Princess Victoria’s Wedding -1d Friday, Jun 18 2010 

The pre-wedding celebrations have been going on since yesterday, but yesterday there only was a private dinner with friends of Victoria’s, Daniel’s and Madeleine’s and heirs to the thrones of Europe. (Mette-Marit was wearing a stunning dress while I wasn’t so fond of Mary of Denmark…)

Today was a full program already, there was a semi-private lunch, a dinner and this evening there is a theatre gala performance (watching that one right now, highly entertaining just for the red carpet).

After Carl Philip almost made his sister fall (and almost got her naked in front of all the world to see as well) at Queen Margrethe’s 70th birthday, there was another round of long dresses today. He didn’t get another chance though, as Daniel was escorting his fiancée today.

Daniel bringing the train of the dress back in order so she can walk up the steps properly. I’m not that fond of the dress (looks like a flokati rug…), but it’s the gesture that counts, right?

I’ve got to say, she’s trained him really well. Actually, if he pulled through yesterday and today, I don’t think she’d ever have to worry about the fact that he’ll get cold feet.

And Carl Philip, who I may remind you has been born a prince and has been his sisters’ escort for the past 30 years…

Look at where his feet are. (Not that fond of Madde’s dress either, but she can wear it.)

(In his defence, he’s a good younger brother, too, look here:

So as I said, I’m watching the gala performance right now (a concert more than theatre), and I’ve seen some of the red carpet of the previous functions today and some of the dinner.

Prince Félix of Luxembourg is wearing his hair longer again, about as long as two or three years ago, which I think suits him better than the buzz cut he had last time anyone got to see him. He almost nodded off in the middle of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s speech, which was somehwta amusing. He sat at one table with Alexia of Greece and Denmark and Charlene Wittstock (Prince Albert’s girlfriend). He also kept slurping his coffee during the speech *slap*. I guess they seated him together with all the people they didn’t know what to do about.

I didn’t see HGD Guillaume until they seated everyone at the theatre (or I might have seen him on a picture from this noon but I’m not exactly sure) and we already thought he was missing. But never fear, he’s there! Sitting next to Princess Mathilde of Belgium, actually, joking around with her. Which is quite reassuring and lovely, as those two better get along (Philippe too, of course).

That said, I have no idea why the Grand Ducal couple brought Felix as well. Not that I mind! I love seeing Félix but… Well it’s weird. Unless Guillaume decides he’s either not taking the throne or there’s too much work going around for three people, he doesn’t really have a reason to attend official events. Now, of course, Luxembourg is a small country but Henri, MT and Guillaume are pulling quite a lot of work by themselves so that’s entirely possible. Guillaume not succeeding? Unlikely.

The seating at the theatre is quite interesting too, especially if you can watch the icy looks Mary of Denmark (who looks naked, almost) and Letitzia of Spain (who is way hot in red) are shooting back and forth (they’re sitting next to one another), while there’s a merry round with the Crown Princely couple of the Netherlands and Norway as well as Prince Albert (of Monaco) and Charlene Wittstock.

Princess Madeleine has her seat behind her parents, next to King Konstantin II of Greece, who just might be trying to sell Philippos to her (even though he really is too young for her), judging by her amused expression. Prince Carl Philip is next to her, behind Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik.

I don’t know where Grand Duke Henri, María Teresa and Félix ended up but they have to be somewhere.

It seems the King and Queens are all grouped together (well, I haven’t seen Henri but I suppose he has to be around somewhere as well), which is quite nice, considering they all get along pretty well.

Edward and Sophie of Wessex *sigh* I guess they both know they shouldn’t be there (I’ve seen Harry and William at the England game btw, as I’m currently splitting my attention between football, the gala performance and this post *g*), and they’re looking not too happy to be stuck where they are. I wish there would have been some other arrangement, as pretty much everyone else is there. The only ones truly missing are some of the Islamic countries, I’d have loved to see Mohammed and Lalla Salma here but well, gotta take Abdullah and Ranie, they’re there.

As is Naruhito of Japan, who is looking somewhat lost at times but gets adopted in turn by the other royal couples, which is quite adorable (especially as Naruhito is about a head smaller than even most of the ladies in attendance…maybe they could put him next to Carl Philip sometime, he’s bound to feel tall at least XD).

Oh they just tried to sell Frederik of Denmark to Vikkan last minute *g*. And Mary is Not Amused. Even lass so as she was called a didgeridoo in front of the whole audience.

Life is good, my dears.

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at the wedding on Swedish and German tv and well as watching footie. I already have my media centre set up for that ^^ Look forward to it.


Royal Lookalikes Sunday, Jun 13 2010 

I was watching the current football (soccer) worldcup with friends the other night, France vs. Uruguay and suddenly sat up straighter “WTF is Andrea doing there?”

Needless to say, of course Andrea was not the one playing there, but it did remind me of several things I wanted to post anyway. So here we go with a lookalike post!

When I first came upon Carl Philip, the Orlando Bloom comparison was veeeery prominent, so we’ll be starting with that:

There’s more, but I thought these were quite enough. And at a casual glance? Sure. After a while it doesn’t get all that obvious anymore but yeah, I can still see it.

But CP isn’t the only one. His future brother-in-law, Daniel Westling, could be the twin of Germany’s Minister of Defence, Karl Theodor Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg (who is, initially, ‘noble’ as far as Germany still recognises that concept, his family was formerly part of the nobility):

It was very amusing when I came upon this one. KT and his wife were at the Olympic Games in the same stands as the Swedish delegation (consisting a.o. of King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia and Prince Carl Philip), they must have thought they were seeing things. Interesting will be who is being sent by Germany as the representative at Vikkan’s wedding, as we don’t currently have a president who can do it, since Horst Köhler quit. Angela Merkel? Guido Westerwelle? Considering Angela was just visited by Mette-Marit and Haakon that might even be an option. Guido? Ah no thanks.

I have refrained from adding Haakon and Guillaume to the list because it#s just the beards that make them look so much alike (and older than they would look without).

Unfortunately, Prince William is starting to look a lot like his uncle Prince Edward. For one, that of course disperses any allegation of whose son he is (if there was every any doubt regarding him), on the other hand, this is quite a rapid progression, considering Edward is 20 years older than William.

See what I mean? Oh Wills, it saddens me ;_; You were so pretty when you were young.

And last but not least, of course, Andrea Casiraghi and Diego Forlán, one of the national players if Uruguay:

If you google for images of Mr. Forlán you will find that he shares Andrea’s predilection for getting undressed in public. I have to admit though, his pecs are more yummy than Andrea’s (nothing against Andrea of course but…I’m trying to be objective here ;-)).

Any other lookalikes I forgot here or simply didn’t think of?

Sweden National Day 2010 Monday, Jun 7 2010 

Yesterday was June 6th, which each year marks the National Day in Sweden. This year was especially special, since it marks the 200th year of the rule of the House of Bernadotte.

And also, Daniel Westling was allowed to participate for the first time in official capacity as the man at Victoria’s side. As Princess Madeleine is still in the US, they were one woman short to accompany Prince Carl Philip, who so far has been tasked with escorting his sisters during official outings.

Mind, CP and Daniel are actually wearing the same tie. Which is one of the few times that CP is wearing an acceptable tie at all.

Now, Sweden conducts its National Day in quite a nice way usually, as they are opening the doors of the Royal Palace of Stockholm to celebrate with the people. With strawberry shortcake *g* There’s usually a show in the evening that the royal family attends as well. I watched the coverage of it for about an hour last night and…well, was amused.

Victoria and Daniel during the show, which involved speeches by King Carl XVI Gustaf (he does the hurra much better than his son btw), the national anthem of course, but also celebration by other artists. Vikkan with her manic grin was delightful.

Now as for her brother *sigh* he’s obviously fallen back into his Antonio Banderas phase and I really, really had hoped he’d grown out of that one a couple of years ago. But no, we’re right back there.

CP with his paternal aunt Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson. I’m not sure who the blonde on his other side is though, maybe another relation, maybe some politician, I really have no idea. Anyone else any more knowledgeable? Anyway, what you can see pretty well here is that he still hasn’t learned to lay off the gel. Actually, it’s even worse than it has been the last few times we saw him in official capacity. *sigh*

I get that he has unruly hair, I do too, but that’s just too much. Really. It’s like he doesn’t only plaster it back, but he starts defining every single strand even. It’s….gah. He lays off the gel (and the razor) during racing weekends, probably since he figured out that gel beneath the helmet and fireproof mask is not doing a lot of good one way or other, but he really needs to do this differently. It wasn’t as bad when he had it shorter, maybe he needs to go back there. I’m loathe to think of what we’ll see in two weeks, elsewise.

History lesson for those of you who have no idea of the Bernadottes:

Sweden was in political turmoil during the late 18th and early 19th century, not only also but also due to the Russo-Swedish War, which finally led to Karl XIII being appointed regent of Sweden and finally being elected as king. Karl XIII was the last reigning King of the House of Holstein-Gottorp, whose Swedish line ended with him. He had married his first cousin Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte (of Holstein-Gottorp) but their two children died in infancy and his illegitimate son could not inherit his throne. As Karl XIII was elderly and in bad health already, people started to look around for an heir, who was to be adopted into the family before the death of the current king to prevent the political turmoil escalating once more.

Eventually the choice fell on Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, a general of Napoleon, who had worked himself from being a commoner to enjoying the trust of the French Emperor. This did not come without a price though, as that was a shaky trust, mostly still intact due to the fact that Desirée Clary, Jean Baptiste’s wife, was the former fiancée of Napoleon, whom she had an ongoing affair with (as is rumoured at least). To illustrate though: General Bernadotte can be seen on the painting depicting Napoleon’s crowning.

After the death of the former Swedish crown prince, Bernadotte was made the offer in 1810 (200 years ago this day) to the Swedish throne. Napoleon, at first, wasn’t in favour but let his general go nonetheless. Jean Baptiste took the name Karl XIV Johan and pretty much reigned from the day of his arrival, as Karl XIII was ailing badly already. Karl XVI Johan became popular rather quickly, as he also had his only son Oscar (who would later become Oscar I) educated in Sweden and in Swedish manner from the beginning. This won him favours with the people and the Barons.

Since then, Swedish Kings and princes have only married foreign princes, never within Sweden’s own nobility (part of the house law), the tradition only broken by Carl XVI Gustaf when he married Silvia Sommerlath from Germany, who he had met during the Olympic Games in 1972. She also was the first commoner to marry a Swedish King.

Which takes us to the present: 200 years of Bernadotte rule in Sweden, when in 1976 people thought the monarchy was dead as the royal family only consisted of two people anymore. Let’s hope for another 200 years.

Queen Margrethe’s 70th Birthday – Nuggets of…Disturbance Saturday, Apr 17 2010 

As Lara put it so aptly a few minutes ago, if we didn’t know you’ll be brothers in law soon (and that Daniel is very much in love with his fiancée), we’d be worried.

(Daniel Westling and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, in case anyone was wondering)

Victoria of Sweden, manic grins and blue podiums Monday, Apr 12 2010 

Even speaking in European standards, Sweden is a highly progressive country (come on, they elected their royal family from [French] commoners!). They also have an evil tax system.

Victoria of Sweden was not born Crown Princess, she only became that when Sweden – against the King’s wishes – abolished male-preference primogeniture shortly after the birth of her brother. Lucky for everyone, because as much as I adore Carl Philip, he’s not head-of-state material.

When it comes to Victoria, there have been tow major incidences in the last twelve, thirteen years.

The first was when she did her long, involuntary slide into anorexia, eventually prompting even H&M to change the sizes in their collections to make them more ‘real’ (i.e. in Sweden you don’t have to buy two sizes bigger than in every other shop). Unfortunately this change didn’t make it to the rest of Europe. Victoria went to University in Yale and was treated successfully in the US.

She herself said: “I felt like an accelerating train, going right down… during the whole period. I had eating disorders and was aware of it, my anguish was enormous. I really hated how I looked like, how I was… I, Victoria, didn’t exist. It felt like everything in my life and around me was controlled by others. The one thing I could control was the food I put in me. What happened cost and I was the one who stood for the payments. Now I’m feeling well and with the insights I’ve acquired through this I can hopefully help someone else.” which is rather insightful, regarding herself but also for those who have not suffered from the condition.

The second incident, if you want to call it that, is the fact that she is going to marry her fitness coach this coming June (Daniel Westling, to be Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland). They have been together for eight or nine years now and it has been a fight for both of them until they were were allowed to admit to it.

This has several reasons though. A morganatic marriage in Sweden is in and by itself possible without loss of title or claim to the throne, Queen Silvia of Sweden is a commoner as well (of German-Brazilian descent). Despite that, in times of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s grandfather, Gustav VI’s this would have resulted in just that, because he thought nobility should always marry within nobility. Carl XVI Gustaf has four sisters, three of them lost any kind of claim to anything, as they married commoners.

However, Daniel Westling, while he did own his very own gym chain, did not have the education, nor the grooming that the King deemed necessary for his daughter’s husband (meanwhile Jonas Bergström, Madeleine’s fiancé, is a successful lawyer).

I have to leave it to Victoria, for all that she probably has her own failings as everyone does, she is incredibly stubborn. The ‘Vicky-chin’ is characteristic, the manic grin when she steps onto the blue podium twice a year even more so. And while she might not love her role as Crown Princess, she has found how to fill it properly and she does it well. Better than a lot of other heirs, one might say.

I think it’s great she didn’t yield where her relationship was concerned and looking at pictures with her and Daniel (who looks like Karl-Theodor von und zu Guttenberg, our defence secretary), you can see that she’s incredibly happy, they both are. And that’s how it’s supposed to be, isn’t it?

The Swedish siblings seem to be very tight with each other, the pictures that show the whole trio are…telling. All three of them have gotten a nice genetic makeup; I’ve looked at their ancestry starting at Karl XIV Johan (Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleons generals) and they’re lucky there is only so much incest in their line. There is some, of course (else they would certainly not be so high up in the line of succession to the British throne), but it’s minimal enough and their mother was a source of fresh blood. Looks and brains, an ideal combination when you’re a royal. Or it should be ;)

Victoria will be a great Queen. And Daniel can join Prince Philip and Prince Henrik for the partner programs (hopefully both of them will be around for a while longer, Philip especially is so much fun).