In less than a week’s time, Prince Julian of Sweden will be baptised and become a member of the Swedish Lutheran church. This will be the first official gathering of all the members of the Swedish Royal Family in more than a year. Here’s everything you need to know about the christening of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia’s eighth grandchild.
On Saturday, 14 August, Prince Julian Herbert Folke of Sweden, Duke of Halland, will be christened. The third son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden was born on the 26th of March 2021 and is seventh in line to the Swedish throne. Just like his brothers, Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel, Prince Julian’s baptism will be held at the Royal Chapel of Drottningholm Palace, just outside Stockholm. The small chapel of Drottningholm is a personal choice for Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia. King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, Gabriel’s grandparents, live in the Palace, and it is also where Prince Carl Philip spent most of his childhood.
The ceremony will start at 12 pm national time and last approximately 45 minutes. Prince Gabriel will be dressed in the traditional baptism gown also worn by his grandfather the King, his father, aunts, cousins and siblings. His name will also be embroidered on the dress, just like those before him. 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 Bishop Johan Dalman and the Pastor of the Royal Family, Michael Bjerkhagen. At the end of the ceremony, Prince Gabriel will receive the Order of the Seraphim from his grandfather, the King. The Order of the Seraphim is the most outstanding distinction in Sweden. Only members of the Swedish Royal Family and foreign heads of state can receive the honour. King Carl XVI Gustaf will decorate Prince Julian with the light blue ribbon with the small star.
After the baptism, there will be a salute of 21 shots from Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm. Then, the Swedish Royal Family and their guests will take a short walk to greet the public and pose for the accredited press.
At 1 pm, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia will host a reception in honour of the baptism of their grandson at Drottningholm Palace. Lunch will follow with the most important guests.
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia will take the time to greet each of their guests personally. Usually, this is also the moment where the parents receive the gifts. During the reception, Prince Julian will lay in Karl XV’s cradle as is tradition.
It has been confirmed that King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill will attend the baptism. Even though the attendance of the children is never confirmed in advance, it is safe to assume that many of Prince Julian’s cousins will be present as well. Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar, and Princess Madeleine’s children, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne, are expected to steal the show at the baptism. Of course, Prince Julian’s brothers Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel will also be there.
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. 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.
The godparents of Prince Julian will be officially announced on the evening before the baptism, 13 August. Just like with their other children, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia will probably choose five godparents for Julian. Prince Carl Philip’s siblings and Princess Sofia’s sisters have been asked as godparents for either Prince Alexander or Prince Gabriel. They are expected to appoint close friends and cousins as godparents for Prince Julian.
The godparents play an important role during the christening. The godparents will walk behind the parents, Prince Julian and his brothers, as they’ll enter the Royal Chapel. They will also take part in the laying on of the hands during the ceremony.
Contrary to the baptisms of his brothers and cousins, Prince Julian’s christening will not be broadcasted live. The Swedish public broadcaster SVT will, however, be in the church and record the ceremony. They will later air a 45-minute summary of the religious service on their channel on Sunday, 15 August, at 6.15 pm.
Here are some more facts about the christening:
- Prince Julian’s monogram will be featured in a flower bed behind Drottningholm Palace for the special day.
- The official christening pictures will be released approximately three to five days after the baptism.
- The Livgardets of the Life Battalion will be the guards standing alongside the chapel in honour of the christening.