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Getting to know our Neighbours: The Swedish Royal Family

From left are: Queen Silvia, Princess Madeleine, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Prince Carl Philip and Crown Princess Victoria.

One of the more well known and oldest Royal Families in Europe comes from Sweden. The current Swedish Royal Family is made up of King Carl XVI Gustaf (b.1946), Queen Silvia (1943), Crown Princess Victoria (1977), Prince Daniel (1973), Princess Estelle (2012), Prince Carl Philip (1979), and Princess Madeleine (1982) who is married to Mr Christopher O’Neill (1974), and their daughter Princess Leonore (2014).

The first Kings of Sweden are not documented, and it was not until the 1200s that a central power was formed of a King and his court. Gustav Vasa, elected on 6th June 1523, is the first King with a clear history. He created the right to inherit the throne, called succession agreements.

On 15th September 1973 King Carl XVI became the seventh King of the Bernadotte dynasty. He ascended the throne from his grandfather King Gustaf VI Adolf. King Carl’s father, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, died in a plane crash in 1947, and his mother, Princess Sibylla of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha, passed away in 1972.

The official ceremony to the throne took place on September 19, 1973 in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

The Bernadotte dynasty has been in power since 1810, originating with French marshal Jean Baptiste Bernadotte.

After changing succession laws in 1980, the eldest heir to throne, no matter male or female, is the rightful heir in Sweden. The current heir is Princess Victoria. She will continue to represent the constitutional monarchy when she succeeds the throne from her father.

Funding for the activities of the Monarchy is allocated by the Riksdag (the national legislative). The King is liable for taxation and he and the Royal Family are entitled to vote, although, following tradition, this is never exercised.

Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and Princess EstelleTo help support the King and the Royal Family an organisation, The Royal Court, was formed. King Carl is the Chairman of the Board and the Marshal of the Realm, Svante Lindqvist, is the Managing Director of about 203 people who work within the Royal Court.

With a trip in the works to Sweden this summer, I am sure looking forward to exploring the permanent home residence of the King and Queen, Drottningholm Palace, and The Royal Palace of Stockholm, the King’s official residence. We will see how many times my husband will put up with me visiting them!

Photo Credit: Thereshedances via Flickr & Esther via Flickr