RECAP: Carl Philip and Sofia charm the world

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip has married his long-term girlfriend Sofia Hellqvist at Stockholm's Royal Palace. The Local was there throughout the day.

RECAP: Carl Philip and Sofia charm the world
Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist. Photo:TT
  • Prince Carl Philip marries Sofia Hellqvist in a warm and sunny Stockholm
  • Sofia becomes Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland
  • Royals from Scandinavia, Belgium, Netherlands and Britain turn out for the service
  • Banquet includes lobster, artichokes and a peach and raspberry tartelette with white chocolate
  • Evening entertainment from superstar Swedish DJ Avicii
00:18 The end of a magical royal day
Well, what a day it has been. Carl Philip was actually born as Crown Prince and heir to the throne – but within seven months of his birth he was demoted to be a mere prince, and never to be king. His elder sister, Victoria, now bears that responsibility, after Sweden's succession rules were changed to give girls an equal right to the throne.
But the fact that Carl Philip will never be king has given him the chance to shape his own life – and for him and his Princess Sofia to shape their own wedding.
Today we've been privileged to share in that day – a day of pomp, ceremony, and genuine human emotion. Which is what royalty, at its best, is there to provide.
We've had great fun writing this blog (despite some technical problems towards the end, which has affected some of the fonts and formatting of this blog – sorry about that).
We hope you've enjoyed reading it anyway. But now it's time to wish you good night. Thanks for staying with us!
00:14 Pictures of the cake cutting
Here is a picture of the cake cutting. The royal couple's final public act before their first dance – and the rest of their life together.
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT
22:53 Sofia's own musical tribute to Carl Philip
Well, this was unexpected – Sofia has stood up to give her own speech.
“I want to do something in my own words to show my love to you, which I'm going to do through my friends. From me to you,” she has said.
She's just introduced a song, performed by Swedish singing star Molly Sandén, accompanied by Danny Saucedo.
The text is along the lines of “Everything I am, everything I have: I'll love you until my final breath and with every beat of my heart.”
Apparently, Sofia wrote the lyrics herself.
22:20 A moving tribute

The Prince has also thanked Sweden for accepting the couple.

“I also want to thank the Swedish people for the support that we’ve received for our love.”

He has told guests how he drove to see Sofia’s father in Mora, where he works at a job centre, to ask for her hand in marriage.

“Proudly I say: you are my role model…. I have a lot left to do in life, a long journey, but I look forward so much to travelling it with you,” he added, gazing at his new wife.

22:17 Prince Carl Philip speaks

The speech that everyone has been waiting for has started, and it is emotional.

“We never chose the tough way – it chose us,” the prince has said.

“You fill my life with love and happiness. Today we prove that love conquers all.”

He has also said: “Sofia – you’ve enriched our family. Your family has received me with equally open arms. I’ve got another family.”

22:01 History lesson

So Prince Carl Philip has married a former model with official Sweden’s full approval and his sister Victoria married her personal trainer. These days, the Bernadottes are the picture of a modern royal family.

But it wasn’t always this way. Until the 1970s, princes were expected to marry other royals. As a result, two of the king’s uncles – Prince Sigvard and Prince Carl Johan – chose love, and gave up their titles to marry commoners. 

A third, Prince Bertil, fell in love with a divorced Welshwoman Lilian Craig – like Sofia, a former model – and waited three decades until the current king came to the throne to get permission to marry her. Permission was granted, she became Princess Lilian – and after her death in 2013 the house she shared with Prince Bertil was left to Prince Carl Philip. He and Sofia are expected to move in there after it has been renovated.

21:42 Fun facts

While we wait for more speeches, here’s some more facts about Sofia Hellqvist.

Älvdalen, the small community where the Hellqvists live, is renowned as the home of an ancient dialect, Elfdalian, spoken by just 2,500 people.

Many linguists consider the dialect to be a separate language from Swedish with strong links to Old Norse, which has led some to describe it as a ‘Viking forest language’. The Local wrote about attempts to revive the language earlier this year. We’re not sure whether Princess Sofia speaks any Elfdalian herself, but enthusiasts are hoping she’ll work to popularise it.

21:17 Speech from the father of the bride
Erik Hellqvist, the bride's father is now giving a speech.
20:42 More speeches…
No, that's not the end of the speeches with two more scheduled tonight.
While normal Swedish weddings can have up to twelve speeches, royal weddings are slightly more regimented. It would be a bit of a faux-pas for a guest to attempt an impromptu speech tonight.
20:35 The wedding banquet menu
As the wedding party tuck into starter number two, here's a look at the food and wine menu to get your mouths watering:
* White asparagus “Princess Sofia” cooked in elderflower juice with roe from Älvdalen, asparagus and chive emulsion
* Langoustine simmered with coriander served with grilled scallop, yuzu dressing, wood sorrel and split peas
* Fried, lightly cured Hjälmaren pike-perch with grilled spring vegetables, caramelised crème fraîche and smoked butter
* Peach and raspberry tartelette with white chocolate, champagne and peach sorbet
* Aperitif – Champagne Diebolt-Vallois Brut Tradition
* Pommery Grand Cru Millésimé 2005 Champagne
* Trimbach Riesling Vieilles Vignes de Prince 2011 Alsace
* Radford Dale “Freedom” 2012 Pinot Noir Elgin
* Château Suduiraut 2002 Sauternes
20:30 Better together
“It’s a true pleasure to see how you bring out the best in each other. Work together and support each other,” the King has advised the new couple.
20:28 A warm welcome for Sofia
“You show genuine concern for other people. You’ve worked as a volunteer and aid worker in several African countries. You’ve built up Project Playground in an impressive way, and you have made important differences for children and young people in Cape Town,” the King has said about his new daughter-in-law Princess Sofia.

20:25 Serving Sweden
Sweden's King is still addressing the room and has praised his son, who suffers from dyslexia.
“As the head of state I want to thank you particularly for the work you do to serve Sweden,” he has said.
“I want to speak about your bravery: it was brave of you to speak about your writing and reading difficulties.”
Click here to read more about the Prince's experiences with dyslexia.

20:23 A day of magic moments
If you're just joining our royal wedding coverage – welcome! Here's a round-up of the day's action so far, from the couple's chapel entry to an Enya soundtrack to a white asparagus banquet starter.
20:21 Praise you
Carl Philip’s military career and his education in graphic design and agriculture are key themes in the King's speech. He is brimming with pride and has managed to raise a few laughs.
“You’ve made your own choices in life. You’ve done it in your own way. You’ve worked hard and been focused, to achieve great results. That makes me happy and proud as your father,” he has said.
20:17 The king's speech
The King has begun the evening's speeches and is already getting emotional.
“It’s a particularly fine feeling to celebrate your love in the Palace in which you, Carl Philip, were born,” he said, addressing his son.
20:08 The dress
While the guests tuck into their food, here's a chance for us to talk about the dress. It was created by Swedish designer Ida Sjöstedt and according to the Royal Palace it was made from silk crepe overlaid with Italian silk organza.
“Couture lace made by José María Ruiz was applied to the dress and the train was hand-cut and then hand-stitched in Ida Sjöstedt's atelier in Stockholm,” the Palace said.
Ida Sjöstedt studied at the University of Westminster in London, graduating in 2000. She’s won several Swedish awards. If you want to get your hands on one of her creations, her work is stocked by boutiques all over Sweden. If you’re in London, Scandinavian Fashions bring her designs to the UK.

Sofia in her wedding dress. Photo: TT

20:07 The look of love
This picture of the royal couple gazing into each other's eyes has just been published by the TT news agency. Beautiful.

Photo: TT
20.05 Mouthwatering moments
Alongside Mathias Dahlgren, top chefs Fredrik Eriksson, Markus Aujalay, Henrik Norström and Mattias Ljungberg also helped to prepare the feast.
Prince Carl Philip is a self-confessed foodie and has been keenly involved in and closely followed Sweden's award-winning chefs and their entries in Swedish and international contests, not least the Swedish Chef of the Year and Bocuse d'Or events.
20:00 The royal couple in pictures
It's photo time. Here's a selection of our favourite snaps from the day and a look back at some of the couple's best moments since they first got together.
19:55 Global gawping
Sweden's royal wedding is continuing to capture global attention. Most of the foreign reporters in Stockholm's international press centre come from Denmark and Germany. But The Local's Maddy Savage has been interviewed by the BBC and we're told Radio France has also been marking the occasion.
19:51 Veggie bites
By the way Princess Sofia is a vegetarian. She and her husband Prince Carl Philip are a fit and healthy couple. They enjoy Nordic skiing and she is a qualified yoga instructor.
19:50 Table manners
Making small talk at weddings isn't always fun, but the guests appear to be enjoying themselves. That white wine we mentioned is called Trimbach Riesling Vieilles Vignes de Prince, and it was made in 2011 in Alsace. The tablecloths the banquet is being laid out on? Made in Lille in France back in 1881.
19:42 The starters come out
The guests are eating white asparagus with elderflowers and are set to tuck into a lobster dish after this. he asparagus is ooked in elderflower juice with roe from Älvdalen in central Sweden, where the new princess is from. Most of the guests seem to be sipping on white wine.
19:38 A toast
The King has taken to the microphone to welcome the guests and has asked them to toast to the newlyweds. The tables are covered in multi coloured rose garlands and shiny candelabras.
19:34 Dinner is served
The guests are preparing to a tuck into a dinner prepared by Sweden's only chef with three Michelin stars, Matias Dahlgren. After the lavish banquet, Swedish DJ Avicii and duo Icona Pop are set to perform for the royals. The whole evening is being broadcast on Swedish public television network SVT.
18:48 The highlights so far
What to choose out of such a day full of warmth, pomp and ceremony? Here are our favourite bits so far:
  • The unconventional church service. How many other royal brides enter the church to Enya and exit to the sound of gospel music, while the crowned heads of Europe swing their hips?
  • Stockholm came to life. We saw it Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine's weddings – and we saw it again today – what place could be a better backdrop for a carriage procession than the Swedish capital's magnificent harbour?
  • Carl Philip's speech to the crowds: the Swedish royals know how to be down to earth, and Carl Philip charmed the socks off the crowd. “Sweden is a warm country,” he told them.
  • The ever-adorable Princess Estelle as Sweden's cutest bridesmaid.
Stand by, though, there's much more to come this evening.
See the couple's exit from the church here:
18:28 The throngs disperse
Crowds are quickly dispersing from the royal palace now. Many spent hours waiting for a glimpse of the new royal couple and say they are sad it is all over.
“I'm not a royalist,” said Malin, 28, from Solna. “But it's been a lovely day and after all that waiting it all seemed to be over in a flash!”

Photo: The Local
18:22 Monarchy still popular in Sweden
So, what future for the monarchy of which Princess Sofia is the latest member?
Royal popularity has had its ups and downs in Sweden over the past few years, but the most recent major poll shows just 22 percent of people want to abolish it, while 54 percent want to keep it. That's a 32 percent lead for the monarchists. 24 percent said they didn’t have a view on the issue.
That poll (for the SOM Institute), was carried out back in 2012, so it would be interesting to see more recent data.
18:20 'We came especially for the wedding'
Joanna, 37 from Berlin (left) and Svantje, 35 from Hamburg:
“We are here on holiday especially for the royal wedding,” said Joanna.

Photo: The Local
“It exceeded our expectations with the weather but we were disappointed not to see so many royals on the red carpet as we got right to the front,” said Joanna.
Svantje added: “We absolutely loved her dress, she looked amazing. Good for them!”
“There were a lot of people but we felt safe”

18:18 “You could feel the emotion”
Antonio, 22 from Venezuela (centre) who is studying in Stockholm, said:
“It was really amazing! Sweden is different from where I am from. We don't have a monarchy. It's a bit elite but it's so nice they come and share their happiness with the people. You could feel the emotion.”

Photo: The Local

18:14 A lovely picture of the kiss
Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
17:57 Much more of the wedding still to go!

Extraordinarily, Swedish television will be broadcasting the festivities throughout the evening. Much of the evening's wedding banquet – including the speeches, will be broadcast to the nation.

They'll be sitting down to dinner at 7:30pm and cutting the cake at 10:30pm – all in the glare of the TV cameras.

17:55 There's dancing in the streets

“The band is now playing I love you baby and there are quite a few people dancing in the crowd,” adds Maddy Savage, who is still outside the Royal Palace.

17:51 Cannons fire around Stockholm's harbour

“The crowd seemed to love Prince Carl Philip's short speech,” says The Local's Maddy Savage.

“And the king got a huge cheer as he emerged too.”

Photo: The Local

The King has led the crowd in a traditional Swedish 'four cheers' for the couple.

Photo: The Local

17:50 Carl Philip speaks from the balcony

“Dear Friends, Let me present my dear wife, Princess Sofia. With humility, let me thank you for coming to share our happiness.

“One of the most important and most beautiful memories that we will take with us is that so many of you wanted to come and celebrate love and show that Sweden is a warm country – a country with a lot of love.”

17:46 This is what the couple looks like in the carriage

Photo: Mikael Fritzon

17:43 The booze is already flowing for the wedding guests

“The guests appear to be sipping on champagne with a few pointing and waving at the crowds and media from the royal palace balcony,” says Maddy Savage.

17:40 “At least the royal guard has some diversity”

Bruna, 26, from Brazil is studying Swedish in Stockholm. She said she only found out about the wedding a few days ago. But she was keen to show her support for the Royal family.

“Queen Silvia was actually brought up in the same neighborhood as me in Moema in Sao Paolo. So the family is quite well known there.”
Lize-Marié, 30, from South Africa told The Local:

“I came to town today to see what it is all about, this royal frenzy. Quite the spectacle. I find it very quaint and old fashioned. It is kind of hard to believe Sweden still has a monarchy. At least the royal guard seems have a little diversity. That counts for something I suppose.”

Photo: The Local
17:39 Big crowds outside the Palace

When people tell you that Swedes aren't that interested in the royal wedding, remember this picture:

Photo: The Local

17:34 Princess Sofia – a bit like the Duchess of Cambridge?

Chris 19, and Sarah, 24, who are both on an exchange programme from the U.S, are hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple outside the Royal Palace. Both are fans of Swedish royalty.

Photo: The Local
“I wish we had royalty ourselves in the US,” Says Sarah who says she has postcards from previous Swedish Royal marriages.
“I guess Sofia is a bit like Kate Middleton in the way she doesn't traditionally fit the role. It will be interesting to see how she steps up to it.”
17:33 Maddy Savage is feeling the crush

“The crowds are growing thick and fast. Starting to understand why the media have been penned off from the spectators. It's very rare to see so many people squashed into one place in Stockholm” she says.

17:32 The view from Maddy's vantage point

17:31 Crowds wait impatiently

Watching this from the press centre, we can see the royal couple parading through Stockholm in their carriage, but from Maddy Savage's vantage point there's no sign of them:

“There are thousands of people here, many with their camera phones poised in the air waiting for the moment Prince Carl Philip comes out of the palace with his new wife,” she says.

17:28 Meanwhile, in the press pen

“The photographers here in the press pen are working hard – the sound of snapping is going on all around me”, says Maddy Savage.

17:27 The crowds seem to be in the right mood

17:23 Carriage procession gets underway

“Crowds are cheering outside royal palace as guests emerge,” says Maddy Savage, outside the palace.

“Dozens of bright blue soldiers on horseback are now making their way past the palace

17:19 Sweden's new princess steps into her carriage

Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland, gets her first taste of life as a member of European royalty as she steps into her carriage for a procession around the streets of Stockholm.

17:18 Meanwhile, among the hoi-polloi

17: 14 The couple leave the church to the strains of some very upbeat gospel music

This must be a royal wedding first. The song, Joyful, Joyful, is apparently based on Beethoven. But I'm pretty sure Beethoven never got the crowned heads of Europe rattling their jewellery like this.

17:12 And here she is, looking adorable

As, indeed, they all do – don't you think?

Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

17:03 Princess Estelle a very cute bridesmaid

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel's daughter Estelle makes for a very cute bridesmaid. She's joined by Chloé and Anais Sommerlath, great nieces to Queen Silvia, and Tiara Larsson. The older bridesmaids are Frida Vesterberg and Sofia's sisters Lina and Sara Hellqvist.

17:03 Sermon focuses on what makes a happy home

Lars-Göran Lönnermark talks about how our homes can be like a depot, “where you refill, turn around and move on. But your home should also be a depot where you can breathe.”

You both want to do good, not least for young people. You’ve already won your big prize in your ‘Ja’ to each other.

Let your home be a relaxed playground. A source of energy that will help you focus on the things you burn for.

16:53 Coldplay's Fix You is being performed by Swedish star Salem al-Fakir

This wedding certainly feels personal and unstuffy. Very much in character for the Swedish royal family. If you imagine away the tiaras (and the TV cameras), you could almost be at any friend's wedding.

16:51 We're getting some pics through from inside the church now – here's the happy couple at the altar:


Photo: TT

16:48 The customary struggle to get the ring on

Carl-Philip made heavy weather of the ring business. There was a fair amount of pushing and shoving there.

16:45 They've said yes!

A loud, rining 'Ja' from Carl Philip. A certain, steady yes from his wife-to-be.

16:45 Crown Princess Victoria reads

The First Letter to the Corinthians.

16:42 The wedding is being led by Lars-Göran Lönnermark and Michael Bjerkhagen

Lönnermark is the main royal chaplain, Bjerkhagen is also a royal chaplain.

16:39 The service takes a more traditional turn with hymn Guds kärlek är som stranden

The couple said in their pre-wedding interview on SVT yesterday that they wanted to set their mark on the wedding, despite the royal ceremony. “We wanted to make it our day,” Carl Phlip said.

16:37 Sofia enters to Enya

This must be the first royal bride to enter to the sound of Enya. Instead of 'Here Comes the Bride', we have an arrangement of Athair ar Neamh by the Irish singer-songwriter.
16:35 Sofia Hellqvist enters the church on the arm of her father

Wearing a beautiful long white dress. Rather unconventional music. Sounds a bit like a film soundtrack.

16:32 A heavily pregnant Princess Madeleine waits in the church

Photo: TT

Prince Daniel, Princess Madeleine, her husband Chris O'Neill (we assume, holding their daughter Princess Leonore), and Queen Margrethe of Denmark, await the bride.

16:30 This was the King and Queen entering the church a few moments ago

Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

16:25 There he is – Carl Philip emerges

Carl Philip is walking into the church with his best man Jan-Åke Hansson. It's looking hot in that church.

16:20 Close families entering church – not long now!

Sofia's mother, Marie Hellqvist, looks lovely in a blue creation. She's a keen motorcyclist and a former local councillor for the Liberal Party.

Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustaf have also walked across. The Queen in a stunning tiara, the King in his customary naval uniform.

16:18 Prince Joakim of Denmark is wearing a very jaunty hat

He is seen here with wife Princess Marie.

Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

16:15 Britain is represented by Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex

The commentator from news agency TT noted with a sniff that Britain “isn't sending any of its better known representatives to this wedding.” It does however happen to be the British Queen's official birthday today.

Prince Edward is Queen Elizabeth II's third son. He and wife Sophie were also at Crown Princess Victoria's wedding.

16:14 Foreign royals arriving

We've just seen Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Mette-Marit arrive, followed by Crown Prince Fredrik of Denmark with Australian-born wife Mary. We're getting closer.

16:08 VIP guests starting to arrive

The guests are starting to get a bit more high-profile. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has just arrived at the church, with wife Ulla.

The royal guest list is one of the few places in modern Swedish in which you see people listed by their professional titles. As Ulla Löfven is a former assistant at Social Democrat HQ, she's listed as 'Assistant Ulla Löfven' on the guest list.

16:04 Royal regalia in place in church

Swedish kings don't actually wear crowns these days (not since the early twentieth century, in fact), but they still bring them out the attic on special occasions – and put them on a cushion close to the action. Here's Karl XIII's beautiful crown, placed near the altar.

Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

15:58 Marching bands keep expectant crowds entertained

15:54 German press going big on the Swedish royal wedding

The royal wedding's press centre has a distinctly German accent, with dozens of German journalists in Stockholm to cover the wedding. Indeed, German interest in the Swedish royals often seems insatiable.

Parsifal von Pallandt, who covers royal affairs for German press agencies, tells The Local the Swedish royals are extremely popular in Germany.

“We have no monarchy, and Sweden has a half-German Queen, so since 1976 Germans have followed Silvia and Carl Gustaf. They’re part of our glamour life. Our Prussian royals aren’t interesting any longer!”

It hasn’t all be plain sailing, though – the Swedish royals have sued the German press a lot, Parsifal von Pallandt reminds us.

15:48 German tourists waiting for a glimpse of the couple


15:40 Guests head into church

The guests are on their way from the palace the few metres to the Palace Church. Here's Peter Wallenberg – scion of Sweden's most powerful business dynasty – and partner on the red carpet a few moments ago.


3:29 High security ahead of the wedding

3:18 Journalists from around Europe gather to cover the wedding

3:10 Crowds wait in sun for festivities to begin

It's a beautiful 23 degrees out there – a nice day for a white wedding, as they say.


2:50 pm Stockholmers shrug off Sofia's controversial past

When Carl Philip started dating Sofia Hellqvist, it raised a few eyebrows. Her early career was as a reality TV star (she appeared in Big Brother-style series Paradise Hotel); she also did a scantily-clad photo spread in Slitz magazine (she was wearing nothing but a – presumably startled – python).

But the fair-minded Stockholmers we spoke to couldn't give a damn about her past.

Stockholm-based Swedish student Fredrik, 24, told Sophie Inge outside the Palace the idea of a prince marrying a reality TV star didn't phase him, he admitted some aspects of Hellqvist's background were a bit “scandalous”.
He said the Royal family in Sweden are hard to dislike but that his favourite Royal was Victoria.
“She takes her duties a bit more seriously than the others.”

Hear more thoughts from Stockholmers:

2:40pm Welcome to The Local's live coverage of the royal wedding

The day has arrived for Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip to make Sofia Hellqvist his princess. It will be the last major royal wedding in Sweden for a generation – so The Local is determined to make the most of it.

The lovely thing about royal weddings is that on one level they’re like every other wedding, with a young couple declaring their love for each other in front of friends and family. It just so happens that Prince Carl Philip’s friends and family include five queens, a king and dozens of princes and princesses.

It will be a day of pomp and ceremony – we will have carriage processions, tiaras and the occasional trumpeter. We’ll be lapping it up, and talking you through the best bits.

Our reporters on the scene will be Maddy Savage, is outside the palace, and Sophie Inge, who'll be taking the temperature of the crowds on this glorious summer day in Stockholm. You can follow them on twitter at @maddysavage and @sophie_inge

If you want to get in the mood, here's our guide to what to expect.



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