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Who is Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden?

The Crown Princess celebrates her 40th birthday today.

On 14 July 1977, Queen Silvia snuck into Karolinska University Hospital to give birth to her first child with her mother at her side. King Carl XVI Gustaf was not at home at the time and was unable to make it for the birth. The Queen would be able to enter and leave the hospital without the press knowing.

The new princess was christened on 27 September 1977 in the Royal Chapel of Stockholm Palace. Her names were announced during the ceremony as Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée. The latter name honoured her paternal aunt and godmother, Princess Désirée. Her other godparents included then-Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the-Crown Prince Harald of Norway and Ralf Sommerlath (maternal uncle).

When she was born, Victoria was only a princess. When her younger brother, Carl Philip was born a couple of years later, he became the Crown Prince of Sweden. However, it was in the works to change the laws of succession to absolute primogeniture. The new law took effect in January 1980. Carl Philip’s status as heir apparent was revoked. He became just Prince Carl Philip, and Victoria became the Crown Princess.

The Swedish Royal Family at Drottningholm Palace in 1984. Photo: Håkan Lind, The Royal Court, Sweden

Her education began at the West Parish pre-school in 1982 – the same year her younger sister Princess Madeleine was born. She then moved on the to Smedslättsskolan in Bromma two years later. It was discovered that Victoria had dyslexia which required tutors to help her overcome the issue. Middle school was spent at Ålsten School before she attended high school at the Enskilda Gymnasium in Stockholm on a natural and social sciences programme; she graduated in 1996.

During the 1996-1997 academic year, the Crown Princess studied French in France French at the Center International d’Etudes Francaises at the Université Catholique l’Ouest. She followed a specially designed programme in late 1997 to broaden her insight into the Swedish parliament and government work.

The following year, the Royal Court confirmed that Her Royal Highness was suffering from an eating disorder. She travelled to the United States to seek treatment and get away from the press. While there, she studied political science and history at Yale University in Connecticut and also worked at the United Nations in New York and the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC.

Her education continued with the study of conflict resolution and international peacekeeping operations in Uppsala and working at the European Union while Sweden held the presidency. She also worked at places like the Swedish Trade Council and government offices among others in preparation for her future role as monarch. Additionally, the Crown Princess received basic military training. Aside from her native Swedish, she speaks English, French and German fluently.

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel on their wedding day in 2010. Photo: Holger Motzkau/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0)

After returning to Sweden, Victoria began working out at the Master Training gym with a personal trainer named Daniel Westling. They became close friends and soon started dating. On 24 February 2009, it was announced that Victoria was to marry Daniel the next year after the government gave their permission. He proposed outside of Drottningholm Palace. Three months later, Daniel underwent a successful kidney transplant; his father was his donor.

The two married on the 34th anniversary of the wedding between Victoria’s parents on 19 June 2010. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral. Festivities for the marriage took place for weeks before the ceremony. Afterwards, they moved into Haga Palace.

The Crown Princess Family of Sweden: Prince Daniel, Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar. Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlström/Royal Court, Sweden

Their first child, Princess Estelle, was born on 23 February 2012 at Karolinska University Hospital. She was followed by a younger brother, Prince Oscar, on 2 March 2016.

The Crown Princess is often referred to as the “Godmother of Europe” due to the number of godchildren she has (over 15): Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece and Denmark, Baroness Madeleine von Dincklage, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, Prince Christian of Denmark, Princess Eleonore of Belgium, Princess Leonore of Sweden (her niece) and Prince Alexander of Sweden (her nephew) just to name a few.

The Swedish Royal Family at Solliden Palace in July 2016. Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlström, The Royal Court, Sweden

Besides numerous Swedish national honours, Crown Princess Victoria holds foreign honours from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Norway, Romania and Tunisia.

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