The Swedish royal family receives an annual sum provided by taxpayers, known as an appendage. They cost taxpayers around $14 million each year, leaving some wondering why they're footing the bill. In order to ease the burden, King Carl XVI Gustaf announced that five of his grandchildren will be stripped of their royal titles. As a result, they will no longer receive taxpayer support. The Royal family acknowledged that their size had grown, and it doesn't need to have so many people available for official duties. "We have a large royal family. If you include the next generation, there are currently 10 people in the line of succession," Fredrik Wersall, the Swedish royal court's top official, said in the media.
Some see the move as an attempt to shut down the conversation as to whether or not the royal family is even necessary. In 2016, Swedish politicians filed a motion to abolish the monarchy and turn the castles into museums. "It is obviously not compatible with democracy because the role of head of state is inherited within the same family. It is time that our head of state added in a democratic manner by competence and capability," Yasmine Larsson, a Social Democrat who co-wrote the motion, said at the time. A 2018 survey conducted by Ipsos Mori found that 28% of respondents felt that abolishing the monarchy would make things better in Sweden.
The decision will affect Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel, the sons of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, as well as Princess Leonore, Prince Nicholas, and Princess Adrienne, the children of Princess Madeline and her husband Christopher O'Neill. Princess Madeline and her husband are based in the U.S. Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar, the children of Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria, will keep their royal titles.
"His Majesty The King has decided on changes to The Royal House. 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," the palace said in a statement. "His Majesty The King has decided that the children of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill will no longer be members of The Royal House."
It turns out, reducing the burden on the taxpayers also reducing the burden on the grandchildren. The children will not be expected to perform royal duties. Princess Madeline says the move was "planned for a long time," and feels the change will allow her children to develop their personalities. "Our children now have a greater opportunity to shape their own lives as individuals in the future," she wrote on Instagram. Prince Carl Philip echoed the sentiment, saying his sons will have "freer choices in life."
The Swedish royal family is one of 14 active monarchies in Europe. The move echoes one recently made in another kingdom. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also decided to raise their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, without a royal title. The couple wanted their son to grow up without the pressures of being a prince, allowing him to have a more normal life.
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