Heir to Swedish throne to marry commoner boyfriend

Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:45pm EST
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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria plans to marry her commoner boyfriend next year, the princess told reporters on Tuesday.

Reports that the 31-year-old heir apparent to the Swedish throne would marry 35-year-old personal trainer and gym owner Daniel Westling have appeared in the press for years.

"Daniel and I have become engaged, the King and the government have given their consent to our marriage and the wedding is being planned for spring or early summer 2010," Victoria told reporters.

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and the king has no political power. Victoria became the heir apparent in 1980 after a reform of the constitution meant that the throne would be inherited by the monarch's eldest child without regard to gender.

Asked by reporters when they knew they were right for each other, both said there had been no magic moment but that their relationship started as friendship and developed into love.

"As I have said, the sense of security I feel with Daniel is unbelievable and that is also what our friendship is based on," Victoria said.

Westling -- who will be given the title Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland -- said he has become somewhat used to the limelight, but remained nervous in front of the media.

He said his life now would be focused mainly on "supporting the Crown Princess in her important work for Sweden" and that he would not continue in an active role in business.

Swedes pride themselves on their country's social equality, but the royal family remains popular.   Continued...

<p>Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and her fiance Daniel Westling talk to reporters during a news conference after their engagement was announced at the Royal Palace in Stockholm February 24, 2009. REUTERS/Bob Strong</p>