Prince Daniel celebrates his 50th birthday on Friday (September 15th). Officially, however, the focus is on the 50th anniversary of his father-in-law King Carl Gustaf (77), which will be celebrated on the same day. After all: “Daniel’s birthday will certainly be mentioned in a speech and of course he will be celebrated in the family,” says nobility expert Julia Melchior in an interview with spot on news. The former fitness trainer and entrepreneur, born Olof Daniel Westling in Örebo, central Sweden, has long been a popular member of the royal family. But the road to this public recognition was long – for him and for his wife, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (46).

Victoria and Daniel met in his sports club in 2001 and he became her personal trainer. In May 2002, their romantic relationship was made public by a Swedish tabloid. In the first few years afterward, the public considered Daniel not good enough for Victoria. “It really wasn’t easy for Daniel,” confirms Melchior.

In the documentary “My Father, the King – Carl Gustaf and Victoria of Sweden” (ZDF media library), Princess Christina (80), the king’s sister, says that at some point Daniel also took advice from her husband, Tord Gösta Magnuson (82 ), has fetched. “Princess Christina’s husband was a great support for Daniel. He was in a similar situation: a citizen of Sweden who married into the royal family,” said Melchior.

“And Tord Magnuson probably gave Daniel some advice on how to deal with the difficult situation. Patience and discretion are the key words in this context – and Daniel has fulfilled both at all times. In all these many years he hasn’t even had a reason to some questionable report. That’s quite an achievement,” she says, summing up Daniel’s impeccable record.

“The recognition by the king was the turning point,” says Julia Melchior. “Carl Gustaf realized that Daniel was the right man for Victoria, that he made her happy and that he was ready to support Victoria’s future. And Carl Gustaf also realized that Sweden was ready to accept that. It just needed its time,” she explains further.

In February 2009 the time had finally come: Victoria and Daniel were allowed to announce their engagement, the monarch had approved. “King Carl Gustaf is not a person who decides something on impulse, but rather he is very deliberate and certainly consults the Queen when making many decisions. It was the same with Victoria and Daniel. He took a long time to make the decision to make sure that it is good for Victoria to marry Daniel, that it is good for the monarchy and that Daniel can do it too,” said the nobility expert.

Prince Daniel’s story is reminiscent of a slightly softer version of that of Queen Camilla (76). Both had to endure a lot of unpleasantness, malice and ridicule from the media and public opinion for a long time. Neither Camilla nor Daniel have publicly complained about this. But how can you endure this and even make peace with it? “I think the love for Victoria and, above all, her love for him ensured that he didn’t doubt,” says Melchior, recalling Daniel’s speech from June 19, 2010: “There’s this wonderful story that he told in… himself told his wedding speech. When Victoria was traveling in China for weeks to study the country, she left him a box in which there was a letter for each day she was away. That was long before the engagement and is incredibly significant for your relationship.”

From the beginning, Victoria gave Daniel the feeling every day: “‘You are the man I love and I don’t doubt us and we can do it.’ And they actually managed to wrap their relationship in a protective shell that no one from the outside was allowed to penetrate. Victoria, who can also extend her elbows, defended this love against every critic. She is tough,” says Melchior appreciatively.

Nevertheless, this weekend is all about the other jubilarian in the Swedish royal family. And so, on his special birthday this Friday (September 15th), Prince Daniel will first take part in the celebratory thanksgiving service in honor of Carl Gustaf and in the evening at the big banquet in the palace. On Saturday (September 16th) the royal family’s carriage ride through Stockholm is on the program, followed by an open-air concert in front of the palace.

The celebratory parade through the capital will be shown live on Das Erste on Saturday from 2:15 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. A comprehensive look back at the entire celebrations on the occasion of the throne’s jubilee will be available in a ZDF special broadcast in the evening from 7:25 p.m. with presenter Christina von Ungern-Sternberg and nobility expert Julia Melchior.