Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill are expecting a girl (the due date is February 25). But will the baby become a princess? That depends on a number of things. The history professor at University of Lund, Dick Harrison, who blogs on history in the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet was recently quoted on the subject.
”There are a number of rules that have to be lived up to for the child to become part of the act of succession. If the child becomes an American citizen only, which is quite possible since both Madeleine and Chris live in the U.S., it will not become part of the succession. However, the child may have dual citizenships, as long as one of them is Swedish," says Harrison. "Chris is a Catholic, so it is technically possible for the child to inherit that faith, in which case she can not become part of the succession. The child also has to grow up mainly in Sweden. There’s no percentage of exactly how much time of the child’s life has to be spent here, but it is not enough to only spend summers in Sweden. However, where the child is born has no bearing on it at all. If all these rules are fulfilled, then the baby girl is number five in the succession act, after Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Estelle, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine.”

And will she become a princess? "That title is decided by the King. The decision has to do with whether the parents follow the rules for the act of succession. The King’s sisters’ children have neither prince- nor princess titles, and that has to do with the change in the Swedish act of succession in 1980, when only direct relatives to the King were included in the act of succession. It will remain this way until there’s a change in the constitution, so in a couple generations a whole lot of people can get a spot in the act of succession. If the child grows up according to the rules of succession it would surprise me a lot if she didn’t receive a dukedom.”
Harrison adds that the nicer the title, the more interesting for media, but points out that also has to do with where the child grows up—if she grows up on the other side of the pond (in this case, the U.S.), and is not very accessible, then Swedish media’s interest will surely cool off. However, if she participates at different ceremonies, she might become the nation’s little darling, and thus the interest and popularity will increase. Chris O’Neill’s lack of a prince title has nothing to do with the child’s title or lack thereof.

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