The third of the King of Sweden’s four older sisters, Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld, celebrates her 75th birthday today. The anniversary will be celebrated quietly with her husband, three children, children-in-law and four grandchildren.
Princess Désirée Elisabeth Sibylla was born at Haga Palace in Solna on 2 June 1938. The four sisters, collectively known as “the Haga princesses”, and eventually their younger brother, Carl Gustaf, born in 1946, was adored and idolised by the Swedish press. Having grown up with massive media attention, Princess Désirée, like her eldest sister Margaretha, is today a very private person who rarely appears in public.
Princess Désirée was the second of the four sisters to marry, choosing Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld as her partner. They were married in the Cathedral of Stockholm on 5 June 1964 – a busy month for the Swedish royal family, as it also saw the wedding of Princess Margaretha and John Ambler 25 days later.
Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld, as she has been styled since her marriage, settled at her husband’s estate Koberg near Trollhättan in western Sweden. The couple had three children: Carl, Christina and Hélène. Princess Désirée is one of Crown Princess Victoria’s godparents.
While Princess Désirée seems most comfortable living a private life, she has occasionally been called upon to take part in public events. For instance she filled in for Queen Silvia when the Queen was unable to attend the Nobel banquet in 1980 and also attended a couple of incoming state visits around 2000. As the couple are close to the King and Queen of Norway she has also been seen at some Norwegian royal events.
Princess Désirée rarely gives interviews, but on the occasion of her 75th birthday Svensk Damtidning (no 23 – 2013) has obtained what they call a “big birthday interview!”, but which is really a brief telephone chat, in which the Princess does not say much of significance. She does however confirm that her husband has been seriously ill recently, but adds that he is now recovering.
The last time Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld was seen at a royal event was the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel in June 2010, but he missed the christening of Princess Estelle in May 2012 as well as the funeral of Princess Lilian in March this year. It remains to be seen if he will be able to accompany his wife to the wedding of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O’Neill on Saturday.
Today is also the sixtieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain in Westminster Abbey in London on 2 June 1953.