Tomorrow, on the 14th of July, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden celebrates her 43rd birthday. Due to the coronavirus, this year’s festivities will be scaled down significantly, and the Crown Princess will have to celebrate without most of her family.
Every year on the 14th of July, the birthday of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (called Victoriadagen) is celebrated publically at the family’s holiday home, Solliden Palace on the isle of Öland. The tradition was started in 1979 when Victoria celebrated her second birthday and is attended by thousands of people every year.
On the Crown Princess’s Birthday, the gates of Solliden Palace open to well-wishers who would like to congratulate Victoria on her birthday. Since this is a very popular event, guests are obligated to obtain an entrance ticket. In the early afternoon, Crown Princess Victoria descends the stairs of the palace accompanied by her husband, Prince Daniel; her children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar; and her parents, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. His Majesty the King usually says a few words before leading the way to sing the Swedish version of the “Happy Birthday” song followed by a round of cheers from the crowd. Then, the Crown Princess and her family take the time to receive gifts, talk to the people and pose for numerous photos.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Court has announced that the Crown Princess and her family will not come out to meet the public this year. However, the Solliden Palace gardens are open for visitors as they are every summer. People are asked to come to the gardens only if they feel well and to respect the social distancing rules.
In the evening, the second part of the celebrations usually takes place. In a horse-drawn carriage, the King, Queen, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia and Princess Madeleine and Madeleine’s husband, Chris are driven to the Borgholm Castle to attend the Victoria Concert. During the concert, several Swedish artists give a musical performance, and an important part of the show is the presentation of the Victoria Scholarship to its recipient.
This year, the Victoria Concert will take place but without a paying crowd. The attendants will be limited to the Crown Princess and her family and a few invited guests. Nevertheless, Swedes can follow the concert from the safety of their own homes as SVT1 will broadcast the show at 9 pm.
The Crown Princess will also have to attend the concert without the companionship of her parents, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia and her sister, Princess Madeleine. The 74-year-old King and 76-year-old Queen are currently staying at their holiday home on the isle of Öland but have decided not to attend the concert out of safety concerns.
Victoria’s sister, Princess Madeleine and her husband, Chris O’Neill usually spend the summer in Sweden and attend the celebrations. However, this year, the Princess and her family remain at their home in Florida (USA) over the summer as travelling to Sweden is not allowed for US-citizens; Chris O’Neill is an American and British citizen, and Princess Leonore is a dual American-Swedish citizen.
Therefore, Crown Princess Victoria will only be accompanied to the Victoria Concert by her husband; her brother, Prince Carl Philip; and her sister-in-law, Princess Sofia. Princess Estelle could make an appearance as she has done in previous years. Her attendance is not announced ahead of time.