Thursday, 5 September 2013

Princess Madeleine is pregnant

On Tuesday the Swedish royal court announced that Princess Madeleine and her husband, Christopher O’Neill, are expecting their first child. The child is due in early March 2014, exactly nine months after their wedding.
The court has not yet clarified the position of the child, who might be fifth in line to the Swedish throne. It will be up to King Carl Gustaf to decide if the children of Princess Madeleine will have royal titles, which perhaps seems unlikely given that Christopher O’Neill did not accept any title at the time of the marriage, leaving him free to pursue his business career.
It also remains to be seen which church (if any) the child will be baptised into. The Swedish monarch is required to belong to the Lutheran Church of Sweden, while Christopher O’Neill is a Catholic. A child who is raised as a Catholic can therefore not ascend the Swedish throne.
The Act of Succession also indicates that princes and princesses who are not brought up in Sweden forfeit their succession rights, but it is not clear it this should be taken literally, i.e. that it only affects those styled prince or princess, or if it also affects those who have succession rights, but do not carry royal titles. (Princess Madeleine moved to New York in 2010 and seems set on staying there for at least a few more years).


  1. The Act of Succession also stipulates that princes and princesses who are not brought up in Sweden forfeit their succession rights

    Are you certain of this? I cannot locate such a provision in the English translation of the Act of Succession.

    1. It is in article 4, which says that the King must belong to the Lutheran faith and that "princes and princesses of the royal house shall be brought up in the same faith and within the realm". Then it goes on to say that those members of the royal family which do not belong to that faith are excluded from the succession. So although it is not said explicitly what consequences it will have not to be brought up in Sweden, I think it is a reasonable interpretation to say that being brought up in Sweden is a requirement for being able to succeed to the throne.

    2. I can see where you are coming from, but I think that "stipulates" may perhaps be too strong of a word, as it seems to me that the opposite interpretation is equally reasonable (i.e., that had exclusion from the succession been the designated consequence of not being brought up in Sweden, it would have been explicitly stated, as it was for the faith restriction: "Any member of the Royal Family not professing this faith shall be excluded from all rights of succession."), and the Act's phrasing is rather ambiguous.

    3. I sort of fail to see the point of including that stipulation unless there are consequences, but all right, to give it the benefit of doubt I can change "stipulates" to "indicates".

    4. Indeed, but the wording is illogical according to either interpretation (if the consequences are identical in both situations, it is difficult to see why one penalty is explicitly stated and the other is not).

      On a similar note, the Act of Succession prior to 1980 oddly barred Swedish princesses from marrying without consent, despite the dearth of consequences.

      I hope you do not mind my occasional ventured corrections; your blog has always been quite informative and detailed and my suggestions are meant helpfully.

    5. The wording is clumsy indeed, but for the reasons outlined above I think that is a reasonable interpretation. You may also note that TT, the Swedish news agency, has interpreted it in the same way as I.

    6. Addendum: The Swedish king’s attorney, Axel Calissendorff, concurs with your interpretation, having disclosed his stance in a comment to Svensk Damtidning: The child will enter into the line of succession at birth, but must be raised within Sweden in order to retain her or his rights to the throne. (Calissendorff moreover states that the child will be a prince or princess and bear the style of Royal Highness.)

    7. Thank you, I had not seen that yet - I think I shall make a post about it later.


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