Royal Fans Find The Swedish Royal Family's Recent Portraits - Strange. Here's Why

Recently, the Swedish royal family shared new portraits of the family to mark the launch of its new website. But some images did not quite set well with royal fans.

First, the solo portrait of Princess Madeleine where she wore a complete royal regalia - gown, sash, medal, steel tiara. But fans noticed she seemed captured in a different venue - more like a studio - than in a throne room. 

HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden
The royal siblings, from left: Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine

Her two older siblings - Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip, her parents - Their Majesties The King and Queen, and sister-in-law - Princess Sofia, were all photographed in the palace room. But not Madeline.

Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel Westling
Prince Carl Philip and his wife, Princess Sofia

We don't have any answer to this question because we do not have any idea why Princess Madeleine seemed photographed in a different venue. 

But one thing is certain, her solo photo might have taken on a different date and by a different photographer. The background is the same as those of her older siblings in another angle.

Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia
Victoria, Carl Philip, and Madeleine

Second, why Maddie's husband, Chris O'Neil, was not present during the official portrait session? The answer to this question is pretty easy and obvious.

Chris O'Neil is not a member of the Royal House of Bernadotte, and so with his children with Princess Madeleine and the children of Prince Carl Philip. 

They are members of the Swedish royal family, but not of the royal house because they don't have a royal highness status. And do not carry official royal duties.

His case is the same as the status of Princess Anne's husband, Sir Tim Laurence. Though he married a princess, he is untitled, making him not a member of the House of Windsor but he is a member of the British royal family.

Members of the Royal House are those considered working royals with HRH (his or her royal highness) style, and who are performing royal duties on behalf of the monarchy.

The status of Christopher O'Neil

Chris O'Neil is a British-born American financier and has a dual American-British citizenship. When he wed Princess Madeleine in 2013, the king offered him a royal status and a Swedish citizen. 

Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neil

He declined both, preferring to remain a private citizen and an American-British so that he can continue practicing his profession in finance and managing a business. 

This made him not a member of the House of Bernadotte. And so not expected to come up in state occasions (unless requested by the monarch), royal portraits for the royal house. As a private citizen, non-Swedish, O'Neil has no profile page in the official website of the Swedish royal family.

In 2019, King Carl XVI Gustaf reduced the members of the Royal House of Bernadotte to cut on expenditure, stripping his grandchildren from Madeleine and Carl Philip their HRH status, however remained prince/princess and retained their places in the line of succession. 

The current members of the royal house of Bernadotte

The king decided that the House of Bernadotte will only be limited to the family of the heir-apparent and her children, Estelle and Oscar, and thus, the only grandchildren to carry the HRH style.

The king and his two direct heirs: Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Estelle

Thus, currently, the members of the House of Bernadotte are the following:

  • His Majesty The King
  • Her Majesty The Queen
    • Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess Victoria, Duchess of Vastergotland
    • His Royal Highness Prince Daniel
      • Her Royal Highness Princess Estelle, Duchess of Ostergotland
      • His Royal Highness Prince Oscar, Duke of Skane
    • His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Varmland
    • Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia, Duchess of Varmland
    • Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Halsingland and Gastrikland         

Other member of the House of Bernadotte 

In the official website of the Swedish royal family, it is mentioned that the king's older sister, HRH Princess Birgitta, is a member of the House of Bernadotte, this is because she is the only one among the king's sisters who married a prince, thus retaining her royal status and as a member of the royal house of Bernadotte. Her husband, Prince Johann Georg Hohenzollern, who died in 2016, was a German prince.

This royal mandate of marrying a royal to retain its royal highness status, does not cover the current Swedish royal family anymore, making Princess Madeleine still a Swedish royal princess even after marrying a commoner.

Line of Succession to the Swedish throne

The current line of succession to the Swedish throne is limited only within the direct family of King Carl XVI Gustaf.

1. HRH The Crown Princess (eldest child of the king)
2. HRH Princess Estelle (eldest child of the Crown Princess)
3. HRH Prince Oscar (second child of the Crown Princess)
4. HRH Prince Carl Philip (second child and only son of the king)
5.          Prince Alexander (eldest child of Prince Carl Philip)
6.          Prince Gabriel (second child of Prince Carl Philip)
7.          Prince Julian (third child of Prince Carl Philip)
8. HRH Princess Madeleine (youngest child of the king)
9.          Princess Leonore (eldest child of Princess Madeleine)
10.        Prince Nicolas (second child of Princess Madeleine)
11.        Princess Adrienne (youngest child of Princess Madeleine)

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