By Frankie Fouganthin – Own Work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons
Of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s four older sisters, only one has retained her status as Royal Highness throughout her life – Princess Birgitta, who is celebrating her 85th birthday today.
The reason why Birgitta remained a royal nobility while the princesses Margaretha, Désirée and Christina lost the style of their marriages is due to the then Swedish constitution. The law stated that Swedish princesses had to marry a man of equal rank or lose their royal status. Margaretha, Désirée and Christina all married peasants and gave up their royal rank. However, the kings (first King Gustaf VI Adolf and then King Carl XVI Gustaf) gave them courtesy titles after their marriage – without royal highness.
Their current titles are Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler; Princess Désirée, Baroness Silverschield; and Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson. They are not in the succession, nor are their children.
Princess Birgitta, on the other hand, married an equal man – Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern. Therefore, she was able to retain her titles as he was also royal. Like her sisters, she is not in the succession to the Swedish throne, nor are her titled children.
Since the marriage in 1961, Birgitta’s full title is Her Royal Highness Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Hohenzollern.
Although these were the rules established by the Swedish constitution at the time of the marriage of the four Haga princesses (as they were usually called), it is not a law in Sweden today.
Now Swedish princesses can marry ordinary people and keep all their royal styles and titles. Crown Princess Victoria married Daniel Westling and remained the heir to the Swedish throne, and will one day become Sweden’s queen. Daniel even received the style Royal Highness and the title Prince of Sweden. They have two children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar. Princess Estelle will also be Sweden’s queen after her mother.
Her younger sister, Princess Madeleine, married Christopher O’Neill. She retained her royal titles and place in the line of succession. Their three children are also in succession.