March 12, 2012 - Crown Princess Victoria's Name Day

Royalty seems very odd to me, perhaps because I'm an American. It seems so odd that a thoroughly modern country like Sweden still has a king and queen, princes and princesses, and laws about who inherits the crown.

Let alone the fact that each member of royalty has, in addition to his or her birthday, a name day—the day of the year associated with his or her name. March 12 happens to be the day associated with the name “Victoria,” so it is the name day of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland, also known as Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree. (Whew! What a name!)

Victoria is called the “crown princess” because she is the heir-apparent to the Swedish throne. (That means that, after her father King Carl XVI Gustaf dies, she will be crowned queen of the nation.) Sweden used to award the crown to younger brothers instead of older sisters, because of that old-time sexist rule that kings were better than queens (despite some amazing examples to the contrary, such as Elizabeth I), but the nation changed that rule in 1980, and now it is the eldest born, girl or boy, who becomes the heir-apparent.

You'd think that this Swedish princess would have ancestors who were all pretty much from Sweden...but you'd be wrong! Victoria has some Swedish ancestry, of course, but her mom was German, and she also has Brazilian ancestry, including a connection to Chief Tibirica, a famous Amerindian chief from Brazil.

Also, strangely, Victoria's predecessors include a tie to the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. Because of this tie, Victoria is in the line of succession to the British crown. But there are 204 people ahead of her in the line-up to be the King or Queen of the United Kingdom, so there would have to be a huge catastrophe for her to wear THAT crown.

See? Isn't royalty weird?

Snowy Sweden
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