Sweden’s Princess Christina is retiring from official duties, following 45 years of service, on her 75th birthday on Friday, 3 August 2018.

Photo Anna-Lena Ahlström, Kungahuset.se.

The youngest daughter of Sweden’s Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Christina Louise Helena was born on 3 August 1943 at Haga Palace, Solna, outside Stockholm.

Christina has three older sisters, Margaretha (born 31 October 1934), Birgitta (born 19 January 1937) and Désirée.

Christina (in front) at play with her sisters Birgitta, Christina, Desirée and Margaretha at Falsterbo in 1945. Photo: Lennart Nilsson

They spent their childhoods at the Haga Palace and known as the Hagvaprinsessorna (the Haga Princesses)

Her younger brother King Carl XVI Gustaf was born two years later on 30 April 1946.

Tragedy struck when Prince Gustaf Adolf was killed in a plane crash at Kastrup Airport, Copenhagen, in Denmark on 26 January 1947, when Christina was only four years old.

A young King Carl XVI Gustaf and Princess Christina ready to watch a movie. Photo from the Bernadotte Library archive.

Her younger brother became second in line to the Swedish throne, following his grandfather who later became Gustaf VI Adolf in 1950.

Christina completed her school exams at the French School in 1963. She then studied at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, USA, and on returning home studied history of art at Stockholm University. She worked at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ information office for a year and a half.

Princess Christina portrayed by Herman Bergne in 1964. Photo from the library of the Bernadotte Library.

Christina married director Tord Magnuson on 15 June 1974 at the Royal Palace. As she had married a commoner, Christina was granted the courtesy title of Princess Christina, Mrs Magnuson, as she lost her title of Royal Highness.

The couple have three children: Carl Gustaf Victor (born 1975), Tord Oscar Frederik (born 1977) and Victor Edmund Lennart (born 1980).

Christina also wrote a book, Days at Drottningholm (Dagar pa Drottningholm) which was published in both Swedish and English in 2016, focusing on her own memories of Christmastime and her grandfather’s renovations, her wedding and King Carl Gustaf’s family moving to the palace in 1981.

However, the Swedish Royal Court announced Christina was diagnosed with chronic leukaemia in 2016, forcing her to reduce the number of official duties.

Her initial treatment failed but Christina had a stem cell transplant in 2017 which proved successful.

Christina had also battled breast cancer in 2010 with treatment, including undergoing three surgeries, and eventually beat the disease.

Since then, she has spent time raising awareness about cancer issues.

Princess Christina with her sisters and brother King Carl XVI Gustaf as they celebrated Princess Birgitta’s 80th birthday at Drottningholm Castle on 19 January 2017. From left to right: Princess Margaretha, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée and Princess Christina. Photo: Jonas Borg, Kungahuset.se

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