In a weeks time, Prince Gabriel of Sweden will become a member of the Swedish Lutheran Church when he is christened. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming christening – and more.
On 1 December Prince Gabriel Carl Walther, second son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia will be baptised. Just like his brother Alexander and cousins Leonore and Nicolas, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia have chosen the Chapel of Drottningholm Palace, just outside Stockholm, as the location. King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Gabriel’s grandparents, live in the Palace and it is where their children grew up.
The ceremony will start at 12 am national time and last approx. 45 minutes. Prince Gabriel will be dressed in the traditional baptism gown also worn by his grandfather the King, his father and aunts and his cousins. His name will also be embroidered on the dress just like those before him have their name embroidered on the dress. The gown was first worn by Prince Gustaf Adolf when he was christened in 1906. The water with which the Prince will be christened comes from a source on Öland, a Swedish island on which the Royal Family spends their summer holidays. The King and Queen started this tradition with the christening of their firstborn, Crown Princess Victoria. The officiants of the christening are Archbishop Emeritus Anders Wejryd, Bishop Johan Dalman and the Pastor of the Royal Family, Michael Bjerkhagen. Prince Gabriel will receive the Order of the Seraphim from his grandfather the King during the ceremony.
After the baptism, there will be a salute of 21 shots from Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm. The guests will leave the church and then walk a different path to the entrance of the Palace. The new route will be shorter as it is frigid in December in Sweden. They don’t want the little ones to get sick.
It has been officially confirmed that King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill will attend the baptism. The Swedish Royal Family always brings along all the children as well so it is very probable that Gabriel’s older brother Prince Alexander, cousins Princess Estelle, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicholas and Prince Oscar will steal the show at the baptism. Sofia’s parents Erik and Marie Hellqvist, Sofia’s sisters Lina and Sara and Sofia’s grandmother Britt are also expected to come to the ceremony. Of course, Prince Gabriel’s godparents will also be invited. Other guests include government officials including Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his wife, close friends, close family, the staff of the Royal Household and the former and current nannies of the Royal children.
At this point, it is still unknown who Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia have chosen as godparents for little Gabriel. We do however know with 99% of certainty that the little Prince’s aunt Princess Madeleine and aunt Sara Hellqvist (Sofia’s sister) will be among the godmothers. Other godparents will probably include close friends, one of the Magnuson cousins, one of the Sommerlath cousins etc. The godparents will walk behind the parents and Prince Gabriel and his brother Alexander as they’ll enter the Chapel. They will also take part in the laying on of the hands during the ceremony.
The godparents will be officially announced on the evening before the christening, thus on 30 November.
At 1 pm the King and Queen will host a reception for the guests. At the reception, gifts will be handed out for the little Prince. There will also follow a lunch with the most important guests. In the late afternoon, the guests will return back home.
During the reception, Prince Gabriel will lay in Karl XV’s cradle.
Prince Gabriel Carl Walther received the title Prince of Sweden and Duke of Dalarna at his birth. During the christening, the little boy will receive Sweden’s highest Royal order, the Order of the Seraphim. The Prince will only wear the Order on the day of his baptism, and then from the moment he turns 18. The Prince has already received his own monogram and coat of arms. The coat of arms include a reference to the Duchy of the Prince, Dalarna. His mother Princess Sofia grew up in Dalarna.
The Prince will next to private gifts, also receive gifts from the Swedish government and his duchy.
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia have asked people who want to give a present for the baptism, to donate to the Prince Couple’s Foundation or Project Playground.
Here are some more random facts about the christening:
- Prince Gabriel’s monogram will be featured in a flower bed behind Drottningholm Palace for the special day.
- The official christening pictures will be released approx. 3-5 days after the baptism.
- After the christening, Prince Gabriel will get his own page on the website of the Swedish Royal Court.
- The Livgardets of the Life Battalion will be the guards standing alongside the chapel in honour of the christening.
- The whole christening will be live broadcasted on the Swedish channel SVT.