Sweden is soon to have a royal wedding. This will be the first wedding since HM King Carl XVI Gustaf married Sylvia Renate Sommerlath, now Queen Sylvia of Sweden back in 1976. Unlike many other royal houses, in Sweden the throne passes to the eldest child rather than just the eldest male child. HRH The Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will wed Mr Daniel Westling later this month. Mr Westling is a commoner, something which has raised some hackles in some quarters. And he is, after all, a fitness instructor. Some felt that this is not an appropriate profession for the spouse of the future Swedish monarch. It was said that the King was opposed to the idea at first, something which is strange as his own wife, Queen Sylvia, comes from a non-royal background.
It does seem that Mr Westling does have some noble ancestors, though he is not, techinically speaking, nobility. Nevertheless, he comes from a good family background. The last record of anyone in his family having been arrested dates back to 1817. You can read more about this here. Given the rather turbulent background of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, spouse of the Crown Prince and heir presumptive Håkon, I think that Swedes should feel relieved that she is marrying someone of a stable background, no matter whether he is a fitness instructor or not. Crown Princess Mette-Marit was a single mother at the time and had a background in Oslo’s Rave scene. Also, the father of her first child has convictions for drug offences.
The Swedish Monarchy has a unique history. The current royal family’s origin is found in the Napoleonic Wars. During the early 19th century, Napoleon came to dominate much of Europe. King Gustav IV Adolf had been toppled in a coup d’état and replaced by his uncle, the childless King Charles XIII. This was at best a temporary solution. In 1810, the Riksdag elected one of Napoleon’s generals, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte as heir to the throne. Bernadotte accepted the offer. Following the conquest of Norway in 1814 and the death of Charles XIII in 1818, he became King Carl XIV Johan of Sweden and King Carl III Johan of Norway. Successive Bernadotte kings would rule over both Sweden and Norway until 1905 when Norway regained her independence. Norway then elected the second son of King Frederick VIII of Denmark as king, later known as King Håkon VII.