Victoria was born on 14 July 1977 at 21:45 CET at the Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Stockholm County, Sweden, and is the oldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. She is a member of the Royal House of Bernadotte. Born as a Princess of Sweden, she was designated Crown Princess in 1979 (SFS 1979:932) ahead of her younger brother. Her place as first in the line of succession formally went into effect on 1 January 1980 with the parliamentary change to the Act of Succession that introduced absolute primogeniture.
Her given names honour various relatives. Her first name comes primarily from her great-great-grandmother, Victoria of Baden, the queen-consort of Sweden as wife of King Gustaf V, and her great-great-great-grandmother Victoria, queen of the United Kingdom (the Queen's granddaughter, Margaret of Connaught, Crown Princess of Sweden, was Victoria's great-grandmother). Her other names honour her great-aunt Ingrid of Denmark; her maternal grandmother, the Brazilian Alice Sommerlath (born Alice Soares de Toledo); and her ancestor Désirée Clary, the queen-consort of Charles XIV John and a former fiancée of Napoleon I of France as well as her paternal aunt and godmother, Princess Désirée.
She was christened at The Royal Palace Church on 27 September 1977. Her godparents were Crown Prince Harald of Norway (later king of Norway), her maternal uncle, Ralf Sommerlath, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands (later queen of the Netherlands, 1980–2013), and her aunt Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld. The Crown Princess was confirmed in the summer of 1992 at Räpplinge church on the island of Öland.
Victoria studied for a year (1996/97) at the Université Catholique de l'Ouest at Angers in France, and in the fall term of 1997 participated in a special program following the work of the Riksdag. From 1998 to 2000, Victoria resided in the United States, where she studied various subjects at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
In May 1999, she was an intern at the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Victoria completed a study program at the Government Offices in 2001. In 2003, Victoria's education continued with visits to Swedish businesses, a study and intern program in agriculture and forestry, as well as completion of the basic soldier training at SWEDINT (the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre).
In 2006, Victoria enrolled in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' Diplomat Program, running from September 2006 to June 2007. The program is a training program for young future diplomats and gives an insight to the ministry's work, Swedish foreign and security policies and Sweden's relations with the rest of the world. In June 2009, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Uppsala University.
She speaks Swedish, English, French and German.
She was made Crown Princess and heir apparent on 1 January 1980 by the 1979 change to the Act of Succession of 1810 (Successionsordningen). This constitutional reform meant that the throne would be inherited by the monarch's eldest child without regard to gender. King Carl XVI Gustaf objected to the reform after it occurred because he favoured tradition.
When she became heir, she also was made titular Duchess of Västergötland, one of the historical provinces of Sweden.
Prior to this constitutional change, the heir apparent to the throne was her younger brother, the then-Crown Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland. He is now fourth in line to the throne, behind the Crown Princess's daughter and son.
She is one of only three female heirs apparent in the world – the other two being her goddaughter Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, and Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant.
Victoria's declaration of majority took place in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on 14 July 1995. As of the day she turned 18, she became eligible to act as Head of State when the King is not in country. Victoria made her first public speech on this occasion. Located on the dais in the background was the same silver throne on which her father was seated at his enthronement, in actual use from 1650 and up until this ceremony.
As heir apparent to the throne, Victoria is a working member of the Swedish Royal Family with her own agenda of official engagements. Victoria attends the regular Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and the information councils with Government ministers headed by the King, and steps in as a temporary regent (Riksföreståndare) when needed.
Victoria has made many official trips abroad as a representative of Sweden. Her first major official visit on her own was to Japan in 2001, where she promoted Swedish tourism, design, music, gastronomy and environmental sustainability during the "Swedish Style" event. That same year, Victoria also travelled to the West Coast of the United States, where she participated in the celebrations of the Nobel centenary.
In 2002, she paid official visits to United States, Spain, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kosovo where she visited Camp Victoria. In 2003, she made official visits to Egypt and the United States. In early 2004, she paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia, as a part of a large official business delegation from Sweden, and in October 2004, she travelled to Hungary.
Crown Princess Victoria was given her own household in October 2004. It is headed by the Marshal of the Court, and serves to coordinate the official engagements of The Crown Princess.
In January 2005, Victoria made a long official visit to Australia, promoting Swedish Style and businesses, and in April she visited Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to follow aid work and become informed about the work in the aftermath of the tsunami. In April 2005, Victoria made an official visit to Japan where she visited the Expo 2005 in Aichi, laid the foundation for a new IKEA store in Yokohama together with Princess Takamado and met with Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Sayako Kuroda. In June 2005, Victoria travelled to Turkey on an official visit where she participated in the Swedish Business Seminar and Sweden Day celebrations in Ankara during a historic visit, which was organised by the Swedish Embassy in Ankara and Swedish Trade Council in Istanbul. Victoria also visited the historic sights such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia. This was the first official Royal visit from Sweden to Turkey since 1934. In September 2005, she made an official visit to China.
In March 2006, Victoria made an official visit to Brazil where she followed the Volvo Ocean Race and visited projects supported by the World Childhood Foundation, such as the Abrigo Rainha Sílvia. In December, she paid a four-day official visit to Paris where she attended a French-Swedish soirée arranged by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, the Swedish Trade Council and the Swedish Embassy, during which she also awarded the Prix d’Excellence 2006. The visit to Paris also included events with the Swedish Club in Paris, attendance at a church service in the Sofia Church (the Swedish church in Paris), a study visit to the OECD headquarters and meetings with the Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría, the Swedish Ambassador to the OECD, Gun-Britt Andersson, and other senior officials. She also attended a gala dinner hosted by La Fondation Pour L’Enfance at Versailles.
State visits, in which she has participated in Sweden are Austria 1997, South Africa 1999, France 2000, Germany 2003, Jordan 2003, Latvia 2005, Malaysia 2005, Republic of Botswana 2006, China 2007, Brazil 2007, Bulgaria 2007, Serbia 2008 ; abroad Finland 1996 (her first), Belgium 2001, Finland 2003, Iceland 2004, Denmark 2007.
She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.
In 2011, it was announced that Victoria would continue working throughout her pregnancy. In 2012, she took her maternity leave one day prior to the birth of her daughter Estelle and her husband Daniel revealed that he would take his paternity leave and switch parental roles with Victoria when Estelle began preschool.
The Crown Princess Victorias Fund was set up in 1997 and is run as a part of Radiohjälpen, the fundraising branch of Sveriges Television and Sveriges Radio. The fund’s aim is to provide support for leisure and recreational activities for children and young people with functional disabilities or chronic illnesses. Applications can be addressed to the fund year round and the use of grants can cover everything from compensations to assistants at recreational trips to leisure activities such as horseback riding, skiing, wheelchair floorball, camps and outings.
Every summer, Sveriges Television carries out fundraising drives for the fund via messages on television, these are especially concentrated around the Swedish national holiday on 6 June and the Crown Princess's birthday, Victoriadagen, on 14 July. On the Crown Princess's birthday, when a long televised entertainment program is aired from Borgholm where the people and the Royal Family celebrate Victoria, the public is also able to call in and donate money at the same time as they compete for prizes.
The Crown Princess Victoria Fund’s means mainly derive from donations by the public, but large companies such as Arla Foods, Swedbank and AB Svenska Returpack are constant sponsor partners. Additional support comes from The Association of Swedish Bakers & Confectioners who every year arrange a national “princess cake week” during which the participating cafés and bakeries give 2,50 SEK per sold princess pastry and 10 SEK per sold princess cake to the fund. The result of this fund-raising drive is usually presented to Victoria herself on her name day on 12 March every year; in 2007, the total amount was 200,000 SEK. Congratulatory and memorial cards are also issued by Radiohjälpen benefitting the fund, a simple way to pay respects and do a good deed in one act. In 2006, The Crown Princess Victoria Fund raised a total of 5,5 million SEK.
Every year Victoria visits one or several clubs or projects that have been granted money. These visits are not announced via the official royal diary but kept private, instead Sveriges Television often accompanies her and airs short programs from these visits at some time during the year.
Victoria’s first boyfriend was Daniel Collert. They socialized in the same circles, went to the same school and were already friends when their romance developed in the mid-1990s. When Victoria moved to the United States in 1998 to study and recover from her eating disorders, Collert moved with her across the Atlantic and settled in New York. In September 2000, Victoria's relationship with Collert was confirmed in an interview with her at Expo 2000, and later by then-Director of the Press and Information Department at the Royal Court Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg. They broke up in 2001.
In May 2002, Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that Victoria had a new boyfriend, her personal trainer at Master Training, Daniel Westling. When the news broke and the media turned its attention on him, it was obvious that he did not like being in the public eye. Once Westling was photographed crossing a street against a red light in order to avoid a camera. In July 2002, Victoria and Daniel Westling were pictured kissing for the first time at a birthday party for Caroline Kreuger, a close friend of Victoria's.
In a popular personal report called Tre dagar med Victoria, which profiled her work during a three-day period that aired on TV4 in December 2004, Victoria commented on criticism directed at Westling, “Many unfair things are written. I understand that there is speculation, but some day justice will be done there, too.” Victoria also gave her opinion that happiness is important, and that these days it is not so much about background and pedigree but about two people who have to live with each other. She said that if they are not happy and comfortable with each other, it is impossible to do a good job.
During her April 2005 visit to Expo 2005 in Nagakute, Victoria was interviewed by Mikio Yikuma of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shinbun. Yikuma brought up the subject of royals marrying commoners, to which the princess responded, "I think the general idea with the Swedes is that the modern way is to marry someone you love, not necessarily based on where she or he comes from." Though she did not mention Westling by name, Victoria did admit, "There is someone in my life", but that marriage was not on her mind then. The interview was conducted at the Swedish embassy in Tokyo and published in the paper on 18 April 2005.
Swedish media often speculated about upcoming engagements and marriages for Victoria. On 24 February 2009, rumours that wedding plans were imminent became particularly intense preceding an information council between the King and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. Under the terms of the Swedish Act of Succession, the Government, upon the request of the King, gives the final consent for a dynastic marriage of a Prince or Princess of Sweden. The prince or princess otherwise loses their right to the throne. Later that day, it was confirmed that permission had been granted and that Victoria would marry Daniel Westling in the summer of 2010. The wedding date was set in Stockholm Cathedral for 19 June 2010, the 34th anniversary of her parents' marriage. Her engagement ring features a solitaire round brilliant-cut diamond mounted on white gold.
The wedding took place on 19 June 2010. More than 1200 guests including royalty and ambassadors from various countries were invited to the wedding ceremony which took place at Stockholm Cathedral. After the wedding the newlyweds were driven through Stockholm in a coach and then rowed in the antique royal barge Vasaorden to the royal palace where the wedding banquet was held. On the evening before the wedding, there was a gala concert dedicated to the couple in the Stockholm Concert Hall.
More than half a million Swedes waved with Swedish flags and cheered the couple from in their cortege, from the church to the castle. The popularity of the monarchy exploded after the wedding, and a SIFO showed that more than 70% of the Swedes supported the monarchy and only 16% wanted to abandon it. Following their wedding the Crown Princess and Prince moved into Haga Palace. Prior to the wedding, the Crown Princess resided at Drottningholm Palace.
On 17 August 2011, the Swedish royal court announced that Crown Princess Victoria was pregnant and expecting the couple's first child in March 2012. On 23 February 2012 at 04:26 CET, Victoria gave birth to Princess Estelle, Duchess of Östergötland, in the Karolinska University Hospital. Princess Estelle is second-in-line to the Swedish throne.
On 4 September 2015, the royal court announced that Crown Princess Victoria was expecting her second child in March 2016. On 2 March 2016, she gave birth to a son, Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne.
In 1996, it was established that Victoria suffered from anorexia, it was however not confirmed until the next year. Already at that time she was getting professional help, but given her public position in Sweden it was getting increasingly difficult to handle the situation. Victoria had planned to study at Uppsala University, but after intense media speculation and public discussion when pictures of an evidently emaciated Victoria in sleeveless dresses at the Order of the Innocence’s ball and the gala dinner for the incoming state visit from Austria surfaced in April 1997, the Royal Court decided to confirm what was feared.
After a press release from the Royal Court in November 1997 announced that Victoria had eating disorders, plans changed for her and she moved to the United States where she received professional help and studied at Yale University. By making this drastic decision, Victoria lived an anonymous life while getting professional help and recovering without having to worry about media speculations or if people were recognizing her on the streets.
In an interview with Björn Carlgren for SVT2 in June 1999, Victoria said, "It was a really hard time. This kind of illness is hard, not only for the individual but also for the people close to him or her. Today I'm fine."
In November 2002, the book “Victoria, Victoria!” came out, speaking further about her eating disorder. Victoria said: “I felt like an accelerating train, going right down... during the whole period. I had eating disorders and was aware of it, my anguish was enormous. I really hated how I looked like, how I was... I, Victoria, didn’t exist. It felt like everything in my life and around me was controlled by others. The one thing I could control was the food I put in me”. She further said that “What happened cost and I was the one who stood for the payments. Now I’m feeling well and with the insights I’ve acquired through this I can hopefully help someone else”.
Princess Victoria made her first public comment about her anorexia at a conference on bullying held at the University of Örebro. In 2008, she also spoke about her face blindness.14 July 1977 – 31 December 1979: Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Sweden
1 January 1980 – 9 January 1980: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden
9 January 1980 – present: Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland
Sweden: Member Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Order of the Seraphim (LoK av KMO)
Sweden: Member of the Royal Family Decoration of King Carl XVI Gustaf, 1st Class
Sweden: Recipient of the Defence College Medal, Gold
Sweden: Recipient of the 50th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
Sweden: Recipient of the Ruby Jubilee Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
Sweden: Recipient of the 70th Birthday Badge Medal of King Carl XVI Gustaf
Austria: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, 1st Class
Belgium: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold I
Brazil: Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross
Bulgaria: Grand Cross of the Order of the Balkan Mountains
Denmark: Knight of the Order of the Elephant
Estonia: 1st Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
Estonia: 1st Class Order of the White Star
Finland: Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose
France: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit
Germany: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Issue
Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of Honour
Iceland: Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon
Japan: Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum
Japan: Paulownia Dame Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown
Jordan: Knight Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Renaissance
Latvia: Grand Officer of the Order of the Three Stars
Lithuania: Grand Cross of the Order of Grand Duke Gediminas
Luxembourg: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
Malaysia: Honorary Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Defender of the Realm
Monaco: Grand Officer of the Order of Grimaldi
Norway: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav
Romania: Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania
Tunisia: Grand Cross of the Order of the Republic