Royal court releases wedding details

Royal court releases wedding details
The launch of a new web page with details of the royal marriage of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling on June 19th has caused a stir of interest in Sweden.

The page, accessible from the Swedish royal court’s internet site, gives details about the ceremonies preceding the marriage, the wedding day programme and explanations about royal wedding traditions.

“Saturday June 19: The marriage ceremony in Stockholm Cathedral at 3:30 pm. The ceremony will be followed by a cortege and journey by Royal Barge, the ‘Vasaorden’,” the official programme said.

The palace announced in February 2009 that Crown Princess Victoria, now 32, would marry longtime boyfriend, her former fitness trainer Daniel Westling, 36, but details such as the exact time of the wedding had been kept secret until now.

The big day will be preceded by a private dinner hosted by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the royal residence, Drottningholm Palace, on Thursday June 17th.

On the Friday, a government reception will be held at Stockholm city hall, followed by a concert hosted by the Swedish parliament.

Details of the royal wedding invitation itself were revealed on Wednesday by a Swedish public radio programme that posted a photograph of the invitation, mailed out this week, on its website.

Delivered in a white envelope bearing postal stamps of the King and Queen, the golden-lettered missive asks guests to wear evening attire and to R.S.V.P before April 30th.

Left party leader Lars Ohly said Tuesday he would not attend the wedding because he opposed the monarchy, the only politician to do so even as the wedding has stirred up republican sentiment in the royal-loving Scandinavian country.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt retorted “people should go to the wedding because it makes people happy and it’s fun when people end up with each other.”

“We see it as a state affair and it will presumably be one of those rare occasions when Sweden will be the centre of global attention,” he told news agency TT.

Daniel Westling met the princess in 2002 when she began working out at at the gym where he was employed. He now owns two luxury by-invitation-only gyms as well as several high-end fitness centres in Stockholm.

It was not always evident that Princess Victoria would be heiress to the throne, but her crown princess title was secured when Sweden altered its succession law after the birth of her younger brother, Prince Carl Philip, in 1979, enabling the monarch’s first-born child to inherit the throne regardless of gender.

Victoria has recently had to share the media spotlight with her younger sister Madeleine, whose relationship with fiancé Jones Bergström is going through a rough spell, according to Swedish tabloids.

Queen Silvia on Tuesday told high circulation daily Aftonbladet her youngest daughter, who became engaged to Bergström last August, would not marry this year.

“There is so much going on now and … I feel Madeleine deserves a calm period ahead of her own wedding,” she said.

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