King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has revoked the royal styles of Royal Highness from five of his grandchildren – the children of his younger two children, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. So, why does this make sense to do?
While there’s no doubt that the King loves all of his grandchildren, it makes sense that he has removed Princes Alexander and Gabriel (the sons of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia) and Princesses Leonore and Adrienne and Prince Nicolas (the children of Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill) from the Royal House. Why? Because these grandchildren are so far down the line of succession, their chances of ever taking the throne are slim to none.
“The purpose of these changes is to establish which members of The Royal Family may be expected to perform official duties incumbent on the Head of State or related to the function of the Head of State,” the Royal Court explained yesterday.
This also allows them to be private citizens without the stress of having to undertake royal duties on behalf of the Crown when they are adults. By the time Alexander, Gabriel, Leonore, Nicolas and Adrienne are adults, their aunt, Crown Princess Victoria will more than likely be on the throne or close to being on the throne. As Victoria’s children become of age, marry, and have their own children, the Royal Family will continue to grow. The elder child of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle, is a future queen and her firstborn will also be a future king or queen. Thus, it makes sense why the direct heirs to the throne remain in the Royal House while their cousins do not.
We can expect that, by the time Estelle and her younger brother, Prince Oscar marry and have children, the children of Oscar will not have the style of Royal Highness as they will not be in the direct line of succession. They will follow their cousins (Estelle’s children) and father in the line of succession.
Additionally, the children of Princess Madeleine have never resided in Sweden besides during the summer. During the other parts of the year, they live in Miami, Florida (New York City and London formerly) which brings into question their future status as to remain in the line of succession, the Swedish Constitution stipulates that they must be raised and educated in Sweden in the Lutheran faith. All three of the children were baptised into the Church of Sweden, but so far, they’ve not been raised in Sweden. As they are residing in the United States, by US law, Leonore could have begun schooling in Florida this year and will have to next autumn. (Florida Department of Education says, “Florida law does specify that all children who have attained the age of six years or who will have attained the age of six years by February 1 of any school year are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term.” Leonore will turn six on 20 February 2020).
Revoking the Royal Highness styles helps set things in motion if Madeleine’s three children have to be removed from the line of succession in the future.
This decision by King Carl XVI Gustaf slims down the monarchy so that the state will not be paying for the ever-growing Swedish Royal Family. It is in line with what has been done in Norway and the Netherlands where the younger children of the monarch or nieces and nephews of the monarch, respectively, do not have the styles of Royal Highness or even titles. In neighbouring Denmark, the grandchildren of Queen Margrethe, through her younger son, Prince Joachim, have titles and only the style of Highness. The Swedish royal grandchildren, at least, get to keep their titles of prince/princess and their dukedoms where the aforementioned children in Norway and the Netherlands were not granted those honours.