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Royal Christmas

How Sweden’s royals are celebrating Christmas

December is one of the busiest months for the Swedish Royal Family. Nevertheless, they always make room in their agenda to celebrate Christmas together as a family.

The Swedish Royal Family has a packed schedule during the month of December: the Nobel Prize Celebrations, the formal gathering of the Swedish Academy and the feast of St. Lucia and that’s before Christmas even arrives!. At the end of the month, however, they clear their schedules to celebrate Christmas through various different events.

Princess Madeline, Chris O’Neill and their children, Leonore, Nicolas and Adrienne, accept the Christmas trees in 2021

Each year the Christmas celebrations kick off with the acceptance of the Christmas trees for the Royal Palace. Each year the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences hands over the Christmas trees to a member of the Swedish Royal Family. This has been a tradition since the 1960s.

Another tradition the Swedish Royals never skip is the release of a Christmas video by the Crown Princess Family. Baking cookies, sleighing down the hills, making Christmas decorations, putting up the Christmas tree, all these activities related to Christmas have been shown on the video the Crown Princess Family releases each year.

Christmas wishes from Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar are an important part of the Swedish royal celebrations

The Crown Princess’ brother Prince Carl Philip and his wife, Princess Sofia, have created a Christmas tradition of their own. The pair visits the annual Christmas concert “Jul i Vasastan” at the Gustaf Vasa Church in Stockholm. During the concert, many traditional Swedish Christmas songs are performed. The concert usually takes place a few days before Christmas.

On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the whole family gathers at Drottningholm Palace, the home of King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, for Christmas dinner. The family keeps their celebrations private, but we do know that the King and Queen always have a big Christmas tree and a nativity scene at home.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia celebrating Advent with their two elder sons in 2020 (Photo: Victor Ericsson, The Royal Court of Sweden)

Next to the celebrations at Drottningholm Palace, the various families also celebrate the holidays with their in-laws. Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and their children traditionally visit Daniel’s parents, Ewa and Olle Westling, in Ockelbo during the holidays. The same can be said of Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia and their children, Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel and Prince Julian, who gather at Sofia’s parents’ house in Älvdalen to celebrate with her parents and sisters.

On Christmas Day, His Majesty the King will also address the nation in his Christmas speech. In the annual speech, King Carl Gustaf reflects on the previous year for his family and the country and talks about his hopes for the coming year. The Christmas speech is broadcast on Swedish television and radio.

About author

Laura is from Belgium and has a passion for all things royal. She is Europe Correspondent for Royal Central since October 2016 and has contributed to other news websites. In her daily life she is a fulltime student in EU-politics and political communication.