Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crown Princess Victoria

Royal Wedding Stockholm 2010-Slottsbacken-05 edit

The Royal Universe has an interesting article on Crown Princess Victoria, the only female royal heir apparent in the world, who is set to become Sweden's fourth queen regnant, following an amendment of the 1810 Act of Succession which places her ahead of her younger brother in the line to the throne. To quote:
Princess Victoria has received an impressive amount of education in preparation for her role as Head of State. She initially attended state schools, where she said she was bullied as a young child because she was dyslexic. She transferred to an exclusive private school, Enskilda Gymnasiet, at the age of 13. After graduating from school, she spent a year in France, studying at the Catholic University of the West in Angers. She returned to Sweden in summer 1997 and undertook a training course for several months in the workings of Parliament and the government. This was followed by a course of study at Yale University in Connecticut; an overseas university was chosen because the Princess was suffering from anorexia and it was felt that she needed to be away from the Swedish press and living somewhere where she could be relatively anonymous as well as receive the best possible therapy. After leaving Yale she spent some time working in the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC, returning to Sweden in 2000. Since then she has undertaken various courses of study in topics such as international relations, conflict resolution, and political science. She has also done internships at the United Nations, the European Union, and the Swedish Trade Council, and completed her military basic training. In 2006 she took part in the year-long Diplomat Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2009 she graduated from Uppsala University, the university she would have attended in the late 1990s if not for the need to study abroad. She is also involved in the Crown Princess Victoria Fund, a charity focused on providing recreational opportunities for disabled children. She is patron of several organisations, mainly in the fields of health, sports, and culture.
Although I wish Victoria all the best, I find it unfair that her brother was retroactively deprived of the status of Crown Prince which he had held at birth. If a change to the succession laws was to be made, I think it would have been more just if it had taken effect only in the next generation. (Nevertheless, I have the impression that the Princess, as it turns out, is a finer character than her brother, so the change may be for the best). I also find it inconsistent to complain that the old rules, giving precedence to male children, had to be amended in the light of contemporary Sweden's egalitarian culture. At that rate, why have a monarchy at all, since the whole system of inherited rights to thrones is anti-egalitarian in the first place?

Photo by Prolineserver 2010, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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