Wednesday, July 14, 2010

History and Traditions

Few public events measure up to a royal wedding in terms of their splendour. During the festivities, ancient traditions are interwoven with modern royal ceremonies. This happy family event is also a public celebration.

Gustav Vasa

Even Gustav Vasa knew how to put on a show. He decided that the Archbishop should officiate at his wedding, a tradition that will be respected at the Crown Princess' wedding.


Gustav Vasa and his bride, Katarina of Sachsen-Lauenburg, rode in procession from the palace to the church. They processed under canopies, which were carried above their heads. The arrival of the royal procession was announced with drums and a flourish of trumpets. The last bridal couple to use the velvet canopies on their way to Stockholm Cathedral from the Royal Palace was Crown Prince Karl (XV) and Princess Lovisa of the Netherlands in 1850.

Ceremonies that have been preserved

Several ceremonies have been preserved from those times, including page attendants, parading royal bodyguards and grenadier guards. As has the ritual of placing Royal crowns, the principal symbols of the country and the monarch as Head of State, on the velvet cushion at the altar.

The first Bernadotte wedding

Karl XIV Johan became heavily involved in the wedding between his son Crown Prince Oscar (I) and Princess Josefina in 1823. He abandoned several of the oldest ceremonies, including the ancient tradition in which the women guests undress the bride and lead her to the bridal bed. He also put an end to the public supper, the torchlight dance and tournament.
Kronprinsparet Gustaf (VI) Adolf och Louise ankomst till Stockholm 10 december1923. Foto: Erik Holmén.

The arrival of the Crown Prince Couple Gustaf VI Adolf and Louise in Stockholm on 10 December 1923. Photo: Erik Holmén.
Royal procession becomes cortège

The royal processions to the church have today been replaced by a cortège through Stockholm following the wedding ceremony. The bridal couple is taken in a parade barouche drawn by four or six horses à la Daumont (jockey rider on the left hand side horses).

19 June

Traditions that have been added over time include the choice of the wedding date, 19 June. Crown Princess Victoria shares the date of her wedding in 2010 with Queen Josefina in 1823, Queen Lovisa in 1850 and Queen Silvia in 1976.

Princess Sophie of Nassau (Queen Sofia) entered Stockholm on 19 June 1857 following her marriage with Crown Prince Oscar (II) in Wiesbaden.

Cameo tiara

Queen Josefina brought with her a precious collection of jewels to Sweden in 1823. When our current King's sister, Princess Birgitta, chose Queen Josefina's cameo tiara as her bridal crown for her wedding with Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern in 1961, she started a new tradition among the Bernadotte brides. Since her wedding, the cameo tiara has been worn by Princess Désirée in 1964 and Queen Silvia in 1976.

Live broadcast

The first time a royal wedding was filmed was in 1923, when Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) and the Duke of York (George VI), were married in England. In Sweden, live coverage is now a natural element of royal weddings since the royal wedding in 1976.

Floral Decorations

Floral wedding

Stockholm will wake up to a floral extravaganza on Saturday 19 June!

The floral decorations that frame the royal wedding link royal traditions with popular wedding customs. The idea has been for the wedding's floral expression to capture and reflect the surrounding architecture. The dazzling decoration of the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, Skeppsholmen, Logården and Lejonbacken has been inspired by Swedish early summer flowers.

Midsummer light

The colour scheme of the decorations has been chosen to capture the clear Nordic Midsummer light. Pink roses, peonies, sweet peas, lilac and hydrangeas, together with lilies of the valley and gypsophila are interspersed with delphiniums in shades of blue and white. There are Swedish wild flowers from Ockelbo and majestic rhododendrons from Sofiero Palace.

Stockholm Cathedral

A pale blue carpet leads from the Royal Palace to Stockholm Cathedral. The carpet covers the pavements of Trångsund and the aisle in the cathedral.

The stone plinths on the steps up to the cathedral are decorated with wrought iron obelisks covered with birch leaves. The obelisks are flanked by flower beds of lobelia in shades of light blue.

Six-metre high floral columns

Stockholm Cathedral's brick pillars are covered with six-metre high floral columns. Blue and white delphiniums reach for the cathedral vaults. The same height effect is followed at the end of each pew. Flowers here are entwined in varying fields of colour to create an asymmetrical colour effect.

The steps in front of the altar have been extended and the steps at the sides are decorated to look like beds of pink summer flowers. There are pink sweet peas on the altar. The sides and corners of the altar rails are adorned with high cones of blue delphiniums.

Skeppsbron - seven-metre high triumphal arch of birch leaves

At Logårdstrappan, on their arrival by the Royal Barge Vasaorden from the Vasa Museum to Skeppsbron, the Bridal Couple will be greeted by a seven-metre high triumphal arch of birch.

Stockholm Cathedral's organ inspiration for shape of triumphal arch

The custom of raising triumphal arches like this one is a long and popular tradition at Swedish weddings. The triumphal arch also has its roots in the temporary structures that were used on special royal occasions such as coronations and weddings. The shape of the triumphal arch is based on the façade of the organ in Stockholm Cathedral.

Skeppsbron - green meadows and pink flower beds

Skeppsbron has been transformed into rolling green meadows and gourd-shaped beds in pale shades of pink, blue, white and yellow.

The blue carpet continues towards the steps at Logården. On the parapets there are twenty blue monogrammed urns filled with floral spheres, made up of pale blue bluebells and campanula.

Royal broadcloth featuring Crown Princess Couple's monogram

A new royal broadcloth is hanging over the parapet at Yttre Logårdstrappan, embroidered with The Crown Princess Couple's monogram. The broadcloth will be rolled down so that it is visible to the crowd at Skeppsbron when the Bride and Groom have exchanged their vows.


Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel will walk via the Inner Courtyard to the Swedish Choral Society's and the general public's choral tribute at Lejonbacken. A royal coverlet of blue velvet embroidered with gold crowns hangs from the stone parapet. The parapet is flanked by beds of summer flowers.

The floral arrangements have been created by the Royal Court's florist Claes Carlsson. A team of some 60 volunteers from Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark put the finishing touches to the decorations the evening before the wedding day.

The speech of the Archbishop

To live a good life, you must be allowed to take responsibility, to have an influence.

We wish each of us the possibility of making our way through life successfully and of having control over our lives.
Your situation, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel (we can now use this title for the first time), is both shared and unique. You'll be taking on tasks that you won't be able to turn down — but that you can influence. One of you has had many years to prepare for and live this life — and one of you only a few. You won't have complete control over your lives — but you will successfully make your way through life if you keep your focus on people other than yourselves, on wider contexts, on society, on family and on the future. "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

We wish each of us the possibility of being needed and useful.
There are several stages of usefulness. Each individual needs to think several steps ahead. What will be the consequences of this choice or that choice? What am I capable of — and what should I do even though I wonder whether I can actually do it? None of us is indispensable, not even a crown princess or a prince. But we are still needed. We can all be called into question, not least if we are public figures. Criticism costs nothing, not even when it's spiteful. But we all still need to try to make a positive contribution using our talents.

Your usefulness in major contexts will perhaps be clearest when you can stand up for important values that are under threat, such as gratitude, a sense of belonging during crises and losses, hopefulness in troubled times, and indignation about and commitment to combating breaches of human rights. Your significance to loyalty and fellowship in society, with free scope for true, vital democracy and debate, may be great.

At the same time, you can easily be reduced to people who add sparkle to an event, or to lowest common denominators. A great deal may be expected of you that fundamentally does not seem that important to you. May you in such cases be able to maintain your curiosity and enthusiasm!

So, you are now husband and wife. Privately, you have set up a 'refuge' that has now been confirmed as publicly as is possible. Through marriage, a bridge is forged between the most personal side of your lives and the public side. "Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." We who all over world are following your wedding are responsible for helping you with this. We have prayed for you, we will carry on praying for you and thinking of you, and will help you to stay together — in the same way as we have done at all other weddings we have been to, and will attend in the future!

Within the family, space can be made for openness and reciprocity that could never be accommodated in public life, with its pressure to perform. Within the family you have each other, because you love each other and want this sense of belonging together to form a reliable and steadfast foundation for your lives. You do not need to prove anything to each other — but you do need to focus on each other. "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."

We wish each of us the possibility of being carried and of accepting help.
Independence, self-determination and freedom are important concepts. Nobody should need to crawl; nobody should need to be subservient. Feeling that you´re in someone's debt is difficult.

Being the underdog means being on shaky ground if you cannot trust the other person. In society at large and in public life, this is often the reality. In a close relationship, when everything works out as we wish, things are different. Mutual, secure, loving dependence on the other person gives us a sense of well-being. This is what the two of you are experiencing. May your refuge remain free and protected, but still welcoming for those you hold dearest!

And a lifetime can be long. A strong person can become weak, and a person born weak can become strong. This is something you will have to deal with in your family. A person who feels secure has the courage to be carried!

In a close and trusting relationship, you can pray together and individually. Use this power!

"... love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." God manifests Himself through love. And, according to our faith, he also manifests Himself to those who do not believe they know God!

We wish each of us the possibility of getting a second chance when we fall short.
I do not believe that anyone lives up to what he or she would ideally like to live up to. We all have our shortcomings. The excellent ethical principles of loving your neighbour as yourself and doing to others what you would have them do to you are beautiful, but they´re difficult. Sometimes, when you look at all your shortcomings, the self-contempt becomes overwhelming.

You are now married. You have come so close to each other that you know that your love is mutual and that you have the capacity to forgive each other. This means that your love for each other can also accommodate failure and weakness!

You have not done anything to deserve life. Nobody has. It is given to us. The air, the existence of the universe and relative equilibrium, memories and hopes. It is given to us by God, who wants good things for us. The God of Love. Through what Jesus did for us, we know that God forgives and believes that we deserve to live and get another chance, even though we fall short!

We wish each of us the possibility of making our way through life successfully and of having control over our lives. We wish each of us the possibility of being needed and useful. We wish each of us the possibility of being carried and of accepting help. We wish each of us the possibility of getting a second chance when we fall short. We wish the two of you all this!

"I pray that [the Father] out of his glorious riches ... may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Stand firm and be constantly rooted in him."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fullscreen Stockholm Palace

This is a great photo that you can zoom every detail of the Palace during the Royal Wedding.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are on their honeymoon at Bora Bora.