Why Did The King of Sweden Strip Several Family Members of Their Royal Titles?

There are suddenly fewer royals in Sweden. Last week, King Cari XVI Gustaf stripped five of his grandchildren of their royal titles. By relieving the youngsters of their royal duties, the king is sending a powerful message to his country. There is no big family drama going on, and he didn’t remove them from the royal court to be vindictive. The reason behind the decision is strictly business.

Why did King Carl XVI Gustaf strip his grandchildren of their royal titles?

Prince Alexander, Princess Lenoir, Prince Gabriel, Princess Adrienne, and Prince Nicolas have all been stripped of their royal titles. While the young royals are still free to use the titles that were bestowed upon them at birth, they will no longer be eligible to use the style of Royal Highness. There Isn’t any sort of family drama behind the decision, though. King Carl XVI Gustaf’s decision is strictly business.

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden arrives at Uppsala Cathedral
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden | Michael Campanella/Getty Images

The king claims that the extensive nature of his family made it necessary to ease the burden on taxpayers. Anyone within the royal family who is considered a working royal receives an appendage. An appendage is essentially a salary paid out to the royal family from tax money collected from private citizens. The money is technically payment for carrying out royal duties.

By removing the five grandchildren from the royal house, the burden on taxpayers is lifted. It is likely the king is hoping the decision will help buoy public opinion, as well. According to Good, approval of the monarch in Sweden is down, with some 30% of citizens believing that abolishing the monarchy would help the country.

What does it mean for the young royals?

In short, the removal of their royal titles doesn’t mean all that much at the moment. The five royals that have lost their official titles are all under the age of five, so the odds are good that they have no idea what’s going on. In the future, however, it could mean something significant.

While the five grandchildren will remain members of the royal family in a personal capacity, they will not be considered working royals. The five grandchildren will not be expected to perform duties for the royal family, and will not receive a stipend from the state, as working royals do.

The king noted that the five grandchildren would maintain their titles for personal use, so they can continue to go by Prince and Princess if they so choose. Their children, however, will not receive titles upon their birth. So, basically, the king is phasing the extended royal family out.  

Why do Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar get to keep their titles?

Five grandchildren may have lost their titles, but there are two more who were allowed to keep their styling of Royal Highness. Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar will continue on as royal family members as if nothing happened, and likely will be called upon in the future to perform as working royals. So, why do they get to keep their titles?

The answer is straightforward; the two are potential heirs to the throne. Their mother, Crown Princess Victoria, is expected to take over for her father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, eventually. She is Sweden’s heir apparent. Because she is next in line for the throne, her two young children are also in line.

Prince Carl Philip, who has two children and Princess Madeleine’s three children, are all considered too far down in the line of succession to be considered working royals. Sweden, unlike the United Kingdom, doesn’t have titles such as Lady and Viscount. Future children of the now-stripped princes and princesses will simply not have stylized titles.