On 31 August Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden had their second son. The name will be announced this Monday, followed by a Te Deum. As their first son has been named Alexander, a rather non-royal Swedish name, you could wonder which name the newborn prince will receive. The baby seems to have been born a bit earlier than expected, but is healthy and has already left the hospital together with his mother. Just a pity for me that he was in a bit of a hurry, as I secretly had hoped for a royal baby on my birthday (13 September).
Soon after a royal wedding the game already begins. A princess – unless already expecting – has to live with the pressure of the media and the public: when will the pregnancy be announced? Somehow it is expected of a royal woman, especially when married to the heir of a family, to give birth to a few children at least. If you aren’t pregnant within one or two years after the marriage, people start wondering if you can have children at all. Which of course is a possibility, so I always feel a bit angry when people ask when someone finally is going to have a baby. As soon as you have given birth, speculations about another pregnancy start already soon. Just a glimpse of a tummy is enough, or a look at a princess with a glass of water instead of alcohol. Some princesses even had to endure rumors about eventual pregnancies until they were nearly 50, like Princess Caroline of Monaco.
As soon as a pregnancy has been announced, speculation about the gender and name(s) can begin. But also royals are not safe from having a miscarriage or a stillbirth. Just to mention a few: Queen Fabiola of the Belgians, Princess Grace of Monaco, Queen Sonja of Norway, the Duchess of Kent, Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, Crown Princess Masako of Japan, the Countess of Wessex, Infanta Elena of Spain and more recent Zara Tindall née Phillips, suffered the loss of a most welcome child, or even more than one. I am always happy when a child has been born healthy.
In many countries the names are announced almost at the same time as the birth. Some royal courts rather wait one or more days, which gives the media and royalty watchers the chance to keep on speculating. I don’t really like the Danish tradition, where one has to wait until the christening months later before the name will become known. On one hand it is a nice tradition, on the other hand it always takes so long and soon you get tired of speaking about little prince(ss). Where most of the time a name will be announced via a press announcement, in Sweden the monarch announces the names, and a special title, during a special meeting, one or two days after the birth. In case there is a weekend in between, it might take a bit longer. The name of Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands in 2003 was leaked in a bit of a clumsy way, as the URLs for the name were claimed as soon as she was born. Not a real big surprise anymore when afterwards the name was announced.
Where most royals prefer a traditional name, you never know for sure which name will be chosen. Although it wasn’t a real surprise when the eldest son of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark turned out to be a Christian, as Frederiks and Christians have ruled the country already for centuries. On the other hand for example Amalia, Princess Estelle of Sweden or Prince Liam of Nassau received rather surprising names. Usually also the grandparents from father’s and mother’s side will see their names back in the series of names of the newborn baby.
And of course what everybody is waiting for: the first pictures. Sometimes it already comes hours after the birth, in other cases one might have to wait a few days or even a few weeks.
An update: The little Prince of Sweden is called Gabriel Carl Walther, and is titled the Duke of Dalarna.
Another happy note: at about the same time the names of the Swedish Prince were announced, the third pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge was announced.