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'New York princess' risks heirs' right to the throne

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09:32 CET+01:00
Future children of the soon-to-be-married Swedish Princess Madeleine could lose their right to the throne if she does not move home from New York, legal experts in Sweden have warned.

"The order of succession contains two requirements," political scientist David Ekstrand told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

"One is that successors must be raised as Protestants, the others is that they have to be raised in Sweden."

Princess Madeleine, the youngest of three siblings, is now fourth in line to the Swedish throne after her sister, Crown Princess Victoria, gave birth to Princess Estelle in 2012.

The Swedish monarchy had male primogeniture until 1980, when the order of succession, part of the Swedish constitution, was changed to allow Victoria to become heir to the throne, rather than her younger brother Carl Philip being groomed to take over after the king.

Carl Philip and his would-be children, however, are next in line to claim the throne after Victoria and her children, leaving little sister Madeleine and any future kids far down the list of possible regents.

The question of any successors born and raised abroad was also addressed in the 1977 rewrite that lead to the law coming into effect in 1980.

The Swedish Supreme Court wrote in its recommendation: "It is out of the question that an heir raised abroad and his offspring should not lose their right to succession."

There is no specific mention of an heir being born abroad posing a problem. Swedish law specifically mentions being raised within the realm as a prerequisite for rule.

Princess Madeleine moved to New York after breaking off her first engagement. She is now set to wed financier Chris O'Neill, who has dual UK and US citizenship.

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The royal court, when contacted by Aftonbladet, chose not to speculate as to whether Princess Madeleine had set a date for moving home.

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