New Swedish princess receives unusual name

Karl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, this morning informed a meeting of the State Council of the name of the baby princess who was born yesterday morning.

The name Estelle came as a great surprise to most Swedes. The King said that she of course also has the names Silvia and Ewa, like her grandmothers.

King Gustaf said that the royal family visited the new parents, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, yesterday evening and that mother and daughter are doing well.

RÚV reports that Princess Estelle is next in line to become Crown Princess of Sweden after her mother. The King this morning pronounced the baby princess Duchess of East Gothland.

Swedes are generally very positive about the royal family and are celebrating the birth of baby Estelle, who was born at Stockholm’s Karolinska Hospital early yesterday morning. Prince Daniel, her father, was visibly highly emotional when he announced the birth to reporters and told the world that mother and baby were both fine.

The choice of the name Estelle has, however, left royal-watchers and academics scratching their heads. The only woman connected to the Swedish royal family who was called Estelle was the wife of Earl Folke Bernadotte, who was a cousin of the king. He is known for having saved tens of thousands of Jews during the Second World War. Bernadotte was a UN negotiator between Israelis and Palestinians in the aftermath of the creation of Israel. An Israeli extremist group murdered him in 1948.

Royal experts say that Earl Bernadotte was clearly a very prominent and noteworthy man, but that his American wife seemingly did very little to deserve having a future Crown Princess named after her.

(This page photo: Paul Hansen)