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A Very Swedish Christmas

Next on our tour of Royal Christmas festivities is Sweden. Like any good celebration, the Swedish Royal Family keeps food in focus.

With Queen Silvia’s birthday falling on December 23 her needs and wants are always taken to heart. One of her favourites is Weihnachtsstollen, which is a traditional loaf-shaped fruitcake from Germany soaked in brandy and covered with powdered sugar, served with a cup of black Brazilian coffee. Christmas Eve is the big feast and gathering of the family where Crown Princess Victoria is known to enjoy the lutefisk, a dried whitefish in lye while Princess Madeleine prefers lobster, oysters and champagne. She sounds like my type of girl! Queen Silvia also reads from the Christmas gospel.

Growing up King Carl XVI Gustaf had little fun on Christmas. The strict affair included the children standing in straight rows outside the room where the gifts were, no one was allowed in until King Gustav V rang his silver bell at exactly 4:30. The gifts were never wrapped but instead spread out on a table. In the early 1950’s traditions became slightly more relaxed when Jultomte (Santa) was allowed in. This was usually Prince Bertil undercover in a red coat and fake white beard.

Helping bring the Christmas cheer that King Carl Gustaf lacked as a child, Queen Silvia has said:

“To go out and get a Christmas tree, and to decorate it and light candles,

“And a little bit of snow doesn’t hurt.”

December 24 is also the day when the Royal Family exchanges their gifts for one another. Once again poor Queen Silvia probably has to share this day with her birthday  celebrations.

On Christmas Day, King Carl Gustaf’s Christmas speech airs addressing Swedes across the country. Yet my favourite Christmas tradition of the Swedish Royal Family would have to be the release of photos and a video. Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have previously released photographs and a video of their daughter Princess Estelle baking traditional Swedish Christmas cookies.


In this first video, Princess Estelle is helping her parents roll out the cookie dough or rather eat it. Like any toddler, she entertains by making an arrangement of animal noises, only to forget about cookie making and takes off to find the Christmas elf.

The Christmas video sent out in 2014, Princess Estelle shows off her tree decorating skills, gives her best “ho ho ho” impersonation of Santa and wishes everyone a “Happy Christmas”.

I am sure I am not the only one thinking this right now, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge should be starting this as a tradition of their own. Prince George dressed up as Santa and a little Princess Charlotte elf? I think so!

Yet Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel weren’t the first of their family to start this custom. In 1985, nearly 30 years before the first Estelle video, Drottningholm Palace released a video of the young royals. Recorded at the palace, Victoria with her brother, Prince Carl Philip and sister, Princess Madeleine are seen stuffing sausages with their parents. The clip quickly became known as the “more meat” (Mera kött) video, as the young princesses boss their father and brother around telling them to add more mince to the sausage machine.


If watching those clips doesn’t get you in the Christmas mood, nothing will. Merry Christmas or as they say in Swedish- God Jul!