July 14th is quickly approaching, and for some royal watchers, this means one of the best days of the year, Victoriadagen (Victoria Day), the celebration of the birthday of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. The day always starts with a walkabout at the family’s summer home, Solliden Palace on Öland, during which Victoria spends a couple hours of her birthday greeting people, taking pictures, and usually accumulating many, many beaded necklaces, drawings and flowers. She is always accompanied by her parents, King Carl XVI Gustaf, and Queen Silvia, her husband Prince Daniel, and since 2012, her daughter Princess Estelle, who usually manages to steal the show. Hopefully this year, her baby son, Prince Oscar who was born in March will attend this part of the celebrations as well.
The evening is celebrated with a huge concert, usually live streamed worldwide by SVT, of which Victoria is the guest of honour. The concert is headlined by some of Sweden’s biggest stars, Zara Larsson has performed, as well as 2012 Eurovision winner Loreen. Every Victoriadagen since 1979 there has been the presentation of the Victoria Scholarship to a successful Swedish athlete. The concert is known for its fun and celebratory atmosphere, and every year the family never fears enjoying the night, which is often highlighted by enthusiastic dancing by Princess Madeleine, and slightly more awkward dancing in the form of Prince Daniel.
Many have not forgotten during one particularly rainy celebration in 2011 , King Carl XVI Gustaf decided to redesign the rules of fashion by turning the garbage bag that was used to keep his chair dry into an unconventional, yet functional raincoat which was a source of great amusement for the family, crowd, and the royal watching community alike.
Each Victoriadagen includes the presentation of the ‘Victoria Fund Scholarship’ to a successful Swedish athlete. Past winners have included Olympians and World Champions. 2015’s winner was swimmer Sarah Sjöström who broke the world record for the 100-meter butterfly twice in 2015. This award is now presented by Victoria herself to the winner midway through the concert festivities.
No matter the weather, who attends, or who is headlining the show, Victoriadagen never fails to bring smiles to the face of those who watch the events. From Princess Estelle’s antics to Prince Daniel getting on his boogie, or the King fashion, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy.