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Princess Leonore of Sweden Visits Duchy for the First Time

Sweden’s Princess Leonore, 2, accompanied by her parents Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill, visited her duchy of Gotland for the first time on 3 June. Her grandfather King Carl Gustaf named her the Duchess of Gotland at a cabinet meeting on 26 February 2014, just a few days after her birth in New York City on the 20 February.

The young princess had a busy day of events. Madeleine posted photographs to her personal Facebook page with the caption, “Leonore’s first official visit to Gotland. She has an exciting day of visits planned, including the Museum of Gotland and meeting her own horse, Haidi of Gotland!” Haidi was a gift to the Princess on the occasion of her christening on 8 June 2014. The Gotland horse is Sweden’s oldest domestic breed and has been classified as endangered by the European Union.

Little Leonore clearly enjoyed herself while out and about. She was seen playing in the fields barefoot and getting to know Haidi. Madeleine was quoted by Svenskdam as saying: “She is herself, that’s how it is. Seeing her happy is fun. She and Haidi will probably become good friends soon. It takes some time to get to know a horse.”

After a quick wardrobe change, the Princess and her parents enjoyed lunch in Visby. Here they were entertained by preschoolers from Slottsparkens singing ”Summarn kummar”, a traditional song in Gotland. They then travelled to the Gotlands Museum. While there, they visited a children’s exhibition called Ship & Fun. This is a permanent exhibit meant to teach the importance of the sea and maritime of the past and present in Gotland.

Gotland is the largest island in Sweden located in the Baltic Sea. The last holder of the duchy of Gotland was Prince Oscar (1859 – 1953), who was the son of King Oscar II and Queen Sofia. However, he lost the title and his right of succession to the Swedish throne in 1888 when he married Ebba Munck af Fulkila without his father’s permission.

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