Meet the Princess who charmed William and Kate during Sweden visit
Meet the most influential royal you have probably never heard of, helping to keep republicanism at bay in her native Sweden.
She is Princess Estelle, the five-year-old Duchess of Ostergotland, who charmed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their recent visit to Stockholm.
The vivacious youngster is being credited with a surge in the approval rating of the Swedish royals, which was languishing at just 50 per cent for many years until recently.
A sex scandal which engulfed King Carl XVI Gustav, who marks 45 years on the throne this year, was partly to blame for their drop in popularity.
Now his eldest daughter Victoria and her firstborn Estelle are winning over the public. When Crown Princess Victoria, 40, and her husband Prince Daniel, 44, introduced William and Kate to Estelle and their one-yearold son Prince Oscar at Haga Palace last month the pictures went viral, once again reaffirming the schoolgirl’s place as the Queen of Swedish social media.
It comes as a video of the princess showing off her athletic skills on a home-made obstacle course as part of a drive to promote active lifestyles was shared by thousands of Swedes on YouTube.
Wilma Sabelstrom, a Swedish student who is writing a thesis on the British and European royals, confirmed Estelle had created a “new affection” for the royal family in Sweden.
She explained: “Before Estelle came along, feelings were increasingly negative towards the monarchy. People found a lot of Carl Gustav’s views a little odd and he seemed out of touch with the general public.
“But Crown Princess Victoria and Estelle have helped to change all that. “Victoria is a very down-to -earth person, and even republicans struggle to find fault with Estelle.
Before Estelle came along, feelings were increasingly negative towards the monarchy
Wilma Sabelstrom, Swedish student
“She is adorable and I think people feel a new affection for the royal family through this little girl.”
One of the reasons Estelle has proved so popular is that Victoria put her daughter front and centre at major state occasions and frequently releases photographs of the young royal.
Wilma added: “Because of all the imagery that has been shared of Estelle, the Swedish people have almost felt like they have been a part of her upbringing.”
Succession laws were changed in 1980 so that the throne could be inherited by the monarch’s eldest child, regardless of their gender.