Yesterday in the Early morning, a tiny piece of Swedish history was born. Today her name was announced to the public by the King. It feels so strange to live in a kingdom now, a bit surreal to hear about Kings, Queens, Princesses, and Princes.
Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary
Born on February 23rd, 2012 at 4:26am in a hospital near Stockholm, weighing 7 lbs and 20 inches.
Before continuing with the details of the new royal baby and what role she has to play in history, I’d like to honor Sweden’s new Princess and future Queen with a classic Swedish dessert: Princess Cake (Prinsesstårta)
This is a very popular and traditional Swedish cake that you will find in any bakery and at many parties.
Especially eaten for birthdays, any big occasion will do. It’s defining feature is the thick outer layer of marzipan and its rounded shape. It is classically green with a small subtle decoration like a pink rose. The inside is layers of sponge cake, vanilla custard, raspberry jam, and a mound of fluffy whipped cream.
Originally named “Grön Tårta” (Green cake) in the first known recipe in the early-mid 1900’s, featured in a cook book created by the teacher of the three princesses at the time. It was reportedly renamed to princesstårta because the princesses loved the cake so much. These dome-shaped cakes has since become a staple of Swedish desserts for all of Sweden, not just it’s royalty.
Everyone in Sweden anxiously awaited to hear the name of the future Queen, which is rightly to be announced only by the current King in an official manner. The news of the Princess being named “Estelle” has been met with great shock, confusion, some anger, and a lot of disappointment by many Swedes. Since the announcement of the birth there have been bets and speculations on what the future Queen will be named, (There was even a twitter trend #Royalbaby and #Royalbabynames) many based on past Queens, family names, or names typically Swedish in origin. The population was half correct, seeing as the second and third name are the names of the parents mothers. There is no answer to where “Estelle” came from, not being Swedish in anyway but instead French.
(As I saw the announcement on the T.V in a waiting room today, I saw the name scroll across the screen and then heard all of the staff uproar “ESTELLE!?” to each other in shocked and amused voices, over and over throughout the conversation for about 10 minutes straight, “Estelle!?” “ESTELLE!” If someone new walked into the room they would should it in an alarming manner, although I couldn’t understand anything else they were saying.)
Princess Estelle has been given the royal title, “Duchess of Östergötland.” This is given to Princes and Princesses in the Royal House. It has been an on and off tradition since the 13th century to bestow titles onto Princes. These titles used to give power over the province in Sweden that was granted to them as well as them living in their governed land, however it is now a title without power- more of representation of the province sometimes making public relations visits.
[The Duchess of our province, Halland, is Princess Lilian who married into the Swedish Royal family and is now a widow. She was a Welsh fashion model for magazines such a Vogue. Being 97 years old, she is the oldest member of any Royal family but as of 2010 stopped being an active part of the communities and organizations she once supported due to Alzheimers.]
Hearing that the new born princess is already dubbed as a future Queen baffled me a bit, having always understood that male heirs take over a throne in a Kingdom. However Estelle’s mother, Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Västergötland (Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée born 14 July 1977), is an essential part of a historical shift in the hierarchy. Two years after Princess Victoria was born a new law was passed that changes the way the Swedish Throne is passed down. She will be the first female heiress to the throne, whereas before the law was the first born son, excluding daughters. This means that Princess Victoria is the next Queen and her daughter Estelle is second in line after her. There have only been three other Swedish female monarchs before this, which means that the Queen reigns and has the power, making Princess Victoria a big part of the Royal Society.