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).