"Chris and I believe it is good that our children will now have a greater opportunity in the future to form their own lives as private individuals," Princess Madeleine said.
With the Swedish economy on the skids, there is nothing like the King Carl XVI Gustaf to cut his cloth as a sign to all that belt tightening might be the way to go.
King Carl XVI Gustaf has cut five of his grandchildren from the royal household, which means they won’t be able to benefit from the taxpayer-funded sum that goes to members of the royal house and in return will not be expected to perform official royal duties.
In fact Carl XVI Gustaf‘s actions means that the five grandchildren can live basically a normal life. They can choose whatever job they like, they can start their own business and even hold political opinions.
Fredrik Wersäll, the Marshal of the Realm, explained in a statement why King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife, Queen Silvia, had taken the title His and Her Royal Highness off the children of Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill, together with Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.
“We have a large royal family. If you include the next generation there are currently 10 people in the line of succession,” he said.
The new arrangement also appears to please Princess Madeleine, who lives in the US with her three children and husband Chris O’Neill. The removal of her children from the Royal House should make it easier for the family to continue their life there and for the children to attend schools in the US.
“This change has been planned over a long time. Chris and I believe it is good that our children will now have a greater opportunity in the future to form their own lives as private individuals,” Princess Madeleine said in an Instagram post.
The two sons of Princess Madeleine’s brother, Prince Carl Philip, and his wife Princess Sofia, have also been cut.
“We see this as a positive as Alexander and Gabriel will have freer choices in life,” Prince Carl Philip said. “They will retain their Duke titles… which we value and are proud of… We will continue to focus on issues close to our hearts. We will also continue to support the King and the Crown Princess — our future head of state — and participate in the King’s activities,” Prince Carl Philip said.
Currently, each of the children has two titles: Prince or Princess and Duke or Duchess. They will retain both, with one key difference. The Prince and Princess titles become personal, meaning they won’t be transferred or inherited by future family members, for example spouses or children. The titles of Duke and Duchess are hereditary.
King Carl XVI Gustaf has spared his grandchildren Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar, who remain part of the royal payroll. They are the children of Crown Princess Victoria, heir to the throne, and her husband Prince Daniel, both of whom are also members of the Royal House, along with the King’s other children Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine, Carl Philip’s wife Princess Sofia, and the King and Queen themselves. The King’s sister Princess Birgitta, who unlike her two other sisters did marry a prince, is also a member.
Swedish historian Dick Harrison told BBC News that the decision was likely made to meet the modern needs of the family, explaining that the Royal House had grown larger than it had been in 100 years and that many thought there was no need to pay so many members or to have them available for official duties.
Being removed from the royal house would also allow the youngsters to “live ordinary lives”, he said.
“They don’t have to bother with being fenced in. They are made into ordinary people but still members of the royal club,” Harrison said.
Harrison said there was also ongoing controversy about the funding of the royal house in Sweden but that it had not yet focused on the young children.
“The king is preventing a discussion that otherwise would have taken place,” he said.
Sweden is one of several European countries to have a monarchy – the UK, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain.