The Swedish Royal Family: Behind the Modern Monarchy

Published April 15, 2021
Swedish Royal family

When mentioning royals, The House of Windsor in England is likely the most widely recognized family. Aside from them, there are some 43 other monarchies in the world, including the Kingdom of Sweden and its royal family. King Carl, Queen Silva, and their children and grandchildren make up the House of Bernadotte and the Swedish Royal Family.

Meet the Swedish Royal Family

The Kingdom of Sweden has a King and Queen standing at the head of the royal family. Together these leads have three children and a tumble of grandkids who follow them in the succession to the throne. The Swedish royal family is one of the more contemporary families, having royals marrying non-royals, changing laws regarding younger royal members, and altering the laws in succession.

King Carl XVI Gustaf

King Karl XVI Gustaf is the ruler of one of the 12 existing monarchies in Europe and is the seventh monarch that Sweden has known. He was the only son of the five children born to his parents, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla. He took over reign in 1973, making his royal motto "For Sweden - with the times." The King has certainly held true to that motto, making drastic changes to existing rules, bringing the family into modern times by altering the line of succession to include firstborn females, while removing younger members from royal duty. The King of Sweden is worth $70 million, which is a lot of money by normative standards, but nothing compared to the wealth of other monarchies around the world.

The King has remained devoted to particular causes such as environmental issues as well as preserving the cultural heritage of the Swedish people.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden

Queen Silva

King Carl wed his wife, Silva Renate Sommerlath in 1976. Queen Silva is of German and Brazilian descent. She grew up with three brothers, first in Brazil and then in Germany. Following her graduation from high school, she went on to attend the Munich School of Interpreting from 1965 to 1969 focusing on Spanish. She met her future husband at the Munich Olympic games, (it seems to be that more than a few royal couples have the Olympics to thank for matchmaking.) The Queen bore three children with her husband, The King. Queen Silva has split her adult years devoting her time and attention to charitable organizations, royal duties, and child-rearing. She now enjoys the company of her eight tiny grandbabies, all of whom are very young in age, and has a net worth of approximately $10 million.

Crown Princess Victoria

King Carl and Queen Silva had three children, with their eldest being Princess Victoria. In 1980, the rules of succession were changed so that Victoria could wear the crown in the line of Swedish succession in her own right. In her youth, the future Queen displayed an interest in learning and education, despite being dyslexic. She attended the Université Catholique de l'Ouest in Angers, France followed by several semesters at Yale University, where she took courses in geology, history, and international relations. In 2010, Victoria married her prince, Daniel, a former gym owner, and personal trainer. He was then given the title H.R.H. Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. The couple upholds the royal duties of the Swedish monarchy and following Victoria's reign as Queen (upon the passing or abdication of her father,) her two children stand in the line of succession after her.

The future Queen of Sweden speaks several languages and has displayed specific interest in areas such as conflict management and international peacebuilding and preservation.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Prince Carl Philip Edmund

Prince Carl is the second child and the only son of the King and Queen. He is fourth in line to rule behind his older sister Victoria and her two children. In 2015, Prince Carl married former model and television reality star, Sofia Hellqvist, now known as Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia. The couple has three sons together, but their children do not have the same titles and responsibilities as the children of Princess Victoria as the King has streamlined the Swedish royal family significantly in recent years.

Christening of Prince Alexander of Sweden

Princess Madeleine

The youngest daughter of the King and Queen is also a wife and mother, but her union to her British-American businessman husband, Christopher O'Neill, highlights just how progressive this royal family is. She never took her husband's name, so that she was able to keep the "Her Royal Highness" title intact. O'Neill has never added the royal house name to his own, instead choosing to retain his United States and United Kingdom dual citizenships. Because of these decisions, Princess Madeleine's husband has no official royal title and is technically not a member of the Royal House of Sweden.

The Royal Grandchildren

The royal family of Sweden is a growing and busy one. There are currently eight grandkids under the age of ten running through the palace halls. Not all the grandkids assume royal duties, following changes to the titles and duties expected of the royal children and grandchildren.

  • Princess Estelle - Son of Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel
  • Prince Oscar - Son of Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel
  • Prince Alexander - Son of Prince Carl and Princess Sofia
  • Prince Julian - Son of Prince Carl and Princess Sofia
  • Prince Gabriel - Son of Prince Carl and Princess Sofia
  • Princess Leonore - Daughter of Princess Madeline and Mr. Chris O'Neill
  • Prince Nicolas - Daughter of Princess Madeline and Mr. Chris O'Neill
  • Princess Adrienne - Daughter of Princess Madeline and Mr. Chris O'Neill

Changes to Titles

The last few years have been ones of change for the Swedish royal family. King Carl Gustaf made changes to the concept of what and who the royal family is. He stripped many of his grandchildren of their royal titles and clearly defined who in the family would continue to represent the family in the future. Specifically, the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and the children of Princess Madeleine and Mr. Christopher O'Neill are no longer considered royal house family members. While they have undergone a change in title and duty, they have retained their names of Prince and Princesses for personal effect only. The children of Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel, along with their children, continue to be unaffected by the new changes and are expected to maintain their royal duties.

Social Media Shift

Everyone is living in the age of virtual and digital connection, and this "in the know" royal family is all about social media. Every day people can follow their privileged lives through social media channels like Instagram and Facebook.

The Swedish royal family is up with modern times, having their own Instagram Page. Crown Princess Victoria also shares her family and her interests and activities via Facebook as does her younger sister Madeleine.

A Growing Family

With all three children of Carl and Silva of child-bearing age, the grandkids keep on coming. The royal family of Sweden continues to grow by two tiny feet every few years. Most recently Prince Carl and his wife welcomed their third child into their esteemed family, bringing the grandbaby total to eight and counting. With changes in titles, duties, and traditions, the Swedish royal family continues to make royal life work for them as they move forward in the modern world.

The Swedish Royal Family: Behind the Modern Monarchy