Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor delighted royal fans around the globe when he was born in May this year. However, Harry and Meghan surprised the world soon after his birth when they revealed that Archie would not take any of the royal titles that he has a claim to. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have spoken of their desire to bring Archie up as a private citizen – and hope his lack of royal status and titles will help ensure their new son’s privacy.
In a similar move, the King of Sweden, King Carl XVI Gustaf, surprised many royal watchers this week when he announced that some of his grandchildren will no longer be part of the royal house.
In the UK, this would be the equivalent of stripping family members of their HRH titles.
Many royal commentators have pointed out that the move gives the royal grandchildren, who are not in direct line to throne, more privacy and freedom as they are growing up.
Swedish historian Dick Harrison told the BBC: “They don't have to bother with being fenced in.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Archie; King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden
“They are made into ordinary people but still members of the royal club.”
The Swedish King’s second-born child, Prince Carl Philip, who is himself fourth-in-line to the Swedish throne, has two sons named Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel.
The Prince commented on Instagram: “We see this as a positive as Alexander and Gabriel will have freer choices in life."
Princess Madeleine, the King’s youngest child, has three children – Princess Leonore, Princess Adrienne and Prince Nicolas.
The new changes mean that Alexander, Gabriel, Leonore, Adrienne and Nicolas will not have the style Royal Highness.
They will still have the right to use the title Prince or Princess, and will keep any dukedoms they have.
However, the royal grandchildren will not be financed by the taxpayer-funded royal grant known in Sweden as ‘appanage’, or undertake any royal duties.
The children retain a theoretical clam to the throne, but are so far away in the line of succession they are extremely unlikely to ever wear the crown.
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It is even theorised that some of the younger generation may choose to be taken out of the line of succession altogether, as Princess Madeleine’s children currently do not live in Sweden.
The Swedish Royal Court confirmed: “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.”
King Carl XVI Gustaf has been on the Swedish throne since 1973.
First-in-line to the throne is Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Her two younger siblings are Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine.
Crown Princess Victoria’s children Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergotland and Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne, are second and third-in-line. They retain their Royal Highness titles, unlike their cousins.
Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland, Crown Princess Victoria’s younger brother, comes at fourth-in-line.
He was born in May 1979 as the Crown Prince of Sweden, however his elder sister Victoria became Crown Princess of Sweden in 1980 when male primogeniture was abolished.