of it, my anguish was enormous. I really hated how I looked like, how I was… I, Victoria, didn’t exist. It felt like everything in my life and around me was controlled by others. The one thing I could control was the food I put in me”. She further said that “What happened cost and I was the one who stood for the payments. Now I’m feeling well and with the insights I’ve acquired through this I can hopefully help someone else”.[14]

Decorations

Swedish Decorations Royal Order of the Seraphim - July 14, 1995

Foreign Decorations Denmark; Knight of the Elephant - July 14, 1995
Norway; Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav - 1995
Finland; The Order of the White Rose - 1996
Belgium, The Order of Leopold - 2001

Title

July 14, 1977 - December 1, 1979 - Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Sweden
January 1, 1980 - present - Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland

Ancestry

Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
Born: 14 July 1977
Swedish royalty
First in line Line of succession to the Swedish Throne
1st position
Succeeded by
Prince Carl Philip
Preceded by
Prince Carl Philip
Swedish Act of Succession changed
Heir apparent to the Swedish throne
by Absolute cognatic primogeniture
1 January 1980 – present
Incumbent
Vacant
Title last held by
Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland
(as Duke)
Duchess of Västergötland
1980 - present
Incumbent
British royalty
Preceded by
Prince Carl Philip,
Duke of Värmland
Line of succession to the British Throne
194th position
Succeeded by
Princess Madeleine,
Duchess of Hälsingland
and Gästrikland

References

Further reading

External links

Media

See also


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