Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
When Crown Princess Victoria became Sweden\'s deputy head of state, a palace spokeswoman announced: "Her duties are what she chooses them to be." And the woman who will become Sweden\'s queen has followed her own path in life, all the way.
"The prospect of becoming queen is something I can\'t get out of my head, even though it\'s in the future," she has said, adding: "I don\'t stop focusing on the job with which I\'ve been entrusted."
Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree, Crown Princess of Sweden, Duchess of Vastergotland, was born on July 14, 1977 at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm. The firstborn child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, she became a crown princess as a baby, after the 1979 Act of Succession enabled the eldest child, male or female, to succeed the throne.
She was raised at Drottningholm Palace, along with her younger siblings, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine. Victoria attended regular schools throughout her childhood, finishing at Stockholm\'s Enskilda Gymnasiet upper secondary school in 1996 and later embarking on work experience, including a stint at the city\'s Museum of National Antiquities.
It was during her French studies at the Universite Catholique de l\'Ouest in Angers, France, that the athletic princess suddenly showed a dramatic weight loss. And after 5\'6" Victoria appeared at a November 1997 event looking fragile at 7st, the Swedish royal family confirmed what many had begun to suspect.
"The crown princess is suffering from an eating disorder," announced a palace spokesperson, who explained the stress of increasing public commitments and media interest had turned a strict diet into an obsession. "She is receiving therapeutic help."
"I feel very good now, but everyone went through a really difficult period," Victoria said of her struggles in 1998. After the revelations, Victoria shelved plans to attend Sweden\'s Uppsala University to study political science, and instead enrolled at America\'s Yale University, hoping to stay out of the spotlight.
Though she calls the life of a crown princess "fascinating", she freely admits: "There are times when you wish you were somewhere else, and someone else."
Victoria then trained at the United Nations in New York and at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC before returning to home to Sweden in summer 2000. After studying European Union and Swedish government the following year, she became involved with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and enrolled in a University of Uppsala course in world peace.
Fiercely protective of her private life, Victoria refused to confirm reports which began to surface in 2002 she had began a romance with gym owner Daniel Westling. But six years later, royal watchers were given all the confirmation they needed after the Palace announced he was to move into an apartment within the palace of Drottingholm.
Then in April 2009 came some happy news from the couple - they announced their engagement. "With Daniel by my side I feel secure," said Victoria in an official statement. "You have probably noticed that in recent years I have seemed stronger and happier. And now the time has come for us to begin building something together and starting a family."
The following year\'s June 19 ceremony, the first wedding of a female heir to the throne in the history of Sweden, was the jewel in the crown of a spectacular three-day celebration.
After tying the knot at Stockholm\'s Cathedral, the future Queen\'s tenderness was evident as spoke to the crowds of well wishers gathered outside the royal palace. "Dear friends, I would like to thank you, the Swedish People for having given me my prince."