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Sweden’s Crown Prince who lost not only the throne, but his £4 million inheritance

Following on from a recent SVT documentary, the order of succession to the Swedish throne became a hot topic of discussion. When Prince Carl Philip was born as the younger brother of Princess Victoria, he was destined to become King. However, a constitutional amendment half a year later reversed this, so the King’s eldest child, Crown Princess Victoria, became first in the line of succession. The new law ensured that the first-born child, regardless of gender, inherits the throne. King Carl Gustaf caused a stir when he revisited this topic in a recent interview.

Prince Carl Philip was only Crown Prince for six months, but he didn’t only lose his right to the throne. The new succession arrangement also cost him at least 50 million Swedish krona in lost inheritance, which equates to around £4,000,000 British pounds. The money is in the form of shares in the family foundation Gallierafonden, and is an inheritance based on a gift from Emperor Napoleon.

You have to go all the way back to 1813 to find the origin of the fund. Then Emperor Napoleon is said to have given a large gift of money to the Duchy of Galliera in Italy and his stepson’s daughter, Princess Josefina of Leuchtenburg.

Princess Josefina of Leuchtenburg later became Queen of Sweden and was married to King Oscar I. She is said to have carried on Napoleon’s will in the form of a conditional will where the first-born son in descending order was to receive the inheritance. Therefore, it is now King Carl Gustaf who holds the inheritance, which is placed in the family fund.

In 2012, however, the king requested that the statute was to be changed so that Crown Princess Victoria would receive the fortune instead of Prince Carl Philip. According to the will, the money and a unique collection of 60 paintings from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries were to be inherited by the first-born son in direct descent. Prince Carl Philip confirmed in a letter that he was willing to renounce his inheritance and on 25 April 2013, the government decided to approve the king’s application.

Today, the foundation has at least 50 million Swedish krona, about 5 million US dollars, invested in shares. Between 1992 and 2010, the foundation declared profits totalling almost 70 million Swedish krona, about 7 million US dollars. The biggest profit in a single year was made in 2000, when the foundation declared a surplus of 12 million krona. If the Crown Princess chooses to withdraw money from the foundation, she will be obliged to pay tax.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.