The King of Sweden removed 5 grandkids from the royal family to ease the burden on taxpayers

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.

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"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."

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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.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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