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Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden

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Victoria
Crown Princess of Sweden
Duchess of Västergötland (more)

H.K.H.Kronprinsessan Victoria 1 .jpg
(photo:kunghuset.se)
Spouse Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland
Issue
Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland
Full name
Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée
House House of Bernadotte
Father Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Mother Silvia of Sweden
Born 14 July 1977 (1977-07-14) (age 37)
Stockholm, Sweden

Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland (Swedish: Victoria, Sveriges kronprinsessa, hertiginna av Västergötland, Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée; born 14 July 1977) is the heiress-apparent to the Swedish throne. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she will be Sweden's fourth queen regnant (after Margaret, Christina and Ulrika Eleonora).

Early lifeEdit

Victoria was born on 14 July 1977 in Stockholm, Sweden, and is the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and German-born Queen Silvia (née Sommerlath). She is of Swedish, German, and Portuguese Brazilian (through her maternal grandmother) ancestry. One of her distant ancestors was Chief Tibiriçá, a famous Amerindian chief from São Paulo. She is a member of the Royal House of Bernadotte. Born as a Princess of Sweden, she was designated Crown Princess in 1979 (SFS 1979:932) ahead of her younger brother. Her first place in succession formally went into effect on 1 January 1980 with the parliamentary change to the Act of Succession that introduced equal primogeniture. Victoria is currently the only female heir-apparent in the world and is usually styled HRH The Crown Princess. Through her father, a third cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, Victoria is also in the line of succession to the British and other Commonwealth thrones, being currently 205th in the line.

Her given names honor various relatives. Her first name comes primarily from her great-great-grandmother, Victoria of Baden, the queen-consort of Sweden as wife of King Gustaf V. The same name also glorifies her (twice-over paternally) great-great-great-grandmother, Victoria of the United Kingdom. Her other names honour her great-aunt Ingrid of Denmark; her maternal grandmother, the Brazilian Alice Sommerlath (née de Toledo); and her ancestor Désirée Clary, the queen-consort of Charles XIV John and a former fiancée of Napoleon I.

She was christened at The Royal Palace Church on 27 September 1977. Her godparents are King Harald V of Norway, her maternal uncle, Ralf Sommerlath, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and her aunt Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld.

EducationEdit

Victoria attended a state elementary school (Ålstensskolan) and Enskilda Gymnasiet in Stockholm, graduating in 1996. She next studied for a year (1996/97) at the Université Catholique de l'Ouest at Angers in France, and in the fall term of 1997 participated in a special program following the work of the Parliament of Sweden. During the years 1998 to 2000, Victoria resided in the United States, where she studied various subjects at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

In May 1999 she was an intern at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. In 2000, she studied conflict resolution and international peacekeeping at the Swedish National Defense College (Försvarshögskolan). Victoria followed the Swedish presidency of the European Union and completed a study program at the Government Offices (Rosenbad) in 2001.

During spring semester 2002, Victoria completed a study program with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and in June and September was an intern at the United Nations in New York; in the fall she was an intern at the Swedish Trade Council's offices in Berlin and Paris. In 2003, Victoria's education continued with visits to Swedish businesses, a study and intern program in agriculture and forestry, as well as completion of the basic soldier training at SWEDINT (the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre).

In 2004, Victoria continued with visits to Swedish businesses, and that fall she continued with courses in political science, international relations and conflict resolution at the Swedish National Defense College. In 2005, she continued with private tutored studies in society-related subjects as well as some courses at the University of Stockholm.

In 2006, Victoria enrolled in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' Diplomat Program, running from September 2006 to June 2007. The program is a training program for young future diplomats and gives an insight to the ministry's work, Swedish foreign and security policies and Sweden's relations with the rest of the world. The education entails lectures, seminars, group work and visits to authorities and institutions. In 2007, Victoria studied French privately and held an internship at the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the European Union. In June 2009, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Uppsala University.

Change in statusEdit

She was made Crown Princess and heir apparent on 1 January 1980 by the change made in 1979 to the Act of Succession of 1810 (Successionsordningen). This constitutional reform meant that the throne would be inherited by the monarch's eldest child without regard to sex. This not only made Victoria the first heiress apparent to the Swedish throne, but also made her the first female in the line of succession. The retroactive constitutional change was apparently not supported by her father, who favored his son as heir-apparent because he was born as such, a view that has been commented on in the media.

When she became heiress, she also was made titular Duchess of Västergötland, which is one of the historical provinces of Sweden.

Prior to this constitutional change, the heir-apparent to the throne was her younger brother, the then-Crown Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland. He is now third in line to the throne, behind the new-born daughter of the Crown Princess. She also has a younger sister, Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.

Declaration of majorityEdit

Victoria's declaration of majority took place in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on 14 July 1995. As of the day she turned 18, she is allowed to act as Head of State when her father is not in the country. Victoria made her first public speech on this occasion.

Located on its usual dais in the background was the same silver throne that her father used at his enthronement, still in symbolic use since 1650.

Later, the Royal Family took part in the annual public celebration on Öland of her birthday, called Victoria Day.

Royal dutiesEdit

As heir apparent to the throne, Victoria is a working member of the Swedish Royal Family with her own agenda of official engagements, and she holds a significant supportive role to her father. Victoria attends the regular Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and the information councils with Government ministers headed by the King, and steps in as a temporary regent (Riksföreståndare) when needed. Victoria also takes part in the regular official dinners hosted by the King and Queen, state visits to Sweden, high level and official visits from foreign dignitaries, the opening of the Riksdag (Parliament), celebrations of the Swedish National Day and the annual Nobel Prize festivities.

Victoria has made many official trips abroad as a representative of Sweden. Her first major official visit on her own was to Japan in 2001, where she promoted Swedish tourism, design, music, gastronomy and environmental sustainability during the "Swedish Style" event. That same year, Victoria also traveled to the West Coast of the United States, where she participated in the celebrations of the Nobel centenary.

In 2002, she paid official visits to Kosovo where she visited Camp Victoria, the United States, Spain, Uganda and Ethiopia. In 2003, she made official visits to Egypt and the United States. In early 2004, she paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia, as a part of a large official business delegation from Sweden, and in October 2004, she traveled to Hungary.

In January 2005, Victoria made a long official visit to Australia, promoting Swedish Style and businesses, and in April she visited Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to follow aid work and become informed about the work in the aftermath of the tsunami. In April 2005, Victoria made an official visit to Japan where she visited the Expo 2005 in Aichi, laid the foundation for a new IKEA store in Yokohama together with Princess Takamado and met with Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Sayako Kuroda. In June 2005, Victoria traveled to Turkey on an official visit where she participated in the Swedish Business Seminar and Sweden Day celebrations in Ankara during a historic visit, which was organized by the Swedish Embassy in Ankara and Swedish Trade Council in Istanbul. Victoria also visited the historic sights such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia. This was the first official Royal visit from Sweden to Turkey since 1934. In September 2005, she made an official visit to China.

In March 2006, Victoria made an official visit to Brazil where she followed the Volvo Ocean Race and visited projects supported by the World Childhood Foundation, such as the Abrigo Rainha Sílvia. In December, she paid a four-day official visit to Paris where she attended a French-Swedish soirée arranged by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the Swedish Trade Council and the Swedish Embassy, during which she also awarded the Prix d’Excellence 2006. The visit to Paris also included events with the Swedish Club in Paris, attendance at a church service in the Sofia Church (the Swedish church in Paris), a study visit to the OECD headquarters and meetings with the Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría, the Swedish Ambassador to the OECD, Gun-Britt Andersson, and other senior officials. She also attended a gala dinner hosted by La Fondation Pour L’Enfance at Versailles.

The Crown Princess's householdEdit

Crown Princess Victoria was given her own household in October 2004. The Crown Princess's household is headed by the Marshal of the Court. The Crown Princess's household’s task is to coordinate the official engagements of The Crown Princess.

The Crown Princess Victoria FundEdit

The Crown Princess Victoria Fund was set up in 1997 and is run as a part of Radiohjälpen, the fundraising branch of Sveriges Television and Sveriges Radio. The fund’s aim is to provide support for leisure and recreational activities for children and young people with functional disabilities or chronic illnesses. Applications can be addressed to the fund year round and the use of grants can cover everything from compensations to assistants at recreational trips to leisure activities such as horseback riding, skiing, wheelchair floor-ball, camps and outings.

Every summer, Sveriges Television carries out fundraising drives for the fund via messages on television, these are especially concentrated around the Swedish national holiday on 6 June and the Crown Princess's birthday, Victoriadagen, on 14 July. On the Crown Princess's birthday, when a long televised entertainment program is aired from Borgholm where the people and the Royal Family celebrate Victoria, the public is also able to call in and donate money at the same time as they compete for prizes.

The Crown Princess Victoria Fund’s means mainly derive from donations by the public, but large companies such as Arla Foods, Swedbank and AB Svenska Returpack are constant sponsor partners. Additional support comes from The Association of Swedish Bakers & Confectioners who every year arrange a national “princess cake week” during which the participating cafés and bakeries give 2,50 SEK per sold princess pastry and 10 SEK per sold princess cake to the fund. The result of this fund-raising drive is usually presented to Victoria herself on her name day on 12 March every year; in 2007, the total amount was 200,000 SEK. Congratulatory and memorial cards are also issued by Radiohjälpen benefiting the fund, a simple way to pay respects and do a good deed in one act. In 2006, The Crown Princess Victoria Fund raised a total of 5,5 million SEK.

Every year Victoria visits one or several clubs or projects that have been granted money. These visits are not announced via the official royal diary but kept private, instead Sveriges Television often accompanies her and airs short programs from these visits at some time during the year.

Personal lifeEdit

Though Victoria had long refused to discuss her private life, she had frequently been the object of press speculation regarding purported romances. Only two men were confirmed as her boyfriends. Both of those relationships lasted for a considerable length of time.

Victoria’s first such boyfriend was Daniel Collert. They socialized in the same circles, went to the same school and were already friends when their romance developed in the mid-1990s. When Victoria moved to the United States in 1998 to study and recover from her eating disorders, Collert moved with her across the Atlantic and settled in New York. In September 2000, Victoria's relationship with Collert was confirmed in an interview with her at Expo 2000, and later by then-Director of the Press and Information Department at the Royal Court Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg. They broke up in 2001.

In May 2002, Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that Victoria had a new boyfriend, her personal trainer at Master Training, Daniel Westling. When the news broke and the media turned its attention on him, it was obvious that he did not like being in the public eye. Once Westling was photographed crossing a street against a red light in order to avoid a camera. In July 2002, Victoria and he were pictured kissing for the first time at a birthday party for Caroline Kreuger, a close friend of Victoria's.

In a popular personal report called Tre dagar med Victoria, which profiled her work during a three-day period that aired on TV4 in December 2004, Victoria commented on criticism directed at Westling, “Many unfair things are written. I understand that there is speculation, but some day justice will be done there, too.” Victoria also gave her opinion that happiness is important, and that these days it is not so much about background and pedigree but about two people who have to live with each other. She said that if they are not happy and comfortable with each other, it is impossible to do a good job.

During her April 2005 visit to Expo 2005 in Nagakute, Victoria was interviewed by Mikio Yikuma of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun. Yikuma brought up the subject of royals marrying commoners, to which the princess responded, "I think the general idea with the Swedes is that the modern way is to marry someone you love, not necessarily based on where she or he comes from." Though she did not mention Westling by name, Victoria did admit, "There is someone in my life", but that marriage was not on her mind then. The interview was conducted at the Swedish embassy in Tokyo and published in the paper on 18 April 2005.

Engagement and marriageEdit

See Engagement of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling

Swedish media have often speculated about upcoming engagements and marriages for Victoria. On 24 February 2009, rumors that wedding plans were imminent became particularly intense preceding an information council between the King and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. Under the terms of the Swedish Act of Succession, the government, if requested by the King, must approve a marriage of a Prince or Princess of Sweden. Otherwise, the prince or princess loses his or her right to the throne. Later that day, it was confirmed that permission had been granted and that Victoria would marry Daniel Westling in the summer of 2010. The wedding date was set in Stockholm Cathedral for 19 June 2010, the 34th anniversary of her parents' marriage.

See Wedding of Crown Princess Victoria, and Daniel Westling

The wedding took place on 19 June 2010. More than 1200 guests including royalty and statesmen from various countries were invited to the wedding ceremony which took place at Stockholm Cathedral. After the wedding the newlyweds were driven through Stockholm in a coach and then rowed in the antique royal barge Vasaorden to the royal castle where the wedding banquet was held. On the evening before the wedding, there was a gala concert dedicated to the couple in the Stockholm Concert Hall (where the Nobel Prizes are handed out).

More than half a million Swedes waved with Swedish flags and cheered the couple from in their cortege, from the church to the castle. The popularity of the monarchy exploded after the wedding, and a SIFO showed that more than 70% of the Swedes supported the monarchy and only 16% wanted to abandon it.

Following their wedding the Duchess and Duke of Västergötland moved to Haga Palace.

ChildrenEdit

On 17 August 2011 the Swedish royal court announced that Crown Princess Victoria was pregnant and expecting the couple's first child in March 2012. At 4:26 am on 23 February 2012, Victoria gave birth to a baby girl, measuring 51 cm long (20 inches) and 3,280 grams (7 pounds, 3 ounces). The newborn is second-in-line to the Swedish throne.

GodchildrenEdit

Victoria has twelve godchildren, four of whom are heirs to monarchies:

AnorexiaEdit

In 1996, it was established that Victoria suffered from anorexia, it was however not confirmed until the next year. Already at that time she was getting professional help, but given her public position in Sweden it was getting increasingly difficult to handle the situation. Victoria had planned to study at Uppsala University, but after intense media speculation and public discussion when pictures of an evidently too slim Victoria in sleeveless dresses at the Order of the Innocence’s ball and the gala dinner for the incoming state visit from Austria surfaced in April 1997, the Royal Court decided to confirm what was feared.

After a press release from the Royal Court announced that Victoria had eating disorders in November 1997, plans changed for her and she moved to the United States where she received professional help and studied at Yale University. By making this drastic decision, Victoria lived an anonymous life while getting professional help and recovering without having to worry about media speculations or if people were recognizing her on the streets.

In an interview with Björn Carlgren for SVT2 in June 1999, Victoria said, “It was a really hard time. This kind of illness is hard, not only for the individual but for the surroundings. Today I’m fine.”

In November 2002, the book “Victoria, Victoria!” came out, speaking further about her eating disorder. Victoria said: “I felt like an accelerating train, going right down... during the whole period. I had eating disorders and was aware of it, my anguish was enormous. I really hated how I looked like, how I was... I, Victoria, didn’t exist. It felt like everything in my life and around me was controlled by others. The one thing I could control was the food I put in me”. She further said that “What happened cost and I was the one who stood for the payments. Now I’m feeling well and with the insights I’ve acquired through this I can hopefully help someone else”.

Titles, styles, honors, and armsEdit

Titles and stylesEdit

  • 14 July 1977 – 31 December 1979: Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • 1 January 1980 – 9 January 1980: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden
  • 9 January 1980 – present: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland

HonorsEdit

Swedish
Foreign

External linksEdit

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