The Swedish monarchy
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy. The Swedish head of state since 1973, King Carl XVI Gustaf, exercises no political power and does not participate in political life. He is the representative of the country as a whole, and in that capacity performs mainly ceremonial duties and functions. Among his duties the monarch chairs meetings of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs. The king is supported in his duties by Queen Silvia and their three children, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. Queen Silvia was born in Germany to the German-Brazilian Sommerlath family.
Sweden has been a hereditary kingdom since 1544 in the days of Gustav Vasa and the current successor to the throne is Crown Princess Victoria. In 1980, three years after her birth, the Act of Succession became gender-neutral to allow the throne to be passed to the first-born child, male or female.
Crown Princess Victoria has become one of Sweden’s most important ambassadors. Her duties involve supporting the king, representing him on official engagements and state visits that he is unable to attend. In addition to international aid work and peace activism, she is involved in charity work through the Crown Princess Victoria Fund, which supports leisure and recreational activities for children and young people with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
Despite her royal upbringing, Crown Princess Victoria is considered down-to-earth and likes ordinary pastimes such as golf, skiing and working out. In fact, she met her husband, Prince Daniel, at the gym where he was her personal trainer.
Sweden’s first royal birth in over three decades came early in the morning on February 23, 2012. Prince Daniel announced that his wife Crown Princess Victoria had given birth to a healthy baby princess at 4.26 a.m. Her name is Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary and she is Duchess of Östergötland.
The Swedish monarchy, regarded as the world’s most modern, has become even more popular in recent years. One of the reasons may be that Crown Princess Victoria has become a very popular ambassador for the country.