Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Princess Madeleine moving to England

The Swedish royal court today confirmed what has been long expected, namely that Princess Madeleine and her family will soon be moving to England. Princess Madeleine moved to New York on the day the end to her engagement to Jonas Bergström was announced in April 2010 and remained there after marrying Chris O'Neill in June 2013. Their daughter, Princess Leonore, was born in New York in February last year, while their second child, which is expected almost any day now, will be born in Stockholm, whence the family moved at the end of 2014. However, it was stated at that time that they were only living in Stockholm temporarily while looking for a home somewhere in Europe.
Chris O'Neill holds both British and American citizenships, but has stated that he considers himself primarily British. London is also where he was born, and where his mother Eva O'Neill lives. While Chris O'Neill changed his tax domicile to England on 22 April, Princess Madeleine and their daughter are still living in Stockholm. His absence from a handful of recent events, including the celebrations of King Carl Gustaf's 69th birthday on 30 April, has been remarked upon by the press, and it is now clear that he will also be unable to attend the National Day celebrations on 6 June. Obviously this is not too strange considering that he is not a working member of the royal family, but has a full time job to look after even though he is married to a princess.
The Act of Succession includes a rather vague stipulation for princes and princesses to be brought up in Sweden, and at the time of Princess Leonore's birth it was stated by the Marshal of the Realm, Svante Lindqvist, that the court had interpreted this to mean from about the age of six and that the children should attend Swedish schools in order to maintain their succession rights. It is of course not really for the royal court to make binding interpretations of constitutional matters, but as their interpretation has not been challenged it seems the family will have to return to Sweden before 2020 if Princess Leonore is to retain her succession rights (and possibly her royal titles, which have in recent generations been seen as conditioned by succession rights).

Monday, 18 May 2015

Title issues: Sofia Hellqvist to become a princess and a duchess

With less than a month to go before the wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist on 13 June, the banns of marriage were published in connection with a service in the Palace Church in Stockholm on Sunday. This is no longer mandatory, but the Swedish royal family upholds the tradition and uses it as an occasion for the presentation of wedding gifts.
King Carl Gustaf also took the opportunity to announce his decision that Sofia Hellqvist will receive the titles Princess of Sweden and Duchess of Wermlandia as well as the style Royal Highness. This is not automatic, but decisions about titles for members of the royal family are the King's prerogative. As a logical consequence of the introducing of gender-neutral succession, King Carl Gustaf decided to treat the issue of princesses in the same way as the issue of princes, which means bestowing royal titles upon the children of Princess Madeleine. However, he seems to have changed his mind when it comes to the titles of his younger children's spouses.
When Princess Madeleine became engaged to Jonas Bergström in 2009, it was announced that her future husband would become Duke of Helsingia and Gastricia, i.e. of his wife's dukedom, but not a prince. On the other hand, her marriage to Christopher O'Neill in 2013 was preceeded by an announcement that her husband would become neither a prince nor a duke since he would not become a Swedish citizen and was not willing to give up his business interests, which suggests that the title of prince had been offered in addition to that of duke, as is now the case with the future wife of Prince Carl Philip.
The service in the Palace Church, which was followed by a lunch and reception, was attended by among others King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel with Princess Estelle, Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill with Princess Leonore, Princess Christina's son Gustaf Magnuson and his wife Vicky Andrén, the King's aunt by marriage Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg, and Sofia Hellqvist's parents Erik and Marie Hellqvist as well as her sisters Lina and Sara with their boyfriends Jonas Frejd and Oskar Bergman.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Monegasque twins baptised

Today Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, the twins born to Sovereign Prince Albert II and Princess Charlène on 10 December, were christened in Monaco's Cathedral.
The children wore christening gowns from Dior and the godparents were Diane de Polignac Nigra and Christopher LeVine Jr for Prince Jacques and Gareth Wittstock and Nerine Pienaar for Princess Gabriella. Christopher LeVine Jr is the son of the only surviving child of Princess Grace's sister, Lizanne Kelly LeVine, and as such Prince Jacques's second cousin, while Diane de Polignac Nigra is a granddaughter of Thérèse de Polignac, who if I am not mistaken was a second cousin of Sovereign Prince Rainier III, making Prince Jacques's godmother his fourth cousin. Gareth Wittstock is Princess Charlène's brother, while I assume Nerine Pienaar is a friend of hers.
Princesses Caroline and Stéphanie attended with their families (the former as usual without her estranged husband), while the only foreign royals to have attended seem to have been Prince Charles and Princess Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, who are friends of the children's father.