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The lowdown on... Crown Princess Victoria

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13:00 CEST+02:00
It's July 14th on Saturday. While the date may strike fear into the hearts of French royalists, for Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria the occasion is altogether more satisfying. Josefin Mårtensson takes a look at the popular princess on the eve her 30th birthday.

What's so great about Victoria? Everyone seems crazy about her.

It may be that she's regarded as being very down to earth. She much prefers ambling about in jeans and t-shirt than donning evening gowns and generally being posh. She also endeared herself to people by deliberately shunning swanky hotels while on her travels in Africa.

What about pets? Does she own any corgis? Or is she a poodle lover like Louis XVI?

No, small dogs aren't really her scene. She prefers to head off for long walks with her pet labrador Jambo. She also has a curious penchant for bee-keeping.

And is she a brainy princess?

Like the king, she struggled at school and was diagnosed with dyslexia. But having later studied political science at Yale, she's clearly nobody's fool. The princess has also done undergone some basic military training in Sweden.

Her father must be very proud.

Undoubtedly. But King Carl XVI Gustaf wasn't at all pleased when Sweden brought in a new Act of Succession at the beginning of 1980. The revamped law meant that the monarch's eldest child would automatically succeed him as head of State, regardless of gender.

The king however had been all set to groom the somewhat younger Prince Carl Philip as heir to the throne and is still slightly miffed at the legislators for depriving his boy of that right.

So the king was foiled by the sort of gender equality laws for which his country became famous.

Indeed. But as Victoria grew older she soon became a big hit with the general public and now has all the potential to become a very popular monarch.

What about marriage and kids?

The Crown Princess prefers to keep a lid on her private life but she is widely thought to be romantically involved with Daniel Westling, a personal trainer and gym owner she has been seeing on a regular basis since 2002.

She sounds like a good sort. Where can one go to join in the birthday celebrations?

A public celebration in honour of the Crown Princess will take place in Stockholm at 11.30am on Saturday at the Western Vault of the Royal Palace. Well-wishers will be allowed through the gates to greet the Princess and watch the military tribute in the Inner Courtyard. Flag-wavers are especially welcome.

Later in the day, at 4pm, Victoria's admirers in the southern part of the country will have a chance to offer their congratulations at Solliden Park on the island of Öland.

Josefin Mårtensson

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