King Carl Gustaf of Sweden Finally Speaks Out About Why He Took Royal Titles Away From His Grandkids

In royal families, titles are everything. They indicate to the public where a person stands in the royal lineage. The hierarchy of royals depends on whether a person is in direct line for the throne or not. But even the royals who probably won’t ever see the throne usually receive titles.

This year, King Carl Gustaf of Sweden shocked royal fans around the world when he stripped his small grandchildren of their titles. Now, months after his decision, he is finally speaking out about why he did it.

Queen Silvia of Sweden, Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Varmland, Princess Estelle, Duchess of Ostergotland, Princess Sofia, Duchess of Varmland, Prince Oscar, Duke of Skane, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and King Carl XVI Gustaf
Queen Silvia of Sweden, Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Varmland, Princess Estelle, Duchess of Ostergotland, Princess Sofia, Duchess of Varmland, Prince Oscar, Duke of Skane, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden | Michael Campanella/Getty Images

King Carl Gustaf strips his grandkids of titles

In October, Gustaf decided to take the titles away from most of his grandchildren.

“His Majesty The King has decided on changes to The Royal House. The purpose of these changes is to establish which members of The Royal Family may be expected to perform official duties incumbent on the Head of State or related to the function of the Head of State,” the palace announced in a statement obtained by People.

“His Majesty The King has decided that the children of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine and Mr. Christopher O’Neill will no longer be members of The Royal House.”

The king’s children who were affected, Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip, both responded to the announcement on Instagram.

“Earlier today, the court announced that Leonore, Nicolas and Adrienne will no longer belong to the royal house,” Madeline wrote. “This change has been planned for a long time. Chris and I think it’s good that our children are now getting a greater opportunity to shape their own lives as private individuals in the future.”

Carl Philip didn’t seem too bothered by the change either.

“Today, the King announced the decision that our children no longer hold the Royal Highness position,” he wrote on Instagram. “We see this as positive as Alexander and Gabriel will have freer choices in life.”

“They will retain their prince titles and their duchies, Södermanland and Dalarna, which we value and are proud of. Our family has strong connections to both landscapes and we maintain our commitment there.”

“We will continue to focus on our heart issues and commitment. We will also continue to support the King and Crown Princess – our future head of state – and participate in the King’s House activities as we wish.”

What does the king have to say?

During the king’s annual Christmas speech, he finally addressed his decision.

“Earlier this year I made a decision to define what is called the royal house,” he said, according to People. “The decision was to make clear who within the royal family will act as official representatives of Sweden in the future. For me, this is a way of clarifying what expectations are.”

In the king’s mind, this was a way to allow his grandchildren to chose their own paths in life.

“It will hopefully be helpful when my grandchildren eventually carve out their own future. But, to that day, it is far away.”