01 January 2015

Today's Princess: Crown Princess Victoria

For 2015, I am introducing a new series: Princess of the Day. Each day, I will add a brief post about a different royal relative: the mothers, daughters, nieces, granddaughters, and in-laws of kings, queens, emperors and empresses. Once a week, I will venture on the "wrong side of the blanket" to spotlight a royal mistress or offspring. Some of these ladies will be familiar to your while others will be new acquaintances. After all, there are nearly 1,000 such female relatives just within the English monarchy since William the Conqueror alone! Let's start the series with a familiar woman.

Copyright kungahuset.se
Photo: Mattias Edwall
Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée Bernadotte was born first in line to the Swedish throne on July 14, 1977, but she did not keep that position for long. Less than two years later, her younger brother Carl Philip was born and immediately assumed the position of Crown Prince. That same year, however, Sweden became the first country to adopt absolute primogeniture. This "gender blind" succession calls for inheritance to be based on birth order alone. Previously, all sons and their offspring took precedence over daughters. The new rules went into effect exactly 35 years ago today (January 1, 1980) and Victoria became The Crown Princess at the age of two and a half. (Interestingly, a similar situation existed when Norway when it adopted absolute primogeniture but provisions there ensured that Crown Prince Haakon did not lost his status to his older sister Princess Martha Louise.)

Victoria attended university in France and the United States--at Yale!--before completing additional training in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and armed services. She has traveled abroad extensively to represent Sweden, and also devotes her time to numerous charitable causes. She is a champion of environmental issues (choosing not to use fireworks during her wedding celebrations because of their negative impact) and disabled and ill children.

As a teen and young woman, Victoria reportedly battled anorexia. She formed a romantic relationship with Daniel Westling, her personal trainer, but waited eight years to marry him in 2010. Their daughter, Princess Estelle, will be two in February. So, if she (and we!) are lucky, we might hear the pitter-patter of royal baby feet again soon.

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