The five children lose the status of royal highness and are not expected to
perform official duties.
The announcement marks a major change for Sweden's royal
Sweden's king has removed five of his grandchildren from
the royal house.
The decision by King Carl XVI Gustaf means the children
no longer have the title of royal highness and are not expected to perform
official royal duties.
They will remain members of the royal family and retain
their titles of dukes and duchesses.
The change has not affected the king's two grandchildren
who are in direct line to the throne.
Observers say the move reflects a wider view that there
is no need to pay so many members of the royal family for official duties.
Which royals are involved?
The decision, announced in a statement published by the
Royal Court of Sweden, regards the two sons of Prince Carl Philip and the three
children of Princess Madeleine.
As well as relieving them of their royal duties, the
change means that the children - aged between one and five - will not be
entitled to receive the taxpayer-funded annual sum known as appanage which is
given to members of the royal house.
Royal expert Roger Lundgren said the decision followed
scrutiny over the increasing number of royals. "Parliament announced a few years
ago that it would have a review of some principles regarding the monarchy. One
thing was the size of the family," he said.
He said the king had taken action on his own to deal
with the issue and compared the move to reports that the UK's Prince of Wales
wanted to "streamline the Royal Family".
He also likened the new role of the five Swedish royals
to that of princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who have pursued their own careers.
What does it mean?
Swedish historian Dick Harrison said the decision was
likely made to meet the modern needs of the family, explaining that the Royal
House had grown larger than it had been in 100 years and that many thought there
was no need to pay so many members or to have them available for official
Being removed from the royal house would also allow the
youngsters to "live ordinary lives", he said.
"They don't have to bother with being fenced in. They
are made into ordinary people but still members of the royal club," he told the
He added that the children, who are still princes and
princesses, retained a "theoretical claim to the throne" and would likely
continue to appear at social gatherings through their titles.
Mr Harrison said there was also ongoing controversy
about the funding of the royal house in Sweden but that it had not yet focused
on the young children. "The king is preventing a discussion that otherwise would
have taken place," he said.
Sweden is just one of several European countries to have
a monarchy, along with the UK, Norway, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands and
Belgium. The traditions and number of people in royal roles vary between
The move on Monday does not affect the position of the
children's parents. Princess Madeleine, Prince Carl Philip and his wife Princess
Sofia "will continue their work in the non-profit foundations and organisations
which they have founded or in which they are involved. In addition, they will
perform official duties to the extent decided by His Majesty," the statement
It noted that King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Queen
Silvia, and Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel were "Sweden's
highest representatives". BBC