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Opinion

King Carl XVI Gustaf – stop whining and get on board – Crown Princess Victoria is the future

Royal Central’s Assistant Editor, Moniek Bloks, says King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden needs to get over a change in the law 43 years ago which saw Crown Princess Victoria become heir to the throne in favour of Prince Carl Philip.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden celebrates 50 years on the throne in 2023. In an interview to mark the occasion, the King repeated that he believed it to be unfair that his son Prince Carl Philip lost his status as Crown Prince when absolute primogeniture was introduced in 1980 – six months after Prince Carl Philip’s birth. And I’m here to say – get over it.

The King’s first child was born on 14 July 1977 – it was a girl. Princess Victoria was born without any succession rights as Sweden still barred women from the throne. However, even before her birth, discussions about introducing absolute primogeniture were already ongoing in government. Because of the complicated nature of changing the law, it took until 7 November 1979 for the Swedish Parliament to vote through the amendment. Nevertheless, the government proposed the change in December of 1977, and it was approved on 20 April 1978. Constitutional amendments are always difficult and require two Riksdag decisions with intermediate Riksdag, which is why it officially came into force after Prince Carl Philip was born. And thus, Prince Carl Philip briefly held the title of Crown Prince.

King Carl XVI Gustaf already knew on 20 April 1978 that Princess Victoria was going to be his heir – a full year before Prince Carl Philip was born. However, instead of going ahead and styling Victoria as Crown Princess from that moment, he has chosen to take several opportunities to complain that his son was stripped of his title and right.

He recently told SVT: “It’s tricky to have laws that work retroactively. It doesn’t seem wise. I still think so. You can accept the next generation, it’s ok. But it was my son who was born and got rid of it all. It’s quite strange. You can’t do that.” “Unfairly?” “Yes, I think so.”

While most outward appearances of the King seem to be in support of Crown Princess Victoria, one cannot help but wonder how hurt she must be over comments like this, especially since he continues to bring up the issue. The King seems to gloss over the fact that he became King despite having four older sisters. I believe it’s about time that he tried to see how his daughter has gained a right that she should have had in the first place. His comments come across as sexist, despite the fact that he claims that he did not object to the law itself, just that it should be applied to future generations. I don’t understand how that would have been relevant, as it was already done and dusted in 1978.

Crown Princess Victoria hasn’t set a foot wrong during all of this, and Prince Carl Philip is an excellent example of what a “spare” should be. Despite their father’s actions, there has been no obvious rivalry between the siblings, and both seem to have peace with the roles attributed to them. The only one who still seems to hang in the past is the King.

And to him, I would like to say – Stop whining, get on board, Crown Princess Victoria is the future.

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