Princess Victoria’s wedding – King Carl XVI Gustaf Sunday, Jun 20 2010 

Escorting Eva Westling here, Prince Daniel’s mother.

CG is mostly interesting as he is wearing multiple orders here.

Around his neck on the yellow and with the blue edges is the Order of the Sword, the military order.

The first collar (the short one) is the Order of Vasa, the lowest of the Swedish orders. Officially both the Order of Vasa and the Order of the Sword are dormant and only CG still wears them. Remember that Sweden is a military neutral country.

The long collar is the same that Carl Philip and other senior members of the royal households are wearing, the Collar of the Order of the Seraphim, you can see it better in the Carl Philip post below.

Further, he is wearing the grand star of the Order of the Seraphim as well as the grand star of the Order of the Polar Star (the second highest order to be given in to members of a learned profession, it is an order of merit and also an order conferred to junior royals, you’ll see the sash and the badge on quite a few princesses and princes ion the next few days as I get around to posting).

CG delivered a wonderful speech during the banquet. I don’t think anyone still wonders if the King actually approves of the match.


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.

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.