Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden

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Victoria
Karolinska Hospital, Solna, Sweden
Spouse
Daniel Westling
(m. 2010)
Issue
Names
Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée
Silvia Sommerlath
ReligionChurch of Sweden
SignatureVictoria's signature

Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland (Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée; born 14 July 1977) is the heir apparent to the Swedish throne, as the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf. If she ascends to the throne as expected, she would be Sweden’s fourth queen regnant (after Margaret, Christina and Ulrika Eleonora) and the first since 1720. Her inheritance is secured by Sweden’s 1979 Act of Succession, the first law in Western Europe to adopt royal absolute primogeniture.

Early life

Victoria was born on 14 July 1977 at 21:45

absolute primogeniture
.

Her given name, Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée, honours various relatives. Her first name comes primarily from her great-great-grandmother

Princess Désirée
.

She was baptised at the

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands (later queen of the Netherlands, 1980–2013), and her aunt Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld. The Crown Princess was confirmed in the summer of 1992 at Räpplinge church on the island of Öland.[2]

Education

Victoria studied for a year (1996–97) at the Catholic University of the West at Angers in France, and in the fall term of 1997 participated in a special program following the work of the Riksdag. From 1998 to 2000, Victoria resided in the United States, where she studied various subjects at Yale University.[3]

In May 1999, she was an intern at the Swedish Embassy in

Government Offices in 2001.[2] In 2003, Victoria's education continued with visits to Swedish businesses, a study and intern program in agriculture and forestry, as well as completion of the basic soldier training at SWEDINT (the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre).[4]

In 2006, Victoria enrolled in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' Diplomat Program, running from September 2006 to June 2007. The program is a training program for young future diplomats and gives an insight to the ministry's work, Swedish foreign and security policies and Sweden's relations with the rest of the world.[2] In June 2009, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Uppsala University.

She speaks Swedish, English, French and German.[5][6]

It has been announced that the Crown Princess will start doing officer training at the Swedish Defence University in late 2024. This training will take around 20 months to complete and has the goal of teaching the Crown Princess about military strategy and tactics, as well as preparing her for her future role as Head of State which includes representing the Armed Forces.[7]

Change in status

Victoria was made

absolute primogeniture, meaning that the throne would be inherited by the monarch's eldest child regardless of gender. King Carl XVI Gustaf objected to the reform after it occurred—not because he objected to women entering the line of succession, but because he was upset about his son being stripped of the crown prince status he had held since birth.[8]

When she became heir, she also was made Duchess of Västergötland, one of the historical

Carl Philip
. He is now fourth in line to the throne, behind Victoria and her children.

Public life

Victoria's declaration of majority took place in the Hall of State at the

Royal Palace of Stockholm on 14 July 1995. As of the day she turned 18, she became eligible to act as Head of State when the King is not in country. Victoria made her first public speech on this occasion promising allegiance to her father the King and to uphold the laws and constitution of Sweden. Located on the dais in the background was the same silver throne on which her father was seated at his enthronement, in actual use from 1650 and up until this ceremony.[9]

As heir apparent to the throne, Victoria is a working member of the Swedish Royal Family with her own agenda of official engagements. Victoria attends the regular Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and the information councils with Government ministers headed by the King, and steps in as a temporary regent (Riksföreståndare) when needed.

Victoria has made many official trips abroad as a representative of Sweden. Her first major official visit on her own was to Japan in 2001, where she promoted Swedish tourism, design, music, gastronomy and environmental sustainability during the "Swedish Style" event. That same year, Victoria also travelled to the West Coast of the United States, where she participated in the celebrations of the Nobel centenary.

In 2002, she paid official visits to United States, Spain, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kosovo where she visited Camp Victoria. In 2003, she made official visits to Egypt and the United States. In early 2004, she paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia, as a part of a large official business delegation from Sweden, and in October 2004, she travelled to Hungary.

Skultuna Messingsbruk
with the managing director Viktor Blomqvist

Crown Princess Victoria was given her own

household in October 2004.[10]
It is headed by the Marshal of the Court, and serves to coordinate the official engagements of The Crown Princess.

In January 2005, Victoria made a long official visit to

Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia. This was the first official Royal visit from Sweden to Turkey since 1934. In September 2005, she made an official visit to China
.

In March 2006, Victoria made an official visit to

Volvo Ocean Race and visited projects supported by the World Childhood Foundation, such as the Abrigo Rainha Sílvia. In December, she paid a four-day official visit to Paris where she attended a French-Swedish soirée arranged by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the Swedish Trade Council and the Swedish Embassy, during which she also awarded the Prix d’Excellence 2006. The visit to Paris also included events with the Swedish Club in Paris, attendance at a church service in the Sofia Church (the Swedish church in Paris), a study visit to the OECD headquarters and meetings with the Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría, the Swedish Ambassador to the OECD, Gun-Britt Andersson, and other senior officials. She also attended a gala dinner hosted by La Fondation Pour L’Enfance at Versailles
.

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[11]

In 2011, it was announced that Victoria would continue working throughout her pregnancy. In 2012, she took her maternity leave one day prior to the birth of her daughter Estelle[12] and her husband Daniel revealed that he would take his paternity leave and switch parental roles with Victoria when Estelle began preschool.[13]

In January 2016, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed the crown princess as a member of Sustainable Development Goals Advocates for Agenda 2030.[14] The crown princess is therefore one of 16 ambassadors in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocacy Group.[14] The group's task is to promote the UN's Sustainable Development Goals – Agenda 2030 – in various ways. The Crown Princess primarily works with issues concerning water and health.[14]

When Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson was elected as Swedens first female prime minister in 2021, Victoria stated that it was “about time” and that Andersson would become an “important symbol”. [15]

When Sweden became a member of

NATO Headquarters in Brussels.[16]

The Crown Princess Victoria's Fund

Crown Princess Victoria on the National Day of Sweden, 2006

The Crown Princess Victoria's Fund was set up in 1997 and is run as a part of Radiohjälpen, the fundraising branch of Sveriges Television and Sveriges Radio. The fund's aim is to provide support for leisure and recreational activities for children and young people with functional disabilities or chronic illnesses.

The Crown Princess Victoria Fund's means mainly derive from donations by the public, but large companies such as Arla Foods, Swedbank and AB Svenska Returpack are constant sponsor partners. Additional support comes from The Association of Swedish Bakers & Confectioners who every year arrange a national “princess cake week” during which the participating cafés and bakeries give 2.50 SEK per sold princess pastry and 10 SEK per sold princess cake to the fund.[17] The result of this fund-raising drive is usually presented to Victoria herself on her name day on 12 March every year; in 2007, the total amount was 200,000 SEK. Congratulatory and memorial cards are also issued by Radiohjälpen benefitting the fund, a simple way to pay respects and do a good deed in one act. In 2006, The Crown Princess Victoria Fund raised a total of 5.5 million SEK.[17]

Every year Victoria visits one or several clubs or projects that have been granted money. These visits are not announced via the official royal diary but kept private; instead Sveriges Television often accompanies her and airs short programs from these visits at some time during the year.[18]

Personal life

Victoria sailing

Victoria's first boyfriend was Daniel Collert. They socialised in the same circles, went to the same school and were already friends when their romance developed in the mid-1990s. When Victoria moved to the United States in 1998 to study and recover from her eating disorders, Collert moved with her and settled in New York.[19] In September 2000, Victoria's relationship with Collert was confirmed in an interview with her at Expo 2000.[20] The relationship ended in 2001.

In May 2002, Swedish newspaper

Daniel Westling. When the news broke and the media turned its attention on him, it was obvious that he did not like being in the public eye. Once Westling was photographed crossing a street against a red light in order to avoid a camera.[21] In July 2002, Victoria and Westling were pictured kissing for the first time[22]
at a birthday party for Caroline Kreuger, a close friend of Victoria's.

In a popular personal report called Tre dagar med Victoria, which profiled her work during a three-day period that aired on

TV4 in December 2004, Victoria commented on criticism directed at Westling, "Many unfair things are written. I understand that there is speculation, but some day justice will be done there, too." Victoria also gave her opinion that happiness is important, and that these days it is not so much about background and pedigree but about two people who have to live with each other. She said that if they are not happy and comfortable with each other, it is impossible to do a good job.[23]

Engagement

Swedish media often speculated about upcoming engagements and marriages for Victoria. On 24 February 2009, rumours that wedding plans were imminent became particularly intense preceding an information council between the King and

Stockholm Cathedral for 19 June 2010, the 34th anniversary of her parents' marriage.[25] Her engagement ring features a solitaire round brilliant-cut diamond mounted on white gold.[26]

Marriage, motherhood and children

The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel on their wedding day

The wedding took place on 19 June 2010. Guests including royalty and ambassadors from various countries were invited to the wedding ceremony which took place at Stockholm Cathedral. After the wedding the newlyweds were driven through Stockholm in a coach and then rowed in the antique royal barge Vasaorden to the royal palace where the wedding banquet was held. On the evening before the wedding, there was a gala concert dedicated to the couple in the Stockholm Concert Hall.

The couple have two children:

Often referred to as the "Godmother of Europe", Crown Princess Victoria is the godmother of eighteen children:[citation needed]

Health

Victoria has dyslexia, as do her father King Carl XVI Gustaf and her brother Prince Carl Philip.[41][42]

In 1996, it was established that Victoria had

anorexia; this was not confirmed until the next year.[43][44] Victoria had planned to study at Uppsala University, but after intense media speculation and public discussion when pictures of an evidently emaciated Victoria in sleeveless dresses at the Order of the Innocence's ball and the gala dinner for the incoming state visit from Austria
surfaced in April 1997, the Royal Court decided to confirm her condition.

After a press release from the Royal Court in November 1997 announced that Victoria had eating disorders, she moved to the United States where she received professional treatment and studied at Yale University.[44]

In June 1999, Victoria said, "It was a really hard time. This kind of illness is hard, not only for the individual but also for the people close to him or her. Today I'm fine."[43]

In November 2002, the book Victoria, Victoria! came out, speaking further about her eating disorder. Victoria said: "I felt like an accelerating train, going right down... during the whole period. I had eating disorders and was aware of it, my anguish was enormous. I really hated how I looked like, how I was... I, Victoria, didn't exist. It felt like everything in my life and around me was controlled by others. The one thing I could control was the food I put in me". She further said that "What happened cost and I was the one who stood for the payments. Now I'm feeling well and with the insights I've acquired through this I can hopefully help someone else".[45]

Victoria has prosopagnosia, which makes it difficult to recognize familiar faces.[46] [47] [48] In an interview in 2008, she called it a "big drawback" in her capacity as heir to the throne.[49]

Titles, styles and honours

Victoria's coat of arms

Titles

  • 14 July 1977 – 31 December 1979: Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • 1 January 1980 – 9 January 1980: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden
  • 9 January 1980 – present: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland

Honours

National

Foreign

See also

References

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Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
Born: 14 July 1977
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Carl Philip
Crown Princess of Sweden

1980–present
Incumbent
Vacant
Title last held by
Carl
Duchess of Västergötland

1980–present
Lines of succession
First
Succession to the Swedish throne
1st in line
Followed by
Princess Estelle