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Racing royal: Prince Carl Philip’s passion for car racing

With his own race named after him and a long history of success on the track, Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip has taken one of his life passions and run with it. The annual Prince Carl Philip Racing Trophy will take place from 27-29 August, and ahead of the event we’re taking a look back at his race-car driving career.

The 42-year-old prince first started his love affair with fast cars when he was young, but it’s no wonder – a love for racing is in his genes. Carl Philip’s godfather and great-uncle Prince Bertil competed as a race-car driver in the 1930s, cleverly using the pseudonym of “Monsieur Adrian” to avoid attention.

King Carl XVI Gustaf also shares his son’s passion for racing, and although he doesn’t drive race cars himself, he has been known to drive his sports cars at high speed. The Swedish king has always been a supporter of Carl Philip’s races and cheers him on in his endeavours.

A royal racing career

Prince Carl Philip made his debut on the racing circuit in 2008 with Porsche and has continued to drive competitively through the years.

His first win came in 2010, placing first in the Porsche GT3 Endurance Scandinavia, and he’s snagged seven other wins since. From 2013 to 2016 Prince Carl Philip competed in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, racing under his family name “Carl Philip Bernadotte” on the Volvo Polestar Racing and Polestar Cyan Racing teams. In 2017, the prince competed in the Swedish GT series, taking second place.

With a young, growing family, racing took a back seat for a time, and in 2019 Prince Carl Philip took to Instagram to make an announcement about his career. “In 2019, I will focus my time on the family and instead look forward to 2020 when it comes to racing,” he said.

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Of course, the events of 2020 involved a lot of changes and uncertainty for many sports, but Carl Philip was able to participate in an adapted racing season.

“We are very happy and proud that Prince Carl Philip will compete in the entire 2020 season of Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia”, Raine Wermelin, Director at Porsche Sweden announced at the time. “The Prince is an experienced racing driver and a proven winner, who knows our racing series very well.”

In October 2020 he placed second in the Carrera Cup Scandanavia (in a very colourful pink Porsche) and posted a message on Instagram praising the racing organisation for their work to make sure races still continued.

“Empty stands and a lot of adaptation for everyone, but it worked,” Prince Carl Philip said. “Looking forward to next season.”

Helping tomorrow’s race-car drivers

In addition to his own racing success, Prince Carl Philip is extremely passionate about getting young people involved in the sport. This drove him to create the Prince Carl Philip Racing Cup in 2013 to help young go-karting talents.

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Each year, young go-kart drivers compete for trophies and prizes in various race categories, and Prince Carl Philip joins in the karting himself as well as presenting awards to the winners.

The first seven years of the race were held in Lidköping, and in 2020, the event moved to GTR Motorpark in Eskilstuna. In May, it was announced the 2021 and 2022 races will continue to be held at GTR Motorpark.

This year’s race, which Prince Carl Philip will attend as usual, is held in conjunction with the Swedish Car Sports Association, the Royal Automobile Club, Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia, No to Näthat and Destination Eskilstuna as its main partners.

Time will tell if his sons will take up an interest in racing, but for now, the trio of little princes are happy to cheer their father on along with Carl Philip’s wife, Princess Sofia.

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About author

Kristin was Chief Reporter for Royal Central until 2022 and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.