Sunday, 3 April 2016

Is it a boy or girl for Sofia?

Royal Baby Watch is well and truly under way. We know Princess Sofia has nothing in her diary until the end of April and that husband, Prince Carl Philip, has a few empty weeks ahead of him too which means that Sweden's latest royal could well be imminent. But will we be welcoming a new prince or princess?

Sofia, Duchess of Varmland is about to become a mummy but will it be a boy or a girl?

This one has been hard to call. I was fairly certain that Crown Princess Victoria was having a boy though I thought the Duchess of Cambridge was lined up for son number two last year and in 2013 I was convinced that Kate would be leaving hospital with a little girl in her arms so my hit rate is fairly low. But this time round, I couldn't even guess - until a certain photo a few weeks ago.

Sofia face to face with royal history

As soon as I saw Sofia in front of this piece of Swedish history, the thoughts of a baby prince got stronger. Maybe it's because we're all loving seeing Prince Oscar in his blue cardigan, maybe it's because the royal baby in Sweden before that was also a boy but I have a feeling Sofia will welcome a son.

Prince Oscar of Sweden is his country's newest prince - but will he have another male cousin to play with in the near future?

Just before Victoria welcomed Prince Oscar she went on a tour of the Bernadotte library and then a few weeks later revealed her baby boy named after the founder of the dynasty. So Sofia visiting the tomb of a king called Carl took on an extra meaning in that context. And bear in mind that the crown of this Carl passed to his sister who wrote a new chapter in the history of queens regnant in Europe. I'm going boy.

Princess Sofia in pale blue for the Te Deum for her nephew, Prince Oscar, born on March 2nd 2016

Perhaps more tellingly, Sofia wore a lot of blue around the mid mark of her pregnancy - when scans usually show the gender of a baby. And while we heard that this royal couple didn't want to know the gender of their child before birth, princesses are allowed to change their minds. Victoria wore a lot of blue at the same point in her great expectations with Oscar so could Sweden's line of succession be about to welcome its fourth prince?

Sofia in blue to welcome the Christmas trees to the Royal Palace - around the time a scan might have shown the gender of her baby

If Sofia does have a son it will mean there are the same number of princes in line to the throne as princesses - the first time that has happened since 1997. Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland died in that year leaving just the children of King Carl XVI Gustaf as claimants. Now, the only boy among that trio is about to become a father for the first time - all eyes are on his wife, Sofia, to see if it's a son or a daughter.

There is a special page all about the wait for Sweden's second royal baby of 2016 here.

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