The menu, which, as ususal, was kept secret until the last minute, was influenced by ‘Nordic winds’. The starter consisted of seafood delicacies while the main course was a grouse baked in cantarelles topped with lingonberries.
In the last few years the banquet chefs have abandoned the traditional Nobel ice cream; this year the desert was a lemon mousse with rasperries.
The performance was Nodic and based on folk traditions. It was performed in a completely new style by Scandinavia’s oldest university choir from Uppsala. The programme, called ‘Floral Transformations’, was kept as secret as the menu.
Among the Nobel prizes, the physics prize is considered the most prestigious, and Professor Roy Glauber enjoyed the honour of sitting beside Crown Princess Victoria. She wore an ice blue satin dress with a long train and an embroidered sash.
Glauber’s own guest for the evening, Atholie Rosett, sat beside King Carl Gustaf.
Queen Silvia was kitted out in a shimmering blue dress and a tiara made in Paris in 1805, and which found its way into the Swedish royal family via Queen Josefina, wife of Oscar I.
Beside her sat the chairman of the Nobel Foundation, Marcus Storch.
To the delight of the photographers, Princess Madeleine – who missed the gala last year because of a bout of ‘flu – was present this year, wearing a grey lace dress. She sat beside the winner of the chemistry prize, Rickard Schrock.
The evening provided a brief respite for Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds, who is under intense pressure to resign after her department was lambasted for its response to the tsunami catastrophe a year ago. She sat beside the economics prize winner, Thomas Schelling.