My Swedish Royal Wedding Adventure: Pt. I

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 10.58.50When I moved back to Germany last October, I made a vow (pun intended) to myself that I would make it to a royal wedding, and lucky for me a longtime blog friend who lives in Stockholm kindly offered to host me. So, back in January I submitted my vacation requests for the summer‚ÄĒshoutout to Germany’s generous allotment of vacation days, 28 for me per year! My coworkers laughed it off, they couldn’t believe i was literally going to Stockholm to see the Swedish wedding.

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Side note: Hey to all my coworkers reading this right now. ūüėČ So glad that this little blog made its rounds through the office mail (HA!) I’m only a little bit embarrassed, except not in the least.

Two months ago I bought my tickets to Sweden and that was that.

I arrived in Sweden last Thursday and immediately fell in love with everything. And then I met my longtime blog friend and she gifted me the plates shown above. I screamed with joy.

These plates are a big deal to me on so many levels, first of which, HELLO, ROYAL MEMORABILIA. Secondly, I just moved into my very own first-all-mine apartment and have approximately no things. These plates are my first grown-up-household-gift. And lastly, I’m so flattered that my friend would bestow them to me, I’ll have them forever, and forever be thankful for her kind gesture.

So after I came down (actually, I’ll probably never fully recover) from my initial Sweden high, I had a lot of preparing to do for the wedding. And by that I mean I had to figure out where to go and how to get there and the best place to stand. Which really only took 20 minutes of research in reality. But let’s pretend like I had a room with pictures and articles posted all over the walls with strings connecting them all like I made this into a proper operation. (Or maybe not, because that image sounds a bit too real and a bit like I’m a nutcase.)

Really I was bumming wifi off the neighborhood coffee shop trying to sift through Swedish news sites for any info.¬†But that’s neither here, nor there…

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Royal Wedding Wednesday: Prince Daniel’s Wedding Speech to Crown Princess Victoria

Prince Daniel's speechI get teary-eyed every time I see pictures from the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria to Daniel. She radiates happiness in such a way that you can’t not feel a sense of giddiness from her glee. And you can so see how much he simply adores her.

His speech is just one example of this:

“The Princess of my heart…” cue the waterworks.

I think they are such a lovely, regal couple. Sweden is no doubt in good hands with these two!

The Top 5 Royal Wedding Looks: Flower Girls and Pageboys

5. The wedding of Crown Princess Victoria to Daniel Westling

Royal Flower Girls and Page BoysI’m not a fan of the flower girls’ dresses, however, the pageboy outfits make up for it in their cuteness. Plus, having the future Queens of Norway, and Belgium, plus the future King of Denmark makes this group extra darling.

4. The wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg to St√©phanie de Lannoy’s

Royal Flower Girls and Page BoysThe colors, though a nice tribute to their country, were a tad too much for such an occasion…however, the literal cut of the dresses and suits were perfection. Had the colors been used more as accents, not the entire outfit, this group would have won by a landslide.

3. The wedding of Princess Madeleine to Chris O’Neill

Royal Flower Girls and Page BoysThe color palette was phenomenal. I love the use of white for the dresses, and how they don’t look too ‘bride-y’ — if you will. The flower girl dresses, plus their frilly socks and shoes, and tiny bouquets are precious. However, I think the older flower girl’s dress could have a been a bit longer. The pageboys’ outfits are sweet, but just seemed a bit unfinished… I can’t quite put my finger on it, though.

2. The wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton

Royal Flower Girls and Page BoysThis was a tough call. I loved these outfits so much, and thought the kids added so much personality to the wedding, but they lacked in uniqueness. The Spanish royal wedding oozed of cultural influence, and while the British royal wedding had the pageboys uniforms, the little flower girl dresses were… predictable. But, that doesn’t mean they weren’t absolutely darling.

1. The wedding of Prince Felipe of Spain to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano

Royal Flower Girls and Page Boys

Royal Flower Girls and Page Boys The colors. The sashes. The ode to the country and its culture. The buckles on the shoes. The frills. THIS is how you do a royal wedding.

Bonus: The wedding of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer

Royal Flower Girls and Page BoysIn terms of candid royal wedding photos of all time, this is in my top three. But this is about the flower girls and pageboys… I love these dresses. They complemented Diana’s dress wonderfully. I think, however, the material looks a little too much like knit sheets, and I am not a huge fan of the flower crowns. The little shoes are so sweet and classic, though.

Royal Wedding Wednesday: Queen Margrethe II to Prince Henrik de Laborde de Monpezat

Queen Margrethe II wedding to Henrik

Queen Margrethe II wedding to Henrik

A Danish Princess in London

Princess Margrethe was studying in London at the London School of Economics in 1965 when she met her someday Prince, French Diplomat, Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat. (After their marriage, ‘Henri’ was changed to the Danish version of the name ‘Henrik.’) The pair met at a dinner, however, it is rumored that the Count had hesitations about the dinner after finding out HRH would be in attendance, fearing she would be boring… But for some reason or another, the Count did attend the dinner and was pleasantly surprised to find the Princess not a bore.

Princess Margrethe of Denmark with Count Henri

A few weeks after their first meeting, of which the (now) Queen has no special recollections, they chatted quite a bit at a wedding they were guests of and slowly began to hit it off. They were able to keep the relationship and subsequent engagement low profile while the Princess was not well-known in Britain, and the Danes were unknowing of the affair.

The Engagement

On October 5, 1966, King Frederik IX asked the State Council for the consent of his daughter’s marriage to the Count. The country of Denmark celebrated the announcement, and the Princess and her husband-to-be waved eagerly from the balcony of Amalienborg Palace.

Queen Margrethe II wedding to Henrik

The King is reported as having said to his daughter after the engagement on Henri:

“He came, he saw, and you conquered.”

Queen Margrethe II wedding to Henrik

The Pre-Wedding Festivities

Though the ‘official’ celebrations aren’t said to have begun until May 30, 1967, the events surrounding the wedding began on the 25th when the Count arrived from France. A Royal Family reception was held and pupils from a school performed. However, it wasn’t until the Count’s family arrived on the 30th when the party truly began, firstly with a Gala Banquet for the Diplomatic Corps.

Diplomatic Corp Gala

The next day, the Royal couple attended a special performance by the Royal Theatre of Copenhagen in honor of the marriage. The King and Queen lent the Royal box to the pair, and the rest of the seats were sold as though it were a normal performance.Royal Theatre Performance

The 1st of June was spent preparing for the big day. In the evening the Government and Parliament Banquet was held at Christiansborg Palace.

It was on June 3rd that the Princess’s sister, Princess¬†Benedikte, celebrated her own engagement with her family. June 5th, the Danish National Day, brought with it a cloud of somberness while conflict¬†broke out in the Middle East. The Royal Council gathered in discussion of what to do and decided that life goes on, and they should continue with the Royal festivities. They went ahead with the gala at Fredensborg on the 6th.

June 7th the Princess and the Count attended the French Embassy’s Gala Banquet, followed by a reception and ball.

French Embassy Gala and Ball

The Princess’s grandfather, the King of Sweden, arrived on June 8th, and an informal dinner was held for all the incoming guests to meet and mingle at Fredensborg Palace.

June 9th brought with it reduced tensions in the Middle East, as well as a reception for the Royal couple at Copenhagen City Hall.

Copenhagen Town Hall Reception

The Wedding

On June 10, 1967, Royals from all over Europe were in Copenhagen to attend the marriage of Princess Margrethe to Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat at Holmens Kirke. 

Princess Margrethe's Wedding

The Princess’s dress was designed by Danish designer–favorite of Queen Ingrid and courtier–J√łrgen Bender. The dress was designed to include both traditionally regal details, as well as having details that showed the Princess’s love of art and her creativity.¬†
Princess Margrethe's Wedding

Along with the gowns elegant square neckline, beautiful silk fabric, and long, 15-foot train, and lace passed down from the Princess’s grandmother, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, the gown¬†featured a daisy brooch.

In the center of the lace, she pinned a special family brooch. The diamond daisy brooch was commissioned by Ingrid’s father from diamonds belonging to Crown Princess Margaret, and was a wedding gift for Ingrid (she wore it on her wedding day too). “Daisy” is the affectionate family nickname of both Crown Princess Margaret and Queen Margrethe herself, making it an extra precious symbol. She also carried daisies in her bouquet that day, and had them placed in her bridesmaids’ hair. (The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor)

Princess Margrethe's Wedding

Princess Margrethe's Wedding

Princess Margrethe's Wedding

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Princess Margrethe Wedding 1967

Princess Margrethe Wedding 1967

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Royal Wedding Wednesday: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden to Daniel Westling

WEB_KUNGLIGT

Princess in Training

Crown Princess Victoria was 25 years old when she first began training with personal fitness instructor Daniel Westling, her someday Prince. She had recently moved back from the United States where she had been studying at Yale and was receiving professional help with her battle with anorexia.

CP Victoria remained incredibly private during her courtship with Westling, so unfortunately not much is known. However, news broke of the relationship after a photo was snapped of the two kissing at one of CP Victoria’s friend’s 25th birthday party.

First Kiss captured

The paparazzi and press were all too daunting for the personal trainer, and he was often criticized as not being “smart enough” or having the proper “pedigree.”

CP Victoria responded with poise and let her love for Daniel speak for itself. Soon the Swedish public embraced the pair. The Crown Princess, when a while later was asked about ‘commoners’ marrying royals, she spoke of how the matter has changed over time:

“I think the general idea with the Swedes is that the modern way is to marry someone you love, not necessarily based on where she or he comes from.” (Examiner)

The Engagement

Though her father,¬†King Carl XVI Gustav, was vehemently against the relationship, after much ‘prince’s school,‘ the relationship was approved.

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and her fiancé Daniel Westling meet the press

Daniel reportedly proposed on the grounds of Drottningholm Palace on a beautiful day.

“I was hoping for a ‘yes’ but I wasn’t entirely sure,” he revealed. (Hello!)

She, of course, said yes and the official announcement was February 24, 2009.

The Wedding

It was considered the ‘biggest royal event‘ since the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana nearly 20 years before. More than 1000 dignitaries from around the world attended the event, and more than 250,000 people lined the streets of Stockholm to celebrate¬†the wedding, which took place on June 19, 2010, the 34th anniversary of CP Victoria’s parents.

The pictures are for more exciting than my words, so I’ll just let them speak¬†for themselves…

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CP Victoria and King Carl Gustav

CP Victoria’s gown was made of ivory silk and was designed by¬†Par Engsheden. Her tiara, the Cameo tiara, is more than 100 years old, as was her veil.

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CP Victoria and Daniel Wedding

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CP Victoria and Daniel Wedding

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CP Victoria and Daniel Wedding

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CP Victoria and Daniel wedding

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CP V and D Wedding

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Reception

‚ÄúTo the Swedish people – Thank you for giving me my prince.‚ÄĚ – Crown Princess Victoria on her wedding day

This is one of my top three favorite Royal Weddings. Crown Princess Victoria looked so beautiful and she and Daniel’s love was radiating.

 

Royal Wedding Wednesday: Queen Elizabeth II to the Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth in Love

Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth in Love

Once upon a time…

A very young Princess Elizabeth, age 13, met her someday prince over a game of croquet. On request of her father, King George VI, a young cadet at the college they were visiting was put in charge of entertaining the young princesses for the day. The 18-year-old cadet, who also happened to be a prince in his own right, is said to have captured the young princess’s love that day, and has kept it ever since.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip meet“While everything else in the life of Lilibet was laid out for her, she made the most important decision on her own. ‘She never looked at anyone else…'”(Vanity Fair)

It wasn’t until Christmas of 1943¬†that the pair would meet again, but¬†since that fateful reunion, the rest, you could say, is history. Princess Elizabeth was (even more) certain that Philip was the one and she promptly displayed a photo of him in her nursery room. He is said to have kept a photo of his “Lilibet” with him in his naval barracks. As the war raged on, in which the Prince fought without protection from any royal patronage (The Daily Beast)¬†they continued their correspondence through letters and occasional visits. Her nanny recalls the princess after the couple had seen the musical Oklahoma! together:

“I also noticed that she began to play her gramophone more than usual, and that her favourite tune was People Will Say We‚Äôre In Love, from the musical Oklahoma! ‚ÄĒ which she‚Äôd seen with Philip.

After he started taking her out, Lilibet would often ask the band at the restaurants where they dined to play the number for her.” (Daily Mail)

When Prince Philip proposed to Princess Elizabeth in the late summer of 1946, she is said to have said yes before consenting her parents. He soon after wrote:

‚ÄúTo have been spared in the war and seen victory, to have been given the chance to rest and to re-adjust myself, to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly, makes all one‚Äôs personal and even the world‚Äôs troubles seem small and petty‚ÄĚ. (The Telegraph)

The Engagement

Prince Philip is said to have proposed during a walk with Princess Elizabeth through the Balmoral grounds. It was initially a “secret engagement.” Although it’s reported that many were hesitant of the marriage, especially¬†the King, it was a short engagement. QEII and Prince Philip Fiance The official announcement of the engagement was on July 7, 1946.

The Wedding

Old Wedding Photos of Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947 (13) Having suffered the ravages of WWII, the celebration was a welcome, though thought-out¬†event. Winston Churchill described it as “a flash of colour on the hard road we have to travel.‚ÄĚ Queen Elizabeth's Wedding Dress Rations were used in creating Princess Elizabeth’s gown, which included a short train, and decorated with 10,000 seed pearls. (Fashion-Era) The wedding was the morning of November 20, 1947¬†at Westminster Abbey. More than 2000 guests were in attendance with more than 200 million people listening worldwide. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Wedding Royal Wedding 1946 Wedding of QEII and P. Philip Princess Elizabeth + Prince Philip Wedding Royal Wedding Group Wedding Carriage QEII balcony

And they lived happily ever after…

Then + Now Prince Philip QEII After 60 plus years together, the first British monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary, as well as Prince Philip being¬†the longest living consort,¬†their love has to be true to make it thus far. And you have to admit, the way he looks at her, and she him, it’s pretty apparent it’s love.

Photo credits: feature image // image one // image two // image three // image four // image five // image six // image seven // image eight // image nine // image ten // image eleven