Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
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When Crown Princess Victoria became Sweden's deputy head of state aged 18, a palace spokeswoman announced: "Her duties are what she chooses them to be." And the woman who will become Sweden's first reigning queen has focused on what it will take to be a good monarch.
"The prospect of becoming queen is something I can't get out of my head, even though it's in the future," she says, adding: "I don't stop focusing on the job with which I've been entrusted."
Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Vastergotland, was born on July 14, 1977 at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm. The firstborn child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, she became a crown princess as a baby, after the 1979 Act of Succession enabled the eldest child, male or female, to succeed to the throne.
She was raised at Drottningholm Palace, where she continues to live, along with her younger siblings, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. Victoria attended regular schools throughout her childhood, finishing at Stockholm's Enskilda Gymnasiet upper secondary school in 1996 and later embarking on work experience, including a stint at the city's Museum of National Antiquities.
It was during her French studies at the Universite Catholique de l'Ouest in Angers, France, that the athletic princess suddenly showed a dramatic weight loss. And after 5'6" Victoria appeared at a November 1997 event looking skeletal and fragile at 7st, the Swedish royal family confirmed what many had begun to suspect.
"The crown princess is suffering from an eating disorder," announced a palace spokesperson, who explained the stress of increasing public commitments and media interest had turned a strict diet into an obsession. "She is receiving therapeutic help."
"I feel very good now, but everyone went through a really difficult period," Victoria said of her struggles in 1998. After the revelations, Victoria shelved plans to attend Sweden's Uppsala University to study political science, and instead enrolled at America's Yale University, hoping to stay out of the spotlight. Though she calls the life of a crown princess "fascinating", she freely admits: "There are times when you wish you were somewhere else, and someone else."
Victoria then trained at the United Nations in New York and at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC before returning to home to Sweden in summer 2000. After studying European Union and Swedish government the following year, she became involved with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and enrolled in a University of Uppsala course in world peace.
As an attractive 20-something and one of Europe's most eligible royals, one difficulty Victoria has had is maintaining privacy around her romantic life. "I am tired of the speculations," she says. "It's really a problem to have a relationship with someone." The princess has been linked with Nicolas of Greece, but in 2002 was rumoured to have a close friendship with gym owner Daniel Westling. "We're good friends, but I'm not going to say any more," Victoria announced. "It's a private matter... I don't want to comment on my private life and, really, I hope that people can respect my wishes."
The rumour mill continues to churn for Victoria, even generating news that she would be launching a Hollywood career. "I'm not going to be an actress... not even in a guest spot," she says. But it is true that after American producer Jason Schults offered her a role in a romantic comedy, she received a flurry of offers. "Yes, scripts came," admits Sweden's future queen. "I said no, and thank you each time."
|2007, 2011, april, september, sweden, victoria|