17 June 2015

And the Name Is...

Photo The Royal Court, Sweden
The Swedish Court today announced the name and title of the new son of Princess Madeleine and her British-American husband Christopher O'Neill. The baby was born on Monday, June 15, and is the third grandchild of King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia. His 16-month-old sister is Princess Leonore, Duchess of Gotland.

The new baby is Prince Nicolas Paul Gustav, Duke of Ångermanland. He is sixth in line of succession to the throne.

16 June 2015

New Pics for Prince but No Name

Foto Kungahuset.se / Photo The Royal Court, Sweden
The name has been announced.

We still don't have a name for the new son of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and her British-American husband Chris O'Neill, but the Palace has released two photos. The baby prince was born yesterday, just two days after his uncle Prince Carl Philip's wedding. I have issued some very random name guesses on my Twitter feed (@PalacePrincess). These include: Patrick, Paul, Liam, Edric, Phelan, Peter, Nathan, Samuel, Johan and Felix. I have no reasons for any of these! We shall see what happens... The Palace has announced that there will be a Cabinet meeting on June 17; the baby's name will be presented there. One more day...

15 June 2015

A New Prince on the Scene

By Frankie Fouganthin

via Wikimedia Commons
As of Saturday, June 13, Europe's list of eligible bachelor princes was decreased by one when Prince Carl Philip of Sweden married his longtime love Sofia Hellqvist. Less than 48 hours, that void had already been filled by his new nephew as Princess Madeleine gave birth to her second child. Her baby boy arrived at 1:45 (Stockholm time) on the afternoon of Monday, June 15.

The heavily pregnant Madeleine looked spectacular at the wedding with her husband Chris O'Neill and their 16-month-old daughter Princess Leonor. However, they did leave the wedding celebrations early--the party continued until 5:30 Sunday morning! A name has not yet been announced for the new Prince but he and Madeleine are said to be well. They plan to leave the hospital on Tuesday.



It will be a couple of decades before the new prince reaches "eligible" status, so let's take a quick look at the very few princes on that list today.

By Eva Rinaldi  

via Wikimedia Commons
-- At the top of everyone's list, there is the irrepressible Prince Harry of Wales, age 30. Famous for his ginger hair, easy grin, and playful sense of humor, he is also known as a bit of a naughty boy. (What happened in Vegas, did not stay in Vegas for him.) However, he is also deeply respected for his military career, which has included two combat tours in Afghanistan, and his charitable work, not only taking on some of the causes of his late mother Princess Diana but also starting his own with Sentebale and heading up last year's Invictus Games for injured service men and women. He is also an active sportsman himself and can be seen playing polo and rugby with some regularity. With little interest in academics, Harry wanted to join the army from a young age, so he skipped university and went straight to Sandhurst Military Academy after finishing at Eton. Therefore, he graduated from Sandhurst a year ahead of his older brother, Prince William The Duke of Cambridge. Harry has had a couple of prominent romances, but no one in particular seems to be in his life at the moment.

By Denis Probst 

via Wikimedia Commons
-- Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg, 23, is the last bachelor prince left in his tiny country, which encompasses less than 1,000 square miles nestled between Belgium, France and Germany. He is the youngest of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg's five children by his Cuban-born wife Maria Teresa. Sebastien attended schools in Luxembourg, Switzerland and England before enrolling at the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio) in the United States. Last month, he completed a degree in marketing and international business. Like most princes, he is also an active sportsman, and played for the school's rugby team. He is also quite a linguist; he and his siblings speak five languages. Most of their countrymen speak the three official languages of Luxembourgish, French and German, but the grand ducal family also speaks English and Spanish. Sebastien's older brothers have tended to marry young--one at age 29 and one at age 20! Based on that history, he may not stay on our list of eligible royals for very much longer.

By Holger Motzkau

derivative work: Peeperman 

via Wikimedia Commons
-- Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, 29, is also the youngest of five children. His parents are the former King Constantine II of Greece and his wife Anne Marie of Denmark. His parents went into exile long before he was born, so he did not actually visit Greece until he was an adult. Instead, he was born in London and counts his cousin The Duke of Edinburgh, his uncle King Emeritus Juan Carlos of Spain and the late Diana Princess of Wales among his godparents. Like most of his siblings, he completed his education in the United States, where he studied at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. With close relatives on the thrones of both Spain and Denmark, he has also spent considerable time in both of these countries. He currently works as a hedge funds manager in New York City.

After these gents, we still have several years to wait for the next set of princes to grow up. Prince Nikolai of Denmark, now 15, is the oldest of that generation. (Although Norway's Crown Prince has an 18-year-old stepson, Marius Borg Hoiby, if you want to look at the royal-adjacent category.)


12 June 2015

A Royal Weekend: The Live Blog

Final Update: The happy couple and a very full British balcony.





Updated 19:47 UTC Finally able to access some photos of the royal wedding guests. More to come.



Updated 18:50 UTC Here is the widest view I can find of the balcony at The Queen's Official Birthday observation today. Many more members of the family were also there but in this photo (from left) are Anne The Princess Royal, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Prince of Wales, Prince George of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Queen, Prince Harry of Wales, James Viscount Severn, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, Princess Eugenie of York, Eloise Taylor, and Estella Taylor.



Updated 17:56 UTC While the Swedes are eating dinner, let's take a look at some British balcony pics from earlier today:



Alright the bride and groom are arriving. Soon, everyone will finally get to sit down--some of them have been standing at their tables for nearly an hour.

Ah sweet. Princess Martha and Ari Behn are still holding hands after all these years. Meanwhile Queen Sonja's dress can brighten the room if the lights go out. Just saw Princess Tatiana--haven't seen her in a long time.


Updated 17:16 Now the royal guest are coming in for dinner. Everyone else has been standing around waiting for them.

Updated 16:55 UTC The guests are finally getting to go in for dinner. I hope they had some snacks earlier.
 
Margaret's wedding photo with her myrtle bouquet
By W. & D. Downey, London via Wikimedia Commons
 The Swedish Royal web site has provided updates about the gown, jewels, flowers, etc. http://bit.ly/1Qvxfbi The tiara is a gift to Sofia from the King and Queen. Welcome to the family! (Or "don't ask to borrow my tiaras!") The lace on the dress is designed by Jose Maria Ruiz. The veil is hand embroidered. The bouquet included cream and coral roses with myrtle. The myrtle comes from a bush that originally used in the bouquet of English Princess Margaret of Connaught when she married the future King Gustav VI Adolf in 1905. Since then every Swedish royal bride has used it in her bouquet or in her hair. Margaret's daughter, Ingrid, took it with her when she married the future King Frederik IX of Denmark, and it has also been used by all Danish royal brides since that 1935 wedding.

 Oh boy they are gathering absolutely everyone for a huge group photo on the stairs outside the palace. As the Swedes like to say: Fantastic!

Let's not forget today's other royal event. I can finally share photos from Trooping the Colour in the UK.



Nice. Queen Silvia is walking arm-in-arm with her new daughter-in-law.

Princess Estelle is adorable. She loves waving at crowds. That's the first talent a future Queen needs!

Finally, back at the Palace for speech time! The groom and then the King.

This is quite a long carriage ride, but when Carl Philip's oldest sister married, there was a carriage procession and a boat tour. But, she is the future queen.

Can't wait for the balcony scene. The Swedes have the biggest balcony--more like a patio/veranda. The Monagesques have the smallest--more like a window.

Just a few more hours and Madeleine can have that baby.

The guests are making their way to the Palace while the bride and groom on the long way around the city, so that they can wave at all the people. Good crowds!

The more I look at it, the more Sofia's gown looks like she re-worked Kate's, who had re-worked Grace's.

After a quick kiss the bridal couple is heading out for a tour of Stockholm in their horse-drawn carriage while the guests continuing rocking in the church.

This exit music looks more like the latest edition of The Princess Diaries than a real royal wedding. Not normal to see the world's royals clapping and stomping. But hurray for American gospel music! We clearly rock.

Wow. That is a very deep curtsy!! I think Sofia has been practicing.

Now Queen Silvia is looking after Leonore while we hear another interesting arrangement of a pop song. Grannies are great!

Still no official word on the tiara. @orderofsplendor is calling it a honeycomb motif in diamonds topped with emeralds.

The couple is SOOOOO happy. Meanwhile, in the background, a very wiggly Leonore keeps being passed around among the family members. Estelle is sitting quietly but Queen Silvia is keeping an eye on her.

Some of the lyrics are good but others include: Lights will guide you home. And ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you.

The Swedes always make some odd music choices at their weddings, but Fix You by Coldplay? What?

Oh wow. That is a big ole tattoo on Sofia's back. Not going to comment...

Wedding gown is by Ida Sjöstedt.

It looks like it may be a NEW tiara. A diamond bandeau with emerald spikes.

At last, here is Princess Estelle with the other little bridesmaids. The bride is in an elegant v-neck gown reminiscent of Kate's bodice with the sweetheart neckline under lace with lace sleeves. She is in a tiara. Checking which one.

The church is so lovely with pink and orange flowers on the pews and trees along the walls (like the Cambridge wedding.)

Queen Mathilde is chatting with Crown Prince Frederik--probably in French. Oops, I missed Queen Maxima earlier. She is in sparkly purple. Pinks and purples seem to be the colors of the day with a few pale blues and greens. The notable exceptions are the Queens of Denmark (red) and of Norway (eye-bleeding yellow). Uncle Daniel has taken on the duty of entertaining little Leonore.

Leonore is wiggling and causing a small ruckus. The royals are amused, But she may be just a little young for a formal wedding...

Will the bride be wearing a tiara? The bells are ringing!! The groom is beaming. The ladies are using the programs to fan themselves.

Carl Philip is definitely a very handsome groom. Only one more royal bachelor left, ladies. Keep an eye on Prince Harry.

Poor Princess Madeleine has to be uncomfortable at this stage of her pregnancy. Look for Chris to keep a hold on Leonore throughout the ceremony.

The bride and groom should be arriving shortly!!! Get ready!! Adjust your tiaras.

Gosh they have to walk a good distance!

Queen Silvia is in light purple with the Leuchtenberg tiara. Gorgeous mother of the groom!

Princess Leonore is arriving with her VERY pregnant mama Princess Madeleine in light mauve. Crown Princess Victoria is wearing an unusual print. No sign of Princess Estelle, which likely means she is definitely in the wedding party. The Palace would not confirm her role yesterday--three-year-olds can be unpredictable.

You will not miss Queen Sonja is BRIGHT yellow while Queen Margrethe (for her) is rather calm in fire engine red.

Crown Princess Marie is wearing a sleeveless lilac dress with her Swedish order. Queen Mathilde has arrived alone in a light cornflower blue.

The Countess of Wessex is an understated mauve-y lavendar with her aquamarine tiara. Mette Marit is in pink with a floral skirt.

The four royal aunts are all arriving together in various shades of pink and lavendar.

Update 14:11 The royal guests are arriving. Princess Martha of Sweden is not wearing anything odd! However, Prince Joachim of Denmark has a jaunty hat!

Update: 14:03 UTC The VIP guests are arriving at the Cathedral. The Swedes love a white tie, summer wedding! Seems like it would be a bit warm, and you can see the ladies waving fans to cool themselves.

Stockholm is so beautiful, though. Definitely on my list of places to visit.


Update: 13:38 UTC Last night, at the pre-wedding banquet in Stockholm.



Update: 13:23 UTC The live streaming coverage of the royal wedding has started on SVT.se. Fortunately, you can see this feed outside of Sweden: http://bit.ly/1GE8sgz

Update: 12:57 UTC  Here are some pics of the royal groom's sisters on their wedding days to help you get ready for today's wedding.
Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill
By Bengt Nyman via Wikimedia Commons
Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling
By Holger Motzkau via Wikimedia Commons


Update: 12:27 UTC Looks like a good time for us to take a nap, too. 90 minutes until coverage of the Swedish Royal Wedding begins!! To get prepared, you can check out my post about the last century of Swedish royal brides.

Update: 12:18 UTC It looks like they are reopening the roads around the Mall. The Royal Family is off to lunch and probably nap time for little Prince George--perhaps others too! After all, great-grandpa Prince Philip turned 94 earlier this week! Still out there today doing his thing with his wife of  68 years!!

Update: 12:06 UTC: So, I just learned that London is an hour ahead of UTC/GMT. What? The RAF just completed its flypast with red, white and blue trails behind them. Prince George loved every minute!

Update: 12:03 UTC: George made it to the balcony! In his daddy's arms and dressed in a blue outfit. He looks so much like his father at that age.

Update: 11:51 UTC No Prince George during the first balcony appearance. Shall we see him during the RAF flypast at 13:00? Folks are hoping so!

Update: 11:34 UTC The regiment receiving its colours this year was the 1st Battalion of the Welsh Guards. They are celebrating their centenary anniversary--100 years! The Queen's grandfather, King George V, was on the throne at that time and the nation was in the midst of the Great War, better known today as World War I. There is a whole calendar of special events for their anniversary on their web site. Today, their Colonel-in-Chief is Her Majesty and the Colonel of the Regiment is the Prince of Wales. The regiment has served in action many times in both world wars, in the Falklands, and most recently in Afghanistan.


The Royal Family is now gathering on the balcony.


Update: 11:18 UTC One of the most historically memorable Troopings was in 1981, exactly 34 years ago today. The Queen, riding sidesaddle on her horse Burmese, was fired upon from the crowd. An expert horsewoman and never one to be rattled, she calmed Burmese and carried on while others tackled the perpetrator, Marcus Sarjeant. Fortunately, the bullets were blanks. Sarjeant, who said he did to become famous, pled guilty under the Treason Act and served three years in a psychiatric prison. That year also was Lady Diana Spencer's first appearance at the event, as the fiancee of The Prince of Wales.




Update: 11:06 UTC So what is Trooping the Colour? It is a longstanding tradition to officially celebrate the Sovereign's birthday. Although The Queen's birthday is April 21, the official celebration is held in June when it is hoped the weather will be nicer--as it is today. Massed military bands and troops present themselves to Her Majesty for inspection, and a different unit each year is presented with new "colours" for the regiment. It takes place at Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, and is followed by an artillery salute, and later in the afternoon a flypast of Buckingham Palace by the Royal Air Force.



Update: 10:57 UTC Within the UK, you can watch BBC One's streaming feed online. (Although you can also watch it on television.) They are not streaming it outside of the UK.

You can also follow my Twitter feed @PalacePrincess as I retweet other people's coverage and reactions to the event.


Update: 10:52 UTC More about Princess Alexandra's illness. It was announced two years ago that the princess, who is The Queen's first cousin and was a bridesmaid at her wedding, suffers with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), which is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and/or stiffness in the neck, shoulders, upper arms and hips. This led her to cancel several engagements at the time, and to moderate her usually full calendar. She is 78 years old.


Update: 10:42 UTC Prince George of Cambridge has been photographed watching the event from a window at Buckingham Palace. This definitely increases the odds that we will see him on the balcony later today for the royal flypast.  

Update: 10:30 UTC So I don't know why BBC One's coverage says it was starting now if the event actually started 30 minutes ago. Oh well, I will try to get you caught up. The first part of the day includes a parade of troops and the royal family. This year's procession includes the following: Carriage One: The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh Carriage Two: The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry of Wales Carriage Three: The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, and Princess Eugenie of York Carriage Four: The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent On Horseback: The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, The Princess Royal So,who's missing? The Earl and Countess of Wessex are not there because they are in Sweden preparing to attend this afternoon's royal wedding as the official representatives of The Queen--they have attended most of the European royal weddings in this capacity in recent years. Also missing is The Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra. I have not seen any reason given for her absence, but her health has been poor lately, so that is probably why she is not there.


Photo Erika Gerdemark

The Royal Court, Sweden
 Saturday, June 13, 2015 marks one of those rare occasions when we have two major royal events taking place almost simultaneously in two different countries. Queen Elizabeth's official birthday celebration, AKA Trooping the Colour, will take place Saturday morning in London, and Copenhagen will host a royal wedding in Stockholm that afternoon. To mark this historic day, I will present my first-ever live blog right here. So mark this page and come back on Saturday.

Trooping the Colour will mark The Duchess of Cambridge's first official appearance since the birth of Princess Charlotte as well as the largest public gathering of British royals this year. Meanwhile, an even larger crowd of European royals will be gathered in Stockholm for the wedding.

I will begin blogging at 10:30 a.m. GMT/UTC, which is 6:30 a.m. EDT here on the East Coast of the United States. Coverage will continue through 10:30 p.m. CEST/UTC+2 or 4:30 p.m. EDT.

For you West Coasters, that's 3:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. PDT.

For those in Australia, that's 8:30 p.m. (Saturday) through 6:30 a.m. (Sunday) AEST.

11 June 2015

Cristina Loses Her Title

Via Wikimedia Commons
In my post 15 Princesses to Watch in 2015, I said you would be hearing more about Infanta Cristina of Spain but for all the worst reasons. However, I would never have predicted that her brother, King Felipe, would revoke her title even before here corruption case has begun. This does not bode well for the princess.

Cristina's father, the former King Juan Carlos, granted her the title of Duchess of Palma de Mallorca shortly before her 1997 marriage to Olympic handball player Iñaki Urdangarín. When they wed, he was permitted to use the title and style of His Excellency The Duke of Palma de Mallorca. 

However, it is her husband's business practices which have landed Cristina in this negative spotlight. Four and a half years ago, he was accused of diverting public funds for his own benefit and diverting millions of euros into accounts in Belize and the U.K. Within a month, it was announced that Iñaki would not be participating in any official royal capacity for some undisclosed amount of time. He first appeared before a judge to begin responding to the allegations in February 2012. A year later, he was removed from the royal family's web site. A few months after that, Cristina's name was officially added to the list of people accused in the case--she testified that she had no knowledge of her husband's financial dealings as she leaves the finances of their family entirely in his hands.


In the meantime, Cristina and their four children moved Switzerland. It is also believed that this growing scandal contributed to her father's decision to abdicate the throne last summer. Since the abdication and Felipe's accession, neither of the new king's sisters have been included on the royal web site. Publicly, the official focus has been on Felipe, his wife Queen Letizia, their two daughters, and his mother Queen Sofia, who still maintains a high level of respect among the Spanish people. The former King is still included on the site as a member of the royal family, but his public role has been greatly downplayed due to this and other scandals involving his own behavior (including accusations of womanizing and hunting endangered animals.)




The full load of official charges has included tax fraud, embezzlement, perverting the course of justice, falsification and money laundering. She posted bail in the amount 2.7 million Euros in December 2014. She and her husband are now preparing to stand trial on accomplice to tax fraud charges along with more than a dozen others involved in the case. Although her attorneys staunchly maintain her innocence, the judge in the case has been vocal about his concerns regarding her "attitude." Earlier this month, he refused to reduce her bail because, according to him, “The Infanta never made herself available voluntarily to give her version of events...In her statement, finally obtained with great effort, she did not admit any of the charges, or even acknowledge an error on her part. This attitude is completely legal in judicial terms, but barely compatible to that of someone who is willing to repair damages done.”

(UPDATE: June 12: The Palace now says that Cristina asked to surrender her title. It seems odd that this information was not include in the earlier release yesterday. UPDATE 2: June 12: The Infanta's lawyers claimed she surrendered the title; the Palace clarified that she only wrote The King a letter surrendering the title after he called to tell her that it was about to happen.) Her brother's revocation of her title, which will also apply to her husband's use of the title, does not sound like the crown is willing to publicly support her. If the case does go forward, she would be the first Spanish royal to stand trial in open court. If found guilty, she could face more than six years in prison.


Cristina's youngest child, Doña Irene, celebrated her tenth birthday last week. Her other children are Don Miguel, 13; Don Pablo, 14; and Don Juan, 15. Nothing has been announced regarding their rights to the style of "His/Her Excellency." They have not been removed from the line of succession to the throne. (Speaking of heirs to the throne, King Felipe's oldest nephew, 16-year-old Don Felipe de Marichalar y Borbón, the son of Infanta Elena, has been grabbing headlines recently for his own boorish behavior--screaming racial epithets at other teens in a Madrid theme park and demanding special treatment because he is "fourth in line to the throne." Poor King Felipe--you can't choose your relatives, as they say.)


The fact that the Spanish monarchy's web site includes an entire section labeled "Transparency" speaks to the frustrations currently being experienced there. We royal watchers can only hope that the new king will weather this storm and come out stronger on the other side. 



Royal Brides of Sweden

Foto Kungahuset.se / The Royal Court, Sweden
When Sofia Hellqvist marries Prince Carl Philip of Sweden this Saturday, she will become only the fifth bride to marry into the Swedish royal family in the last 100 years. This is due partially to the plethora of Swedish princesses that have been born versus Swedish princes. Carl Philip has two sisters and no brothers--and his sisters have both had daughters but no sons so far. Their father, King Carl XVI Gustav had four sisters and no brothers. His father, Prince Gustaf Adolf did have three brothers and only one sister (who became Queen Ingrid of Denmark), but his brothers did not pick out suitable brides, which leads us to the other reason for so few royal brides in Sweden: the dynastic rule against "unequal marriages" was not overturned until the 1970s. Therefore, when the current king's uncles wanted to marry commoners, they had to give up their titles and rights to the throne. Of the three uncles, only his uncle Prince Bertil did not surrender his title. Instead, he lived with his lady love for three decades until the rules were changed and he finally married her and made her Princess Lilian when they were in their sixties!

So, let's take a look at the ladies who most recently married Swedish princes:

As I mentioned King Carl XVI Gustav's uncle Bertil fell in love with Lilian Davies Craig when they were both still young. In fact, it is said that they met at her 28th birthday party in London. Born in Wales in 1915, she became a fashion model, then married a Scottish actor during World War II. While he served overseas, she took up a job in a radio factory and helping at a hospital for wounded soldiers. It was during his absence that she and Bertil fell in love. Fortunately for her, after the war, her husband also wanted to marry someone else. In the 1940s, Bertil became second in line to the Swedish throne after his infant nephew. Therefore, he felt honor-bound to abide by the dynastic rules against unequal marriage. If anything were to happen to baby Carl Gustav, there was no one else to be king because women could not succeed at that time, and his brothers had married commoners. He and Lillian lived together quietly, spending much of their time in France, where they had a home. Once Carl Gustav succeeded the throne, he changed the marriage rules so that he could marry his own commoner and clearing the way for Bertil to marry Lillian in December 1976. Bertil passed away in 1997, but Lillian continued to be a beloved member of the Royal Family. She passed away shortly before Princess Madeleine's wedding in 2013 at age 97. Crown Princess Victoria paid tribute to her by wearing one of her tiaras to the wedding.

By Suyk, Koen / Anefo

via Wikimedia Commons
Silvia Sommerlath also waited for her prince, but not nearly as long. Born in Germany, she is also half-Brazilian. She worked for the Argentine consulate in Munich and it was there that she met her future husband during the 1972 Olympics. The king at the time, Carl Gustav's uncle would not relax the dynastic rules, so they had to wait until after his death. The couple was married in June 1976. It was the first time a reigning Swedish king had married since 1797, and Silvia became the first nonroyal European consort in the modern era. Today, four decades later, only one royally born consort remains: Britain's 94-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, who was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. Silvia has become very well-respected as co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation, which focuses on protecting children from sexual abuse in 17 countries across Europe, Asia, South America and North America.
She is also involved in number of other areas including advocacy for people with handicaps, dementia and dyslexia (with which her husband lives) as well anti-drug issues.

The widowed Sibylla with her five young children.
By SCANPIX  (svd.se) via Wikimedia Commons
Before Silvia, the most recent woman to marry a Swedish prince was her mother-in-law, Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who married Prince Gustav Adolf in 1932. The couple, who were second cousins, had four daughters followed by their only son. However, their marriage was cut short in 1947 when the prince was killed in a plane crash. This left Sibylla as a single mother to five children aged three to 12. For the next two decades, Sibylla had a somewhat less public role but moved to forefront when her husband's stepmother, Queen Louise died in 1965. With her children mostly grown and married, Sibylla became the Senior Princess and official hostess for her father-in-law, King Gustav VI Adolf. She died of cancer only a year after his death, and did not witness the marriage of her son to his commoner wife.

Photo by Jaeger (Hofatelier Jaeger),
Axel Eliassons Konstförlag
Silvia's bridal predecessor was the aforementioned Queen Louise. At the time of her marriage to Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, she was known as Lady Louise Mountbatten, but she had been born Princess Louise of Battenberg. She was the youngest sister of Princess Alice, mother of the current Duke of Edinburgh, and the famous Earl Mountbatten of Burma. The family had surrendered their German royal titles in 1917 at the height of anti-German feeling in their adopted English homeland. Louise was Gustav Adolf's second wife. The first, the very popular Princess Margaret of Connaught, who was Louise's cousin, died following a surgery in 1920, after 15 years of marriage. Louise had no living children of her own, which is not terribly surprising considering she was already in her forties at the time of their 1923 wedding. However, she was a kind and loving stepmother to Margaret's five children. Louise became Queen in 1950, when her husband succeeded his father. Louise was renowned for her democratic spirit and was responsible for modernizing some aspects of the court, like ending the presentation of debutantes in favor of hosting a luncheon for career women.

Margaret and Gustav Adolf with
four of their five children

By Bain News Service
via Wikimedia Commons
These four are the only women to marry Swedish princes within the last 100 years. Just over 100 years ago, there were still not that many more. In 1905 Gustav Adolf married Margaret of Connaught. (Their only daughter grew up to be Queen Ingrid of Denmark, mother of the current Queen Margrethe II--the Scandinavian royals are all closely related.) In 1908, his younger brother Vilhelm married Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia--they divorced six years later and she always claimed that he was a homosexual although he later had a long-term mistress. In 1897, their uncle Prince Carl married Princess Ingeborg of Denmark and their father King Gustav V married their mother Victoria of Baden in 1881.