News, Culture & Society

Colourful life of the Swedish royal family revealed

A former glamour model, a personal trainer and princess intent on shunning the limelight are among the colourful members of the royal family who will welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Stockholm today.

The Swedish royal family, who have lived out much of their lives under the glare of the public eye, are headed up by Carl XVI Gustaf, his wife Queen Silvia and formally known as the House of Bernadotte.

Over the years, their three glamorous children have hit headlines as much for their personal lives as their formal public engagements.

First to raise eyebrows with their choice of partner was Crown Princess Victoria, first-in-line to the throne, who defied convention when she struck up a romance with her personal trainer Daniel Westling in 2002. 

Sixteen years and two children later, Victoria appears to have paved the way for her younger brother, Prince Carl Philip, who married former glamour model Sofia Hellqvist in 2015, while their younger sister Princess Madeleine lives a quiet life in London with her American financier husband.

From a former air hostess to a ‘wild child’ prince with a love of fast cars, we reveal who’s who in the Swedish royal family.

 

A royal welcome: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are welcomed in Stockholm today by (L-R) King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Prince Daniel and Crown Princess Victoria – who is first-in-line to the Swedish throne

Queen in waiting: Crown Princess Victoria (with her husband, former personal trainer Prince Daniel) will host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this week

Victoria's younger brother, former 'wild child' Prince Carl Philip and his wife, Princess Sofia

Queen in waiting: Crown Princess Victoria (left, with her husband, former personal trainer Prince Daniel) will host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this week. Pictured right: Her younger brother, former ‘wild child’ Prince Carl Philip and his wife, Princess Sofia

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, now both in their seventies, have sat on the Swedish throne since the early 1970s but are increasingly delegating royal duties to their three children - Victoria, Carl Philip and Madeleine, and their partners

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, now both in their seventies, have sat on the Swedish throne since the early 1970s but are increasingly delegating royal duties to their three children – Victoria, Carl Philip and Madeleine, and their partners

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia 

At the age of 71, the second-longest reigning monarch in Swedish history – who took to the throne in 1973 and survived the country’s landmark constitution the following year – still has an active role in public duties, albeit mainly ceremonial. Handing over increasing numbers of engagements to his eldest daughter in recent years has fuelled speculation that he may abdicate to Victoria, 40.

The presenter of the Nobel Peace Prize and a keen environmental campaigner, the septuagenarian has been embroiled in a string of controversies over the years including accusations of secret affairs and wild parties.

The grandfather-of-six is said to own a fleet of Porsche 911s and was involved in a high-profile car crash in 2005 which made international headlines.

His wife Silvia, née Sommerlath, is now 74 and the couple live in the 16th-century Drottningholm Palace, just outside of the Swedish capital, while their official business offices are based at Stockholm’s Royal Palace. 

The German-Brazilian queen consort, a former flight attendant, has joined her husband in delegating increasing numbers of royal duties to her eldest daughter Victoria and her husband Daniel.

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland

A very modern fairytale: Former personal trainer Daniel Westling married his client, Crown Princess Victoria, who is first in line to the throne. The couple are parents to Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar (pictured)

A very modern fairytale: Former personal trainer Daniel Westling married his client, Crown Princess Victoria, who is first in line to the throne. The couple are parents to Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar (pictured)

The family-of-four were out in force for the christening of their nephew, Prince Gabriel, at Drottningholm Palace in December. Gabriel (not pictured) is the son of Victoria's brother, Prince Carl Philip, and his wife Princess Sofia

The family-of-four were out in force for the christening of their nephew, Prince Gabriel, at Drottningholm Palace in December. Gabriel (not pictured) is the son of Victoria’s brother, Prince Carl Philip, and his wife Princess Sofia

Family portrait: L-R Prince Daniel, Christopher O'Neill, Princess Estelle, Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine, King Carl Gustaf, Prince Carl Philip and Queen Silvia pose for a photo during the Swedish National Day celebrations at the Royal Palace in Stockholm in 2013. Madeleine and O'Neill tied the knot in Stockholm later that year

Family portrait: L-R Prince Daniel, Christopher O’Neill, Princess Estelle, Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine, King Carl Gustaf, Prince Carl Philip and Queen Silvia pose for a photo during the Swedish National Day celebrations at the Royal Palace in Stockholm in 2013. Madeleine and O’Neill tied the knot in Stockholm later that year

Sweden’s golden couple, who will play host to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this week, have taken on  a huge volume of official engagements on behalf of the ageing king and queen in recent years.

Crown Princess Victoria, now 40, studied diplomacy and Swedish foreign policy before becoming a full-time working member of the royal family.

The glamorous Yale graduate, who speaks four languages, was not expected to take to the throne when she was born in 1977 but a change in the law of succession three years later changed that.

Reports of a burgeoning relationship with her camera-shy personal trainer, Daniel Westling, in 2002 were followed by unsuccessful attempts by the couple to keep their romance under wraps – with the Princess hitting out at the ‘unfair’ media scrutiny of Westling, now 44.

But eight years later, the pair finally tied the knot in front of 1,200 guests at Stockholm Cathedral, and have since settled comfortably into public life with their two children, Princess Estelle, five, and Prince Oscar, who turns two in March.

A close friend of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Victoria is godmother to the Dutch heir apparent, Catherina-Amalia, Princess of Orange.

Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland and Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland

Dressed to impress: L-R Former glamour model Princess Sofia with her husband Prince Carl Philip, accompanied by Philip's sister Princess Madeleine and her husband Christopher O'Neill during the Swedish Academy's annual meeting in Stockholm, December 2017

Dressed to impress: L-R Former glamour model Princess Sofia with her husband Prince Carl Philip, accompanied by Philip’s sister Princess Madeleine and her husband Christopher O’Neill during the Swedish Academy’s annual meeting in Stockholm, December 2017

New addition: Prince Carl Philip, princess Sofia and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden with Prince Gabriel at his christening in Drottningholm Palace Chapel outside Stockholm in December

New addition: Prince Carl Philip, princess Sofia and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden with Prince Gabriel at his christening in Drottningholm Palace Chapel outside Stockholm in December

Sweden’s real-life Prince Charming broke the hearts of royal-watchers across the globe when he announced his engagement to Sofia Hellqvist in 2014, four years after news of their relationship first hit headlines.

Daniel, who is dyslexic, dismissed reports that his fiancée was ‘not welcome’ in the House of Bernadotte and condemned the public ‘bullying’ of Sofia. 

Regardless of the controversy, thousands lined the streets of Stockholm for their wedding later that year. 

The couple welcomed their first son, Prince Alexander, in April 2016 and another little boy, Prince Gabriel, arrived in August the following year.

Daniel and Sofia, who once appeared in reality show Paradise Hotel, live at Rosendal Palace with their two children.

Former wild child and graphic design enthusiast Daniel, now 38, was once named among the ‘World’s 20 hottest royals’ in a Forbes magazine report.

Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, and Christopher O’Neill 

Shunning royal life: Based in London, Princess Madeleine is expecting her third child with American financier Christopher O'Neill in March - around the same time as Kate

Shunning royal life: Based in London, Princess Madeleine is expecting her third child with American financier Christopher O’Neill in March – around the same time as Kate

Madeleine, second left, joins her brother Prince Carl Philip and sister-in-law Princess Sofia at Prince Gabriel's christening in December. The family spend most of their time in London

Madeleine, second left, joins her brother Prince Carl Philip and sister-in-law Princess Sofia at Prince Gabriel’s christening in December. The family spend most of their time in London

The reigning couple’s youngest child, Princess Madeleine, is an art history and psychology graduate who followed in her sibling’s footsteps by marrying a ‘commoner’ three years after breaking off her engagement to a lawyer named Jonas Bergström.

The 35-year-old occasionally carries out royal engagements on behalf of her father both in Sweden and abroad, as well as undertaking charity work with children’s charity Min Stora Dag, despite once describing herself as naturally shy in an interview.

Currently seventh-in-line to the Swedish throne, the keen equestrian is expecting her third child with American financier Christopher O’Neill in March – around the same time as the Duchess of Cambridge.

They are already parents to Princess Leonore, three, and Prince Nicolas, two, and live a relatively private life in London where O’Neill’s business is based – although Madeline keeps fans up-to-date via a public Facebook page with just shy of 1 million followers. 

O’Neill, who controversially declined a royal title when he married the princess in 2013, made headlines when he publicly criticised Donald Trump as ‘shameful’.

Who’s who in the Swedish royal family?

King Carl XVI Gustaf (born in 1946) and Queen Silvia (born in 1943) are the head of the Swedish royal family, also known as the House of Bernadotte.

Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Västergötland (born in 1977), is their eldest daughter and heir to the throne. She is married to Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland, and they have Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland, born 2012, and Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne, born 2016.

Their eldest son is Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland (born 1979). He is married to Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland, and they have Prince Alexander, Duke of Södermanland, born 2016, and Prince Gabriel, born in 2017.

Their youngest daughter is Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, born 1982, who is married to Christopher O’Neill. They have Princess Leonore, Duchess of Gotland, and Prince Nicolas, Duke of Ångermanland, born 2015. The couple, based in London, are expecting their third child in March 2018.

Princess Birgitta is also a member of the Royal House. She is the King’s second sister and the widow of Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern.

Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler, the King’s first sister, and his third sister, Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld, who is married to Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, and Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson, who is the King’s fourth sister and married to Consul General Tord Magnuson, are also members of the Royal Family.

The King’s aunts, Marianne Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, and Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, are also listed. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.