Prince Daniel (of Sweden) life and biography

Prince Daniel (of Sweden) picture, image, poster

Prince Daniel (of Sweden) biography

Date of birth : 1973-09-15
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Örebro, Sweden
Nationality : Swedish
Category : Famous Figures
Last modified : 2011-08-19
Credited as : Prince of Sweden, Princess Victoria,

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Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland is the husband of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. Prior to his marriage to the heiress apparent, Daniel was a personal trainer and gym owner and ran a company called Balance Training with three gyms in central Stockholm.

Daniel was born in Örebro (on the day his father-in-law became King of Sweden) while his parents lived in the Brickebacken area there, and grew up in Ockelbo. He is the son of Olle Gunnar and Anna Eva Kristina Westling (born Westring) and has a sister named Anna. After having completed school, he briefly served, as part of national conscription, in the Swedish Army at Hälsinge regemente in Gävle. In 2001 he met the Crown Princess as he became her personal trainer.

On 1 July 2008, he moved to a one-bedroom rental apartment in the Pagebyggnaden building in an area of Drottningholm Palace. The move was confirmed by the Royal Court.

In 2002, it's understood that Princess Madeleine was urging her sister to fight her anorexia through exercise. Victoria had been studying at Yale and receiving treatment for her eating disorder in a US clinic, and upon returning to Sweden enlisted the help of a personal trainer. That personal trainer was the then 29-year-old Daniel.

With his humble background and penchant for baseball caps, the sporty Swede seemed a surprising choice of suitor for the Queen in waiting. But he was integrated into royal circles, set up his own gym business, and in the summer of 2008, moved into a one-bedroom rental apartment in the Drottningholm Palace. Although he was housed in a separate wing to Victoria's quarters, it was a significant step nonetheless.

It's thought he was also encouraged to cut his hair and wear designer spectacles as well as receive something of an education in world affairs.

Then in February 2009, following months of speculation, came the news that the couple were to wed. "It is of course a special day for us, but it is also a special day for Sweden. Over the past few years we have got to know Daniel well and have understood that he is a young man who works hard and takes life seriously," said King Carl Gustaf.

Crowds gathered outside the palace to sing the Swedish national anthem. And after King Carl Gustaf's announcement, so many people tried to log on to the Royal Court website that it crashed.

Newspapers set up forums for the public to congratulate the royal bride-to-be on her happy news, and there was a distinctive air of excitement in Sweden. There hasn't been a royal wedding since 1976 and the press speculated that a grand affair would be the perfect distraction from the doom and gloom of the economy.

The engagement hasn't been all plain sailing, though. Just three months after popping the question, Daniel, who suffers from a congenital problem that impairs renal function, was forced to undergo a kidney transplant. The procedure was successful, however, with his father serving as donor.

And there have also been criticisms from some quarters about the suitability of the young entrepreneur, who is not a member of the aristocracy, for Victoria. To help dispel the concerns Queen Silvia who herself is not of royal descent gave a TV interview and came out in support of her future son-in-law.

"I think he's going to do well. He's going to be successful in his task of helping the princess," she said.

"Daniel has been very active in these years and has set up his own business," she said. "I hope he can share his experiences and help bring modernity to the court."

On June 19, 2010, the couple wed in a lavish ceremony in front of over 1,000 guests, and Daniel became Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. Royal insiders have speculated that his post-wedding focus may be in the fields of healthcare and sport.

In connection with his engagement to Victoria, the Swedish National Archives published an account of Westling's ancestors, most of whom were farmers in the province of Hälsingland. His paternal grandfather Anders Andersson (1900-1980) adopted the surname of Westling from his mother. In June 2010, genealogist Björn Engström published Westling's ancestors as far back as to the 14th century, and showed that Westling is descended from some medieval noble families in the region of Stora Kopparberget, among these Svinhufvud.

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