After two years off, this year’s banquet, held as usual at Stockholm City Hall, is an even bigger event than normal with the winners of three years’ worth of Nobel prizes all invited to attend, together with the great and good of Swedish society.
The Swedish royal family were, as usual, prominent, with Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Phillip and Princess Sofia, all seated next to the most honoured guests. Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O’Neill did not come this year.
Crown Princess Victoria was seated between Sweden’s own Nobel Prize winner, Svante Pääbo, who won this year’s medicine prize, and Alain Aspect, who won this year’s physics prize.
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Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson was seated next to Emmanuelle Charpentier, who won the chemistry prize in 2020.
Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch, known for her fashion sense, arrived in a lacy dress which got considerable attention on social media, although the Expressen newspaper rated the dresses worn by Crown Princess Victoria, and even Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson more highly.
With the banquet coinciding with the World Cup match between England and France, UK ambassador Judith Gough and French ambassador Etienne de Gonneville, who were seated next to one another, engaged in some light-hearted banter on Twitter.
We’re both still smiling, but the (evening) gloves will come off later! A fantastic honour to attend the #Nobel banquet this evening with my French colleague. But clearly our minds will be in two places…. 🏴 🇫🇷 #WorldCup2022 https://t.co/UUYC6Wyyf0
— Judith Gough (@JudithMGough) December 10, 2022
What was for dinner?
This year’s Nobel banquet chef Jimmi Eriksson prepared a sumptuous feast which was served by no fewer than 190 serving personnel, of which 45 were devoted to serving drinks in glasses worth 900 kronor each.
The starter was zander (a type of fish) baked with seaweed, served together with tomatoes filled with a version of the popular pickled fish dish gravadlax made with zander instead of salmon. This was served with swede.
The main course
Swedish deer stuffed with morel mushrooms and sage, served with golden beet, artichoke hearts and a thyme emulsion, with a potato terrine and a gravy flavoured with star anise.
Baked cheesecake with plum compote flavoured with aniseed, plum cream, meringue, oat crisp and ginger sorbet.
What’s the schedule?
4pm – 5.30pm: prizes are awarded in the concert hall
7pm – 11.30pm: the Nobel banquet
What were the details the Swedish media picked up on?
Andreas Norlén, the speaker of Sweden’s parliament, was at one point left with no one to talk to, as the two people seated next to him, literature prize winner Annie Ernaux and Princess Sofia, were engaged in intense conversations with their other neighbour.
Green Party leader Märta Stenevi and Centre Party leader Annie Lööf both made a point of wearing second-hand ball gowns.
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The Nobel Foundation’s decision to continue its tradition of not inviting the leader of the Sweden Democrat party, Jimmie Åkesson, generated commentary on Twitter throughout the evening.
After the banquet, came the dance.