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Who is Prince Carl Philip of Sweden?

On 13 May 1979, Queen Silvia of Sweden gave birth to her second child, a son, at Stockholm Palace. The son, the new Crown Prince of Sweden’s birth was celebrated with a 42-gun salute. The King was away on a trip and was not able to get back to Stockholm in time for the birth of his and the Queen’s second child. He had been told by Queen Silvia’s doctor that she would not go into labour anytime soon, so his trip could go on.

Early in the morning of the 13th, Silvia began having labour pains. Toddler then-Princess Victoria slept beside her mother. She woke up to see her mother was in pain. Thinking she was injured, Victoria hopped out of bed to run and push the emergency button to alert the staff. The nanny came to retrieve Victoria while Queen Silvia was taking to the makeshift delivery room in the Palace (an ambulance was on standby to take mother and child to Karolinska Hospital just in case something went wrong).

The Prince was born at 7:20 am weighing 2800 grammes. The first to visit Carl Philip after his birth was his great-uncle, Prince Bertil. The King arrived a five hours after his son’s birth having been told of his arrival on the phone at the Zurich Airport.

On 31 August 1979, the Crown Prince was baptised in the Royal Chapel of Stockholm Palace. His full name and title were announced as Crown Prince Carl Philip Edmund Bertil, Duke of Värmland. His godparents were Princess Birgitta of Sweden, paternal aunt; Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland, paternal great-uncle;  Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, his father’s first cousin; and Prince Leopold of Bavaria. His confirmation would take place years later during the summer of 1994 at Vadstena Church.

Although Crown Prince of Sweden upon his birth, actions were already in motion to change the law of succession to absolute primogeniture from agnatic primogeniture. It went into effect on 1 January 1980 demoting him to just Prince Carl Philip and promoting his older sister to Crown Princess Victoria – something that was said to have irritated King Carl XVI Gustaf.

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

In June 1982, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip were joined by a younger sister, Princess Madeleine. Carl Philip wanted to bring his new sneakers to show his baby sister when his father came to get him and his sister to meet their new sibling.

A very shy Prince Carl Philip began pre-school in Västerled’s parish in 1984 and then moved on to Smedslättsskolan in Bromma two years later. It was there that it was discovered that he had a severe form of dyslexia (both his siblings and father also suffer from it). His parents found a tutor for him who helped him overcome his disability and thrive. His intermediate level education was completed at Ålstensskolan in Bromma. The Prince then attended Enskilda Gymnasiet in Stockholm beginning in 1992 for his senior level education. He would later be enrolled for two years at the private Kent School in Connecticut, USA.

After this, he studied at Lundbergs Upper Secondary School in Värmland with a focus on a science programme; he graduated in 1999. His Royal Highness finished his two-year course in graphic design at Forsbergs School of Graphic Design in Stockholm. He would go on to intern at the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C in 2006 before he studied at the Rhode Island School of Design. Carl Philip would also study Agricultural and Rural Management at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

From 2001-2002, the Prince completed a Naval Officer training course and later concluded his military service with the Amphibious Battalion of Vaxholm’s Coast Artillery Regiment. He also studied at the Swedish National Defence College in the autumn of 2007. In October 2014, he became a major in the Royal Swedish Navy.

The wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia. Photo: Henrik Montgomery, TT

On 27 June 2014, the Swedish Royal Court announced Carl Philip’s engagement to Sofia Hellqvist, a former glamour model and reality show contestant. They were wed on 13 June 2015 in the Royal Chapel of Stockholm Palace.

Their first child, Prince Alexander was born on 19 April 2016. The Swedish Royal Court announced on 23 March 2017 that Princess Sofia was expecting their second child in September. Their second child, Prince Gabriel, was born on 31 August 2017. Their third son, Prince Julian, was born on 26 March 2021. 

HRH Prince Carl Philip / HRH Princess Sofia / Prince Alexander / Prince Gabriel. Photo: Anna Lena Ahlstrom/

He is godfather to his niece, Princess Estelle (daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel) and nephew, Prince Nicolas (son of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill). His Royal Highness is fourth in line to the Swedish throne behind his sister, Crown Princess Victoria; niece, Princess Estelle; and nephew, Prince Oscar.

Prince Carl Philip enjoys the outdoors, sports and car racing – the latter which he won his first race in 2015.

Prince Carl Philip holds several national honours. He is a Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim, Knight Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star and Knight Grand Officer of the Royal Order of Charles XIII among many other Swedish honours. He holds foreign honours from Brazil, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Norway, Romania and Tunisia.

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About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.


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