Swedish princess goes in search of French roots

AFP/The Local
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Swedish princess goes in search of French roots

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel arrived in France on Monday to retrace the footsteps of the Bernadotte dynasty's French ancestor who became Sweden's king almost 200 years ago.


Victoria, 33, and her husband, 37, visited the Domaine de la Grange at Savigny-le-Temple south of Paris to visit the former chateau of marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte who in 1818 became king Charles XIV John of Sweden.

The princess, wearing a purple dress, visited the chateau and toured the grounds in a carriage, before visiting a chocolate factory in Sceaux in the southern suburbs of Paris.

The royal couple are on Tuesday to travel to Pau in the southwest - where Bernadotte was born in 1763 - before meeting President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris in the evening.

Bernadotte served as an army officer under Napoleon until 1810 when he was elected as heir to the Swedish throne because the royal family there was dying


Like Victoria, he was a highly popular heir and went on to ally himself with Napoleon's enemies. He became king in 1818.

Victoria is first in line to inherit the Swedish throne after her father King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is also considered the head of state, albeit in a purely ceremonial capacity. She married her former gym instructor Daniel at a lavish Stockholm ceremony in June.


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