Swedish heir to the throne Princess Victoria pregnant

Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel attend the royal wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco to Princess Charlene of Monaco in the main courtyard in the Prince's Palace in Monaco on 2 July 2011
Image caption The news has caused great excitement among the Swedish media

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel, are expecting a baby in March next year, the royal court has announced.

"The whole royal family are thrilled and the Crown Princess is doing well," royal spokeswoman Annika Soennerberg told AFP news agency.

The princess married Daniel Westling, 37 - her long-time partner and former fitness instructor - in June last year.

Sweden's heiress-apparent, 34, is extremely popular in Sweden.

Several recent surveys suggest a majority of Swedes would like to see her father King Carl XVI Gustaf - who has been embroiled in multiple scandals over alleged affairs and wild parties - abdicate in favour of his daughter.

The country's tabloids immediately went into a frenzy over the news, reports said.

On its website, the royal court said there was no need at present for the princess to alter her official schedule for 2011 due to her pregnancy.

"It is with great joy that I receive the news that the Crown Princess and Prince Daniel are expecting a child," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in a statement.

"You have a fantastic experience to look forward to and I want to send you both my most heartfelt congratulations."

The new baby, who will be the king and queen's first grandchild, will be second in line to the throne.

Victoria became the first in line to the throne in 1980, with a legal change that introduced equal primogeniture.

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