Crown Princess Victoria might be first in line to the Swedish throne, but did you know that she wasn’t always destined to be the next queen? Her younger brother, Prince Carl Philip, was the original heir—that is, until the royal family changed the order of succession rules.

crown princess victoria line of succession
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1. What happened?

It all started in 1980 when Sweden passed a new law that recognizes the natural birth order. Basically, this means the next king/queen will be the first-born child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, regardless of gender.

crown princess victoria prince carl philip
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2. How did it affect the line of succession?

This had a huge impact, since males typically outrank females in the order of succession. When the change went into effect, it immediately bumped Prince Carl Philip down to the number two spot, making Crown Princess Victoria (who is a year older than her brother) the rightful heir to the throne.

It’s important to point out that Prince Carl Philip is no longer second in line. He’s currently in the fourth position behind Victoria and her two children, Princess Estelle (8) and Prince Oscar (4). If the Crown Princess has any more children, Carl Philip’s standing will continue to decrease.

crown princess victoria
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3. Why did the change occur?

We’re not entirely sure, but our best guess is the Swedish government decided the rule was outdated. When Crown Princess Victoria becomes queen, she will make history as the country’s fourth-ever female monarch.

Sweden isn’t the only country to honor the royal family’s birth order. Shortly after Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed Princess Charlotte, Britain passed a law to ensure the young royal kept her rank despite the arrival of her younger brother, Prince Louis.

Can somebody write a “Royal Rules for Dummies” book please and thank you?

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