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Exclusive: Swedish Royal Court confirms Princess Leonore’s citizenship status

The Swedish Royal Court has exclusively confirmed to Royal Central Her Royal Highness Princess Leonore’s citizenship status. Whether or not she was a dual, or triple, her citizenship has been the subject of much debate since her birth three years ago.

Their press secretary confirmed to me that she does, in fact, hold both Swedish and American citizenship. Until now, it was only assumed she held American citizenship based on her birth in New York City on 20 February 2014. However, it was possible that an agreement was made to only grant her Swedish citizenship. Furthermore, it was also possible and believed by some, that she was not granted American citizenship due to her mother, Princess Madeleine, residing in the United States at the time of her birth on a diplomatic passport. United States law says that children of diplomats born on US soil are “not subject to jurisdiction of United States law.”

After her birth in 2014, the Swedish Royal Court had said that her citizenship status was yet to be determined. Acting Communications Manager, Annika Sönnerberg explained then that Princess Leonore’s “citizenship is not yet clear.” No confirmation or clarification of her citizenship status ever came from the Court to the press until they responded to our inquiry yesterday.

This makes her the closest American in line to the Swedish throne. At present, she is seventh in line to succeed her grandfather, King Carl XVI Gustaf. She will move down to eight in line after the birth of the second child of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia in September. To remain in the line of succession, she has to be christened into the Church of Sweden (which she was in June 2014), raised in Sweden during the majority of her upbringing and be educated in the country.

It was possible that she could have held three citizenships. Her father, Chris O’Neill, is both an American and British citizen, and therefore, she could have been granted British citizenship by descent, as well. However, after the Court’s confirmation, we now know that Her Royal Highness only holds citizenship from the United States and the Kingdom of Sweden.

Her brother, Prince Nicolas was born in Stockholm in June 2015. The family currently lives in London where Chris is employed.

  • UF

    She is an American citizen by virtue of her father. She should be a Swedish citizen by virtue of her mother. Whether or not she’s a British citizen depends on their laws in that regard. What is the matter with these people?

    • Brittani Barger

      Many thought that her mother residing in the US on a diplomatic passport voided her right to American citizenship – even though her father had citizenship in the US. US law says that children born of foreign diplomats on US soil are not subject to jurisdiction of United States law. The Court added to the confusion after her birth telling the media that her citizenship status “was not yet clear.” Afterwards, it became a debated topic for those who followed the Swedish Royal Family. As for British laws, children can be granted UK citizenship based on descent.

      • UF

        But how did her father, a Swedish diplomat (?) become such? I don’t understand. I believe if he did not renounce his American citizenship and she is his child she is automatically an American citizen unless he renounced his American citizenship when becoming Swedish

        • Brittani Barger

          Her father did not renounce his American citizenship. It was her mother who was in the US on a diplomatic passport. Some argued that her mother’s status as Princess of Sweden and residing in the US on a diplomatic passport voided her citizenship due to their understanding of American law. Other arguments by some was that her role as a princess would mean she couldn’t have citizenship based on their understanding of the law. Further, it has been known in the past that hospitals in foreign countries have been temporarily declared extraterritorial so that a foreign royal would only have the citizenship of their kingdom – like was done in Canada with the birth of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. So this was another argument in the debate. The Court telling the Swedish media that her citizenship status was not clear after her birth added more confusion. Afterwards, they never clarified which only continued the debate for the past 3 years with those who follow the Swedish Royal Family. As a result, we decided to contact the Court to clear it up so that it would be clear for those in confusion and still debating her status.

          • Aquarius Anne

            Good job getting official confirmation from the court.

      • UF

        Thank you. I don’t pretend legal expertise but I thought her father being a US citizen made his child one as well under our Constitution. There is some debate here about that as well. It arose during the presidential primary around the citizenship of a candidate born in Canada to an American parent. As usual, the courts didn’t prove much help in this child’s case.

      • UF

        Thank you. I don’t pretend legal expertise but I thought her father being a US citizen made his child one as well under our Constitution. There is some debate here about that as well. It arose during the presidential primary around the citizenship of a candidate born in Canada to an American parent. As usual, the courts didn’t prove much help in this child’s case.

  • Aquarius Anne

    Not sure what the controversy was. Her father is British/American and her mother is Swedish; therefore she would be Swedish and American or Swedish and British. I’m glad they went with American so now America has a blood princess with succession rights. They drawback is paying taxes even if she resides outside of the US but if she decides to live in NYC it’s no biggie.

  • Primrose

    Well I’m glad that’s been sorted! It was worrying me!

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