In his scandalous autobiography “Reserve” (2023), Prince Harry (38) reported, among other things, jealousy and envy within the British royal family. In particular, it was about his relegated role as second-born behind heir to the throne Prince William (41). There are also some constellations within the Swedish royal family in which jealousy or envy would be conceivable:

King Carl XVI Gustaf (77) and the very popular Queen Silvia (79), for example. Or Silvia and her sister-in-law, Princess Christina of Sweden (80). As the youngest unmarried granddaughter, she accompanied the widowed King Gustav VI. Adolf (1882-1973) and after his death also her brother King Carl Gustaf as a kind of first lady for public appearances and travels – until Silvia came. And then there would be heir to the throne Victoria (46) and her brother, the second-born Prince Carl Philip (44).

Royal expert Julia Melchior sheds light on these three special relationships in an interview with spot on news. In her new documentary “ZDFroyal: My father, the king – Carl Gustaf and Victoria of Sweden” (September 5th, 8:15 p.m., ZDF and media library), Carl Gustaf’s charismatic sister Christina impressively tells of the times they spent together on behalf of the crown. The documentary will be broadcast on the occasion of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the throne (September 15th).

Julia Melchior: One niece, Sybilla von Dincklage, has never given an interview. I had already conducted two or three interviews for other films with the other niece, Désirée von Bohlen und Halbach. For both, Carl Gustaf is a person of respect and the head of the family, although he is not the eldest. Their own mothers are his older sisters. But he is in charge and keeps the extended family together. They see each other at family celebrations or during the summer holidays. There will be barbecues and lots of laughs.

Melchior: He is a family man and not only takes care of his own family but also of his four older sisters. As heir to the throne, almost everything fell to him. His sisters all married out of the family and thus retired from royal life. They all live, so to speak, a middle-class life, while the brother has just become the king. Caring for his big sisters is a very personal aspect of Carl Gustaf, which I only got to know through talking to the nieces…

Melchior: That’s actually how I experienced it. She has a great charisma, on the one hand royal grandeur, on the other hand a binding naturalness. When I greeted her with “Your Royal Highness, thank you very much for your time,” she replied: “I’m not a Royal Highness. I haven’t been a Royal Highness for almost 50 years, since I got married. Name Just call me Christina.” She is incredibly likeable and typically Swedish.

Melchior: Princess Christina had an important role in the royal family; she had also accompanied her widowed grandfather on trips and appointments. The other sisters were significantly older and had long since left the house. And when Silvia appeared on the scene, a lot changed for Christina too. But in a positive sense, because she was able to give off a lot of ballast. She had also recently married (June 1974) and was now finally able to lead her own life. She has a fulfilling family life with her husband, children and grandchildren. The question of jealousy probably never arose because until the end of the 1970s there was no option for Christina to ever become queen. According to the constitution, only a son could ascend the throne. It was always clear that her brother would be king and the woman who married him would be queen. I think, on the contrary, that it was a certain relief that she was released from responsibility and was able to hand some of it over to Silvia.

Melchior: Yes, they are very close to each other. Christina is still a great support for Carl Gustaf and Silvia.

Melchior: 98 percent is not a reliable number, it is rather the perception from the point of view of the press office in the royal family in the 1970s, as I was told. In fact, most were only interested in Silvia. But that was never a problem for Carl Gustaf. On the contrary, it has also turned the reporting about him for the better. Before that, he was always seen as the playboy prince who nobody took seriously. That changed when he got married because it was his first good decision. And to be honest, I also think that he handles it quite well when the focus isn’t on him. In addition, Silvia has the gift of letting her husband shine when they appear together. That’s very important, after all he’s the head of state.

Melchior: For example, when they do a double interview, she looks at him first and not at the camera. She makes him and everyone present feel like Carl Gustaf is the main character. She never tried to challenge him for the spot. So I don’t think there was ever any competition or jealousy of interest in his wife.

Melchior: It is only known that when they were children, Victoria once said: “When I grow up I will be king.” And then Carl Philip replied, “That’s not true. When I grow up, I’ll be king.” As children, it probably took a little while for them to process that she was number one and not him – but that was more childishly playful. It is now clear that Victoria is more assertive and ambitious. She probably accepted this role sooner than Carl Philip would have. I think all three jealousy questions always come down to the same conclusion: the overriding feeling is relief that someone else is in the spotlight who is happy to take on that role in the public eye.