Friday, 13 September 2013

Title issues: Princess Madeleine’s children to be princ(ess)es

This week’s issue of Svensk Damtidning has a short interview with Axel Calissendorff, lawyer to the King of Sweden and legal adviser to the royal court, who states that Princess Madeleine’s children will bear the title Prince or Princess of Sweden and be styled Royal Highness.
It is up to the King to decide about titles for members of the royal family, but this is of particular interest since the child Princess Madeleine and her husband Christopher O’Neill are expecting in March will be the first to be born to a junior prince or princess (i.e. not direct heir) since the introduction of gender neutral succession in 1980. Until then the title of prince or princess was given to all children descending from King Carl XIV Johan in the male line and born of approved marriages. Since 1980 there has been no reason why the children of a princess with succession rights should be treated differently from the children of a prince with succession rights and it has consequently been some anticipation about how the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine would be styled.
Calissendorff does not say so, but I suppose that King Carl Gustaf’s decision means that the children of his younger children will also receive dukedoms, as has all princes with succession rights since 1772 and all princesses with succession rights since 1980.
Calissendorff also adds that the child must be raised in the Lutheran faith and be brought up in Sweden to retain his or her succession rights. Article 4 of the Act of Succession is somewhat ambigious about this, stating that princes and princesses of the royal house must be brought up in the Lutheran faith and within the realm, but then adding that those members of the royal family who do not profess that faith are excluded from the succession. However, the consequences of being brought up abroad are not explicitly stated, but it does in my opinion seem a reasonable interpretation that the same “penalty” applies in both cases.
As Princess Madeleine moved to the USA in 2010 this is obviously of great significance in this case, but neither Calissendorff nor the Act of Succession specifies any age by which the child must have settled in Sweden to be able to claim a place in the order of succession.


  1. Did Mr. Calissendorff suggest that it is a general rule that all children of princesses and princes with succession rights will carry the title prince/ss, or does it appear to be something that will be announced on a case by case basis?

    1. I do not have the magazine in front of me, but from memory he said that as Princess Madeleine remains a Royal Highness, her child will also be a Royal Highness and a prince(ss), which seems to indicate that this is now regarded a general rule (and which may mean that there will an army of Swedish princes and princesses in a few generations).


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