King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden’s oldest sister celebrates her 84th birthday on 31 October 2018.

Princess Margaretha Désirée Victoria of Sweden was born in 1934 at the Haga Palace, near Stockholm, during the reign of her great-grandfather, Gustaf V.

She was Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten and Princess Sybille of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha’s eldest daughter, and descended from Queen Victoria twice: through her maternal grandfather, Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and her paternal grandmother Princess Margaret of Connaught.

Princess Sibylla and her eldest daughter Margaretha, 1934.

Margaretha is the eldest of five children, with three younger sisters Birgitta (b 1937), Désirée (b 1938) and Christina (b 1943) and brother Prince Carl Gustaf (born 1946).

Her father tragically died in a plane crash at Copenhagen Airport on 26 January 1947 when Princess Margaretha was only 12 years old.

Margaretha was educated at home at the Haga Palace with her younger sisters before she attended the Märthaskolan (Martha School) in Stockholm where she studied couture dressmaking.

She also studied ceramics and textiles at the Nyckelvik School and trained as an occupational therapist at the Karolinska Hospital.

Princess Margaretha on her wedding day in 1964.

Margaretha married British businessman John Ambler on 30 June 1964 but she lost her Royal Highness title as she married a commoner. Her grandfather King Adolf VI Gustaf created a courtesy title Princess Margaretha, Mrs Ambler.

They settled at Chippinghurst Manor in Oxfordshire where they had three children: Sybilla (b 1965), Edward (b 1966) and James (b 1969).

As the eldest daughter, Margaretha was never in the line of succession to the Swedish throne, as only males could inherit before the constitution was changed in 1979.

However, Princess Margaretha’s children and their descendants cannot inherit the throne.

Princess Margaretha with her younger sisters and brother King Carl XVI Gustaf during celebrations for Princess Birgitta’s 80th birthday on 19 January 2017. From left to right: Princess Margareta, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée and Princess Christina. Photo: Jonas Borg, Kungahuset.se

Margaretha separated from her husband in 1994, but they didn’t divorce. John Ambler passed away in 2008.

Margaretha now lives near Chipping Norton in the UK and does not carry out any official duties as part of the Swedish Royal Family.

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