The Unconventional Lives Of The Swedish Royal Family

Kings, queens, castles, and tiaras. The world is fascinated with the glitter, glam, galas, and gossip that often accompany the world's most regal and royal families. While the British royal family is constantly capturing the limelight with their ever-on-display high-profile relationships and tabloid-catching behaviors, other European monarchies are equally as intriguing. Take the Swedish royal family, for example. This monarchy is comprised of a king, queen, three royal children, their spouses, and the littles of the next generation. They are known for their dazzling good looks, darling grandkids, interesting backstories, and new spins on timeless traditions. 

In recent decades, the regal Swedes have gained attention for unconventional decisions regarding royal doings. They have gone and changed how things are done, proving that just because your kin has reigned for 200-plus years doesn't mean you can't go against the grain and pave your own path to happiness, no matter how eyebrow-raising it may be. These royals decided to marry for love, selecting partners of their hearts' desires and showing the rest of the royal world that commoner spouses are so in vogue. No royal matchmaking in this house! They have thrown themselves into contemporary life, striving to be environmentally conscious, jumping on the social media bandwagon, and even going public with their Insta handles! They are hip, hot, educated, and authentic, and it's safe to say that the Swedish royal family is setting the stage for a new era of reign — and we are so here for it!

They claim the longest-running Swedish monarch

The world's history is full of monarchs with long reigns, per Country Living. French King Louis XIV took the throne when he was four years old and stayed there for an astounding 72 years, meaning when it comes to "reigning supreme," he takes the cake. Britain is also well known for lengthy reigns, especially when it comes to women in power. Queen Victoria ruled for 63 years, and the late Queen Elizabeth lovingly lorded over her people for just under 71 years. Johann II became Prince of Liechtenstein and enjoyed a comfortable and lengthy stint as king, sitting as the Head of State from 1852 to 1929. While he may not have had children or a queen, he did have his kingdom for much of his life.

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf holds the title of Sweden's longest-reigning monarch. In 2018, he made history with his rule of 44 years and 233 days. His Royal Highness had an expedited path to leadership, as his father suddenly died in an airplane crash when the future king was only nine months old. The new king's grandfather assumed the role in the deceased king's place, and then the throne was officially passed to King Carl XVI Gustaf when he was 27 years old. When his time ruling is complete, his eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, will assume her royal duties, serving as Sweden's queen. 

They are ridiculously good looking ... all of them

When you have as much money as a royal family member, you can afford all the designer digs and glam squad perks to help you look your best regal self. That said, some kings, queens, princesses, and princes are naturally stunning, even without a lick of intervention. Favorable aesthetic genetics runs deep within Swedish royal clan. The family members (whether born or wed into royalty), are all insanely beautiful or stunningly strapping. Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia are getting up there in years, but it takes a mere glance at them to see they were good-looking in their younger years, and remain striking today. Their strong genetics were passed down to create some of the world's most beautiful royal grandchildren: Princesses Estelle, Leonore, Adrienne, and Princes Oscar, Alexander, Gabriel, Julian, and Nicolas all share a penchant for adorableness.

Then there is the middle generation, also packed with model-like royals. Prince Carl Philip, the only son of the king and queen, has been compared to a mesh of Hollywood's hotties. According to Reuters, he was taken off the singles market when a drop-dead gorgeous Sofia Hellqvist, a former model and reality television star, snatched him up. She then became the country's princess upon their wedding. The youngest child of the king and queen, Princess Madeleine, has been deemed one of the world's prettiest princesses. She locked down an American-born husband to complete her happily ever after. Lastly, Princess Victoria, heir to the throne, is wed to the handsome Prince Daniel.

They deal with dyslexia

By definition, dyslexia is "a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities." Per the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is common, affecting up to 15% to 20% of the population. While the learning condition can make mastery of reading, spelling, and processing challenging, success isn't impossible, as countless people have proved. Some of the world's most famous and talented people have coped with dyslexia, including musician and actress Cher, journalist Anderson Cooper, world-renowned physicist Albert Einstein, and artist Pablo Picasso. Several members of the Swedish royal family have also learned to live with dyslexia. 

King Carl XVI Gustaf has dyslexia, as does his son Prince Carl Philip. The handsome prince spoke to Sveriges Radio about the learning disability, telling Sweden's Dyslexia Association chairman, Bengt-Erik Johansson, that nothing made him more upset than someone with dyslexia being considered unintelligent because of their disability. The prince explained that it's vital that children with dyslexia never feel left out of school activities. Youngest Princess Madeleine opened up about her journey with her dyslexia by working on a children's book

Prince Carl Philip's eldest sister, Princess Victoria, also has dyslexia. The future queen shared with Swedish station SVT (via People) that she used to believe she was stupid and slow because of her learning condition. She certainly has proved to the world that she is neither of those things, and continues to be a success story where dyslexia is concerned.

They all married commoners

In the realm of royal couplings, it is a longstanding tradition that a prince or princess weds someone of similar social status. The Swedish royal family is one of many current lineages aiming to dispel the idea that regal persons need to marry others from high-class society. In Sweden, the Cinderella Story is no fairytale; it is real life — at least for four commoners who married princes and princesses. 

King Carl XVI Gustaf wed Silvia Renate Sommerlath in 1976. They met at the Olympic Games, where she was working as an interpreter. When she married her prince, she went from a common Swedish citizen to the nation's future queen. The rulers of Sweden seemingly set the stage for their three children to go forth and marry their true loves. Princess Victoria married Daniel Westling, a gym owner, per the BBC. According to People, Princess Madeleine went on to wed Christopher O'Neill, who was not only a commoner but an American to boot! Prince Carl Philip then made Sofia Hellqvist, a former reality television star and model, his royal wife in front of 550 guests, both of royal status and otherwise. 

Sweden has turned royals marrying common folk into a new tradition, but the Swedish royals aren't exactly unique in their choice of royal spouses. Japan's empress, Jordan's queen, Lesotho's first lady, and Norway's crowned princess were all common folk living everyday life before their royal partners set sights on them, per Insider.

They have a history of rockstar performances at royal weddings

Royal weddings aren't exactly known for their rockstar style — unless you are a prince or princess getting married in Sweden. Swedish royal weddings have a history of rock and roll flair, literally. When Prince Carl XVI Gustaf and his bride Silvia Renate Sommerlath had their 1976 royal wedding, they brought in some serious singing power to serenade them. The iconic band, ABBA, performed their worldwide hit "Dancing Queen" for the future king and queen on the eve of their nuptials. While the song wasn't specifically written for Queen Silvia, it was sung in dedication to her at the festivity.

The couple's son, Prince Carl Philip, followed suit when he wed Sofia Hellqvist. When they said their "I do's," they also incorporated contemporary music into their celebration. A rendition of Coldplay's "Fix You" was played, as was a version of Rihanna's "Umbrella." The late DJ Avicii was asked to be a part of the royal celebration, and Icona Pop sang at the post-nuptial bash. Even the new princess got in on the musical contribution with a song she wrote for her true Prince Charming. She penned the lyrics and had singer Molly Sanden sing them on the princess's behalf (per Hello! Magazine). 

Wild royals and scandalous Swedes

The Swedish royal family has a few wild children in their bunch, and the streak for questionable behavior might have started with King Carl XVI Gustaf. In the 2010 book, "The Reluctant Monarch," shocking and juicy details of the king's carnal escapades were released to the public. The result wasn't a great look for the royal family, but per Newsweek, the king decided not to sue the publishers of the book, saying, "I have spoken with my family and the queen, and we choose to turn the page and move forward because, as I understand, these are things that happened a long time ago." The public might view their king in a different light now, but haven't turned their backs on their ruler. According to The Times, the Swedish people are cool with the king's past. Add forgiving and graceful to the Swedish lot's list of notable qualities.

The king and queen's children have faced scandals, too. Future queen Princess Victoria and her husband defended their marriage via Instagram, openly addressing and denying rumors of divorce. Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia made waves when they announced their relationship to the world. The two lovebirds who met at a nightclub defended their relationship to the world, staying firm that despite their pasts, they were confident their future lay in one another. The prince, who had a heck of a wild summer before settling down, then went on to wed his tatted-up, bikini-clad former model/reality television star. (via the New York Post). 

The royal fellows love racing

The Swedish people love their java, the great outdoors, and the month of July. Royal Swedes seem to also love car races and fancy automobiles. Both the king of Sweden and his son, Prince Carl Philip, have a penchant for racing. The king has an entire fleet of vehicles at his disposal, and once gifted himself an exclusive BMW M8 Competition Coupé for his birthday, a present that drew criticism and cost an astounding 1.7 million Swedish crowns.

The royal men of Sweden own racecars and enjoy sport-spectating from time to time. Prince Carl Philip was even front and center with the racing action once upon a time. He began his racing career in 2008, winning his first championship in 2010, per Royal Central. He competed in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship as part of the Volvo Polestar Racing and Polestar Cyan Racing teams. In 2019, he put his need for speed aside to focus his attention on his young, growing family. However, he still attends races, even partaking in award ceremonies, especially Prince Carl Philip's Racing Pokal, a race named after him. 

A love of fast cars seems to extend past the king and prince. Prince Carl Philip's godfather and great-uncle, Prince Bertil, was a popular race car driver in the 1930s. Will the prince's three sons grow to love the sport the same? Only time will tell, but they sure have many great racers to look to for family inspiration.

The royal family is all about the environment

Royal families take care of their people and their country. The Swedish royal brood doesn't mess around when it comes to their beloved environment. Many of the family members not only enjoy spending time in the natural surroundings but also actively advocate for the health and protection of the world they live in. King Carl XVI Gustaf leads his family by example, even being the recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Award. When the current king retires from his regal duties, his daughter, Princess Victoria, will assume the role of ruler. She, too, strongly supports causes linked to the betterment of the environment. She participated in the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group, focusing on water and health issues, and appeared in the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group, focusing on water and health issues, and made an appearance at World Water Week in 2016.

Ensuring the world around them stays beautiful and strong is critical to the Swedish royal family, and they have often been seen frequenting the great outdoors, showcasing their connection to nature. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were seen hiking through Sörmlandsleden at the inauguration of an accessibility-adapted hiking trail for the disabled. The family's two princesses, Victoria and Sofia, have also taken to the trails. The regal beauties went rustic while trekking through Fulufjällets National Park to mark Princess Victoria's completion of her hiking all 25 Swedish provinces.

They sent old succession laws out the window

Many royal families have been doing the same old thing for hundreds of years, following tradition and keeping the status quo regarding succession. The Swedish family is forgoing out-of-date succession laws and changing the game of reign and rule. In 1980, Sweden boldly switched its current succession laws to reflect a gender-neutral stance. This meant that the king and queen's firstborn child, Princess Victoria, would reign as queen next, not the couple's first-born son (who came later.) 

Years later, the royal family made another change to tradition when Swedish king Carl XVI Gustaf removed members of his family from the Swedish royal house. All but two of the king and queen's grandchildren have officially been removed from the royal line of succession and royal public duties. (Currently, only the son and daughter of Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel continue to carry the traditional stylings and royal duties.)

This decision wasn't made in bad blood, but rather was put into effect out of the king's love for his little royals. In a holiday speech , the king explained, "Earlier this year, I made a decision to define what is called the royal house. The decision was to make clear who within the royal family will act as official representatives of Sweden in the future. For me, this is a way of clarifying what expectations are." He went on to reflect, "It will hopefully be helpful when my grandchildren eventually carve out their own future. But, to that day, it is far away" (via People). 

The Swedish royal family is a dog-loving brood

Kings, queens, princes, and princesses have the finest frocks, glittering jewels, stately abodes, and ... dogs!

It seems that "dog owner" has become a prerequisite for being royal, and plenty of regal beings have ruled with Fido by their side. Much like the British royal family, the Swedish family has a thing for fur babies. The king and queen of Sweden have a darling dog named Brandy. The beloved pooch often accompanies her proud parents on outings, keeping them company as they perform their royal public duties (via I Heart Dogs). 

Princess Victoria's children are smitten with their own family's pup, too. Rio the Cavapoo, a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixed breed, is often seen hopping and running about with his royal family. According to People, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia own a dog named Siri, who famously got loose in 2021 and roamed the town before eagle-eyed citizens figured out she could very well be the royal couple's pup. Thanks to Swedish citizens' quick thinking, the family's dog was safely returned to its rightful owners.

Princess Madeleine, her husband, and their children are dog lovers too. They brought a three-year-old Havanese doggo named Oreo into their Florida home after it was discovered living in undesirable conditions, per People. The little fellow, who is often featured on the family's Instagram page, is living the good life with his royal parents and human sibs — and the family's other pup, Teddy — in the Sunshine State.