Thursday, 3 March 2016

HRH Prince Oscar Carl Olof of Sweden, Duke of Scania

In a State Council at the Royal Palace in Stockholm today, King Carl XVI Gustaf informed the government that the son Crown Princess Victoria gave birth to last night will be named Oscar Carl Olof and that his dukedom will be that of Scania (Skåne). The King also notified the government of the death of his brother-in-law, Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern, which also occurred yesterday.
In keeping with tradition, the newborn was "inspected" by the Speaker of Parliament, Urban Ahlin, the Prime Minister, Urban Ahlin, the Marshal of the Realm, Svante Lindqvist, and the Mistress of the Robes, Kristine von Blixen-Finecke (who succeeded Countess Alice Trolle-Wachtmeister in that position in November). The Prince's birth was marked by a 21-gun salute and a service of thanksgivings in the Palace Church, which was attended by, among others, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill, Princess Christina and Tord Magnuson, the King's aunt by marriage Countess Marianne Bernadotte and two of his father's second cousins, Count Bertil Bernadotte af Wisborg and Dagmar von Arbin (who will celebrate her 100th birthday next month) and Prince Daniel's parents, sister and brother-in-law.
The dukedom of Scania was last held by the future King Gustaf VI Adolf from his birth in 1882 to his accession in 1950, and before that by the future King Carl XV from his birth in 1826 to his accession in 1859.
The name Oscar arrived in Sweden with Oscar Bernadotte, the only child of the imperial French Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, who was elected Crown Prince in 1810. While Jean-Baptiste changed his name to Carl Johan, Oscar kept his foreign name also after he ascended the thrones of Sweden and Norway in 1844 (although his wife wanted him to reign under his two other names, Frans Joseph). His third son was given the same name and eventually came to the thrones in 1872 as Oscar II. Oscar II's second son was another Oscar, while Carl XV's only son, who died in infancy, was named Carl Oscar. It has also been among the names of Kings Gustaf V and Gustaf VI Adolf and of Princes Gustaf Adolf, Sigvard, Bertil, Carl, and Carl Junior. It has, however, not been used in the royal family since 1912, but these days it is one of the most popular boys' names in Sweden.
Unlike his elder sister, Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Prince Oscar has thus received a name firmly anchored in Swedish royal history - indeed three names firmly anchored in Swedish royal history. The name Carl is of course borne by his grandfather King Carl XVI Gustaf and his uncle Prince Carl Philip, and has been borne by ten Swedish kings: Karl Sverkersson, Karl II Knutsson, Carl IX, Carl X Gustaf, Carl XI, Carl XII, Carl XIII, Carl XIV Johan, Carl XV and Carl XVI Gustaf. (Some may wonder why the list jumps from Karl II to Carl IX; the answer is that the six first Karls were invented in the sixteenth century). There have also been almost countless Swedish princes named Carl, among them the third son of Oscar II.
Olof is the first name of the newborn's father (Olof Daniel) and of the first Christian Swedish king, known as Olof Skötkonung, who reigned from about 995 to 1022. It is also the Swedish name of the perhaps most popular saint in medieval Sweden, the martyred Norwegian king Olav Haraldsson, who died in the Battle of Stiklestad in or around 1030 and was declared a saint a year later and whose cult was as great in Sweden as in Norway.


  1. I find it hard to grasp why a junior prince has received a name with Swedish and royal (and Swedish royal) history while the future queen's name has neither (save for the American-born wife of a non-royal Bernadotte) - it would have been logical to reverse the order.

    the king's aunt by marriage Countess Marianne Bernadotte

    Did you mean to write Countess Marianne?

    1. I can only agree with every word on that. Not only does his sister not have a name with Swedish royal traditions; she has no Swedish names.

      Yes, of course - there is no Countess Madeleine Bernadotte. Thanks for pointing it out; I have corrected it.

    2. Eva (Ewa) is a popular Swedish name, but that will be of no help if it will not be used.

    3. Perhaps I should have been more specific. Although there are many Swedish women named Eva, what I meant is that it is not a Swedish name, i.e. of Swedish origin, unlike for instance Gustaf, Sigvard, Ingrid or Bertil, to name some Bernadotte examples. (There are also many Swedish women named Madeleine, but a Swedish name it is not).


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