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King to lead princess to the altar: Royal Court

King to lead princess to the altar: Royal Court

Published: 25 May 2010 08:09 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 May 2010 08:09 GMT+02:00

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf will lead his daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, to the altar at her wedding to Daniel Westling on June 19th, the Royal Court has confirmed.

The unorthodox move has been roundly criticised by the Church of Sweden who has argued that the practice is not Swedish wedding tradition and who claimed on Monday that the matter is not yet resolved.

It is the family's wish, according to the Royal Court spokesperson Nina Eldh.

"This is a state ceremonial event with great symbolism, not an ordinary marriage. It is Sweden's king who is escorting the heir to the throne to the altar," she said.

The decision, which emerged in the media last week, has led to an unlikely alliance of traditionalists and feminists in a fight against what is widely viewed in Sweden as an American tradition exported by Hollywood.

Equality-conscious Swedes are used to the couple walking side-by-side to the altar as a demonstration of their equal standing in the proceedings and in life. The Anglo-Saxon practice of "giving away" the bride from the father to the husband is widely regarded as outmoded and sexist.

But the Royal Court has rejected the Church of Sweden reasoning.

"There is nothing in the marriage ceremony or church regulations on how to walk to the altar. It is therefore up to them to decide what they want to do," Nina Eldh said.

It is also a family tradition, Eldh pointed out.

"The king's sister walked to the altar with grandad, as their father was no longer alive."

The Church of Sweden remains sceptical however.

"There are a number of pastors who refuse to conduct such weddings and others who would do so. Both judge from the situation and discussions with the wedding couple," said Ewa Almqvist, Archbishop Anders Wejryd's press secretary.

The controversy emerged last week when the archbishop took the unusual step of issuing a statement to criticise the decision. Almqvist was on Monday unable to confirm the course of action that the archbishop, who will be conducting the royal wedding service, will follow.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:15 May 25, 2010 by chazza
I loved walking done the aisle with my swede together as equals symbolising how we saw our marriage. But to each his own. Let them do what they want without passing judgement .
09:45 May 25, 2010 by byke
Taken up the Aisle.
10:38 May 25, 2010 by chazza
still flogging that horse ? been done to death already
11:29 May 25, 2010 by zircon
Nice photograph of the King and daughter Victoria.
13:01 May 25, 2010 by zooeden
It´s a wonderful walk to the altar with your daughter, king and princess... God bless!!!
13:58 May 25, 2010 by bbeynch
I think it's wonderful that history is preserved and that we are reminded of our Swedish traditional Christian values. Christianity has formed our history, legal system, culture and behavioral norms. Let us celebrate the Royal wedding.
15:49 May 25, 2010 by Mr Gee
"...the couple walking side-by-side ...as a demonstration of their equal standing in the proceedings and in life. The Anglo-Saxon practice of "giving away" the bride from the father to the husband is widely regarded as outmoded and sexist."

Big Deal if you think it's a Big Deal.

If the church and traditionalists continue to complain then it just goes to show that some people don't have the capacity to evolve. Shame they didn't stay as monkeys!

In the end, it's more important to be honest with your own interpretation.
16:16 May 25, 2010 by Streja
It's not outmoded, it's just not the Swedish tradition. But each to their own I say.
02:40 May 26, 2010 by repat_xpat
Wow! What a chin!!!
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