Exactly a week from today the Royal Wedding of the Year will take place in Stockholm. The only son of the King and Queen of Sweden, Prince Carl Philip, will marry fiancee of just under a year, Sofia Hellqvist, in a glittering ceremony on June 13th which will be attended by many of Europe’s royals. With seven days to go, here are seven things to know about this year’s big Royal Wedding.
- The wedding will have a very royal setting – as you’d expect. The prince and his fiancée will say their vows in the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The current chapel was consecrated in 1754, but there has been a church on this site of this royal residence since the 13th century. The latest royal wedding to take place there will start at 4.30pm local time on June 13th. The couple will then enjoy a carriage ride through the streets of Stockholm while the wedding will be marked with a 21 gun salute. Afterwards, guests will enjoy dinner in the White Sea Hall before moving on to Karl XI’s gallery for dancing.
- Royalty from around Europe will be there with The Earl and Countess of Wessex among them. Other royals on the guest list include Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (the groom’s godmother) with Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary there too. Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway will be joining the celebrations as will Queen Mathilde of the Belgians.
- The groom was once heir to the throne. The 36-year-old Prince Carl Philip Edmund Bertil of Sweden is now third in line but on the day he was born he was top of the pecking order and carried the title of Crown Prince of Sweden. Seven months later the succession laws were changed allowing the eldest child of the monarch to succeed regardless of gender. His older sister, Victoria, got the job of being the heir, and he moved down to spare. He’s now also been overtaken by Victoria’s daughter, Estelle, in the line of succession. His future wife, Sofia Kristina Hellqvist, founded an organisation called Project Playground in 2010 – it helps young people improve their lives through leisure activities. In the past the 30-year-old famously starred on Swedish reality TV.
- The bride will become a princess as soon as she says ‘I do’. The Swedish Royal Court recently confirmed that from the moment of her marriage, Sofia Hellqvist will become Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia, Duchess of Varmland – her husband has been Duke of Varmland since birth. Her new title will make Sofia Europe’s second new princess this year following the birth of Princess Charlotte.
- Prince Carl Philip is following a family tradition by getting married in June. Back in 1976 his parents, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, wed on June 19th and his big sister, Victoria, married Daniel Westling on the same date in 2010. Meanwhile the baby of the family, Princess Madeleine, said ‘I do’ to Chris O’Neill on 8 June 2013. Oh, and Madeleine’s birthday is June 10th.
- Talking of June…the groom might get a new niece or nephew as a wedding present. Princess Madeleine is pregnant with her second child, and Queen Silvia said a few months ago that the baby was due around the same time as the wedding though. One thing is certain, the Swedish Royal Family certainly like June anniversaries and birthdays.
- The couple don’t want wedding presents. Instead, they’re asking those who want to make a gift to donate money to their new foundation that will help children and young people and in particular look at education issues. You’ve still got time to get a refund on the toaster, then.
P.S. There’s already a hashtag. Social media users can spend next Saturday looking for #kungligtbrollop2015 or #royalwedding2015 to keep up to date – that’s after you’ve checked Royal Central for the latest news, of course!
Photo credit: Mattias Edwall, The Royal Court, Sweden.