Fancy heading down to Slottsbacken this Saturday to witness a smidgen of romantic history in the making? YLC’s Kirsten Smart got the lowdown on Princess Madeleine’s wedding from Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet’s Royal expert Jenny Alexandersson.
Voted the seventh most beautiful royal woman in the world (but least-favourite Swedish Royal), Princess Madeleine Bernadotte will be floating down the aisle toward her Austrian/British/American commoner groom on Saturday June 8th in the chapel of the Royal Palace.
After a very public breakup in 2010 with former fiancé Jonas Bergström, the princess has finally found love in the arms of Mr. Christopher O’Neill.The dashing groom has chosen to continue being a businessman, thus effectively repudiating the title of H.R.H. Prince of Sweden and Duke of Gästrikland and Hälsingland (as royal protocol dictates that a member of the Royal Family should be a Swedish citizen and should not hold a position of responsibility within business).
YLC’s freshly appointed royal correspondent Kirsten Smart spoke to Aftonbladet’s expert on the Royals, Jenny Alexandersson, to find out a bit more about the upcoming nuptials.
Your Living City: We’ve heard mixed reactions when mentioning the Swedish Royal family at dinner parties in Södermalm. What is the general consensus when it comes to the Swedes’ perception of their Royal family?
Jenny Alexandersson: I think that there are two groups of people here in Sweden. On the one had you have those who adore the Royal family and think that they are good representatives of the Swedish nation – and then on the other hand you have the critics. There has been a lot of negativity about the Royal family since the 2010 scandal book about the King (cataloguing an alleged past penchant for some rather immodest recreational activities) came out, so those who are critical generally think the Royal family should be more transparent.
What are the Swedes’ feelings toward Princess Madeleine in particular?
JA: Princess Madeleine is very loved here. Not the “golden girl” that Victoria is, she is more private and anonymous and more difficult to understand. We are happy for her that she has found love, especially after her horrible breakup with Jonas Bergström.
And what do you Swedes make of her husband-to-be?
JA: No one knows very much about Christopher. The information about him made public is very generic and he hasn’t given any interviews. He doesn’t seem to like attention from the media; he was even spotted giving the paparazzi the middle finger. I think the public is actually more interested in the wedding because they don’t know very much about him. He is a bit of a mystery.
And the fact that he’s not Swedish?
JA: Princess Madeleine has been living in New York for the past few years, so it wasn’t unexpected that she found someone non-Swedish. I think a lot of the Swedes like the fact that he is a foreigner; it makes him more interesting.
A Swedish princess is getting married in just a few short days and some of us weren’t aware of this until two weeks ago. Why hasn’t there been as much of a hullabaloo about it as there was with Victoria’s wedding?
JA: There is definitely less excitement about this wedding than Victoria’s, but Victoria is the Crown Princess, so her marriage was a bigger deal for the Swedish nation. Also, because she is the Crown Princess, the officials of Sweden paid for her wedding and created events and media attention. Not only is Madeleine a very private person, but also her wedding will be financed entirely by the king, so hers will be a less grand, more intimate wedding.
So what can we expect ? No solos by Elton John? No circus monkeys singing the Ave Maria? It won’t upstage Victoria’s wedding?
JA: No circus monkeys, I’m afraid. Princess Madeleine’s wedding will be much smaller than Victoria’s. It’s planned to be more low-key and private with fewer guests and not as many powerful people or politicians will be attending. Madeleine is only allowing the ceremony to be televised and nothing else. She is a very private person and her wedding will reflect that.
What is the line-up for the wedding day?
JA: The wedding starts at 4pm and after the ceremony there will be a 21-gun salute fired from Skeppsholmen. The couple will then be taken by horse and carriage (the historic “Parade Barouche”) from the Royal Palace to Riddarholmen where they will take a boat to the Drottningholm Palace for dinner.
How can the interested public get a peek of the princess and her new husband on their special day?
JA: The ceremony will be televised by SVT, but if you want to see the couple in person, they will be departing from Slottsbacken in a horse-drawn carriage after the ceremony. This will be at around 5pm, but you should get there early as it is expected to get quite crowded. A good tip would be to find a place to stand near the south vault.
So there you have it. If you want to see the Royal couple in the flesh, take a gander at the Cortège route map to plan your vantage point.
To find out more about the nuptials, visit the Royal Court’s official website or Jenny Alexandersson’s blog. For anyone who missed the engagement video or simply want to relive the moment, watch it below:
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