The Royal Wedding: Live Blog

Today's the day that Crown Princess Victoria will get her man of the people. We'll be following the whole thing live - with reporters around Stockholm providing the latest news, reactions and (hopefully) informed speculation from the Royal Wedding.

The Royal Wedding: Live Blog
Photo: Henrik Montgomery/Scanpix

James Savage, Kungsholmen, 1:06am

Daniel and Victoria opened the dancing with a beautifully danced waltz, while kings, queens and government ministers watched from the edge of the dance floor. They were then joined by an equally accomplished King and Queen and Olle and Ewa Westling. They must have trained for months.

On the next song, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik join the throng, along with a number of other guests, including the Royal Court’s press relations boss, Nina Eldh.

Singer Peter Jöback is dancing with his male partner, gym instructor Oscar Nilsson. The first gay couple to dance a waltz together at a Royal Wedding?

Perhaps. Whether that’s first or not, it underlines that Sweden’s beloved traditions and cherished openness, modernity and forward-looking spirit can go hand in hand. There are surely no better exponents of that spirit than Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.

I’ll leave you with that thought. If you want to relive it all, check out The Local’s photo gallery of the day’s events:


Good night!

James Savage, Kungsholmen, 12:42am

It’s quite incredible, the openness of the Swedish Royal Court. How many other royal families would allow the media to film close up while they ate wedding cake?

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 12am

The 11-tier wedding cake is 330 cm high. A 125 cm daquise base (a soft almond meringue made from almond flour) is topped with chocolate crisp, followed by a fragilité base (a soft almond meringue made from almond paste).

On top of this is a champagne mousse with a wild strawberry curd centre. This is followed by a layer of wild strawberry compote. Champagne mousse and daquise base are then layered, finishing off with champagne mousse.

The care is decorated with 100 handmade roses and 40 lilies made of caramel.

At the top, the diameter of the cake is 25 cm. More than 95 percent of the ingredients used to make the cake are organic. The few exceptions include the wild strawberries. The cake weighs 250 kg, as does the cake stand.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 11:27pm

An absolutely beautiful speech from Prince Daniel. If anyone doubted that this was a love match (did anyone?), then all such doubts have now been blown away.

Switching fluently between Swedish and English, he spoke of how, before Victoria went on an official trip to China, she spent the whole night writing:

“When I got up, I found 30 beautiful letters, addressed to me, one for each day she would be away.”

In a light touch, he alluded to the huge change in his status:

“Once upon a time, there was a young man, who while perhaps not a frog, was certainly not a prince,” he said.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 10:50pm

A moving speech from Prince Daniel’s father, Olle Westling. Father and son have a particularly special relationship – Mr. Westling donated one of his kidneys to his son last year.

“You’ve had to learn the hard way that life isn’t a bed of roses,” he said, in a lilting northern Swedish accent.

“As a 16-year-old, you discovered just how important health is. You learned that you would need a kidney transplant — and yet you still kept your positive outlook on life and your belief in the future.”

He spoke of the fact that the wedding was “a matter for the whole of the Swedish people.”

The very modern nature of their royal romance was referred to in the speech:

“Many people see the fact that you met and fell in love as something of a fairytale. The man of the people who won the Crown Princess. Yes, it is indeed a fairytale, but I do not think it is a coincidence that this has happened here in Sweden, where The King´s motto is “For Sweden — With the Times”

There were some lighter parts in the speech:

“We were very happy when Daniel met a girl and wanted to bring her home to meet the family. We hadn’t banked on it being this particular girl,” he said.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 10:20pm

My boyfriend reports that his brother said his wife had been glued to the television all day in Gothenburg. He also shows me Saturday’s Metro, which was obviously rushed into production and included a centrefold page of the royal couple wherein which one could cut out their faces and stick a couple’s faces into the holes for a picture.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 9:55pm

King Carl XVI Gustaf has spoken at the wedding banquet, welcoming Prince Daniel to the family and going out of his way to dismiss rumours that he disapproved of the match between the two – Swedish media long claimed that he wanted her to marry someone of higher rank:

“I am your father; you are my beloved daughter. Nobody should believe anything other than that my greatest wish is to see you happy.”

He underlined that his decision to lead Victoria to the altar was to “confirm the decision to approve the marriage.”

He added that he had learnt to know Daniel as a “very ambitious and knowledgable entrepreneur.”

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 9:37pm

Poor old Crown Princess Victoria is facing the same problem that faces countless more lowly brides when sitting at the top table – there’s nobody sitting opposite her to talk to. But she’s animatedly chatting with someone sitting at the table that branches off from hers – she must nearly have to shout to make herself heard.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 9:13pm

For hardcore royal fans who plan to stay glued to their televisions and not watch the World Cup, SVT1 will continue broadcasting the royal wedding dinner until midnight CET, while TV4 will continue broadcasting the dinner until 11:05pm CET, followed by a special on the Bernadotte family and the Victoria and Daniel television interview at midnight CET.

Watch SVT’s coverage online at SVT Play if it is available in your region.

Watch TV4’s special on the Bernadotte family here if it is available in your region.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 9:02pm

New gallery added of the cortège.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 8:58pm

Telia reported “mild hiccups” on its mobile network throughout the day as the crowd called, sent text messages and pictures with their cell phones during the royal couple’s cortège journey through Stockholm.

Telia’s mobile network CTO Tommy Ljunggren said some calls took a bit longer to connect and text messages experienced slight delays in sending. Telia built about 200 new base stations and enhanced its network along the cortège route and around the royal palace.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 8:52pm

During a press briefing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 1,960 journalists covered the wedding, of which 756 were foreign journailsts, on par with the number of journalists that covered the EU meeting in Gothenburg in 2001. The ministry expressed its satisfaction with the way the photo and press pools worked.

In addition, the ministry expressed “regret” that talks had broken down between Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press and Reuters regaring coverage of the event and hoped that this breach would not affect their relationships in the future.

Stockholm Police described the event as one of the biggest operations in its history and said that there were no major incidents to report. The most serious of them involved a private aircraft that flew into restricted airspace during the procession that took a different route after communication.

In addition, a man who appeared confused who had a knife in his pocket was caught “a couple hundred metres” from the Royal Palace at 12:17pm. He is currently undergoing a medical examination, but as the police pointed out, carrying a knife in one’s pocket is illegal in the city of Stockholm.

The police deployed 2,000 police officers on Saturday, in addition to 100 volunteer police.

“The weather was good. We’re very happy so many people came today,” said the police.

The police added that there were only two demonstrations and 12 demonstrators against the event. Twenty-five people were “controlled” and all were released.

An estimated 500,000 people watched the cortège in Stockholm, while between 200,000 to 300,000 people were expected. In comparison, the crowd for the king and queen’s wedding in 1976 was estimated at 180,000.

The Swedish Security Service (Säkerhetspolisen, Säpo) announced it had planned for this event for one year in cooperation with the Stockholm Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also felt it was carried out well.

“It’s about two people getting married and is a happy occasion for them. We’re happy to have contributed to it,” Säpo said.

Säpo added that the agents who jogged with the cortège did not undergo extra training for their 4km run, but did wear special black sneakers for the occassion.

There were no estimates for the number of foreign tourists who came for the event, but the Stockholm Tourism Authority estimated that an additional 12,000 foreign tourists were expected this week.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 8:38pm

Seated at the table of honour are the bride’s paternal aunt Princess Désirée, her maternal uncle Ralf de Toledo Sommerlath, Finnish President Tarja Halonen, the king’s uncle Count Carl Johan Bernadotte af Wisborg, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the groom’s father Olle Westling, the queen, Daniel and Victoria, the king, the groom’s mother Ewa Westling, Norwegian King Harald V, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Albert II of Belgium, the bride’s paternal aunt Princess Margaretha and Archbishop Anders Wejryd.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 8:33pm

Every reigning generation of the Bernadotte dynasty is represented in the choice of silver, porcelain and glass used for the table settings at the table of honour and the main table in the Hall of State. The banquet begins and ends with the first and last generations.

The decorative silverware comes from the Brazilian silver service that belonged to Brazilian Empress Amalie. The glassware was the Swedish people’s wedding gift to King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. The royal couple received 1,000 Orrefors glasses designed by Erika Lagerbielke.

Sèvres claims to be the most famous French porcelain manufacturer. Since the 1950s, the porcelain set for the royal wedding banquet has only been used three times previously: when Queen Elizabeth II visited in 1956, for the French state visit in 2000 and the king’s wedding luncheon in 1976, when larger pieces were employed. Plates from a different service were used on that occasion.

The coffee and tea cups were designed by Karin Bjorqvist and a gift to Queen Silvia on her 50th birthday from the Riksdag and the government.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 7:45pm

Royal wedding banquet menu includes Norwegian lobster, cod, chilled green pea soup, whitefish roe, char, poached quail egg, asparagus and beetroot from Gotland, veal sirloin from Stenhammar, strawberry mousse with rhubarb and vanilla ice cream in white chocolate, as well as a number of French wines.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 6:44pm

Don’t forget to check out our royal wedding galleries here and here. More to come.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 6:40pm

CNN reports that royal wedding merchandise is set to generate $300 million in business, according to estimates, with the city of Stockholm investing $1 million in Love Stockholm.

The royal court estimates that every dollar it has spent on the wedding will result in $100 back for Stockholm and Sweden. See the video here.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 6:37pm

SVT has said that 500,000 people are believed to have lined the route during today’s celebrations.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 6:25pm

The King and Crown Princess have given short speeches to the crowds gathered at Leijonbacken. The King led the crowd in a traditional Swedish ‘four cheers’ for the couple.

Victoria, with her new husband by her side, gave a short but touching speech to the crowd.

“Dear friends,” she began, “I would like to start by thanking the Swedish people for giving me my Prince.”

“We, my husband and I, are so incredibly happy and grateful that so many of you want to be here and celebrate with us.”

“This is the absolutely greatest days of our lives so far.”

“To feel your support means more for us than you could ever believe.”

Lump in throat time.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 6:25pm

The royal couple gives the Swedish national anthem real heart, as does the crowd, which continues to charge forward. A bugle gives it even more regal feeling. The king addresses the cheering masses to give the couple three hurrahs before Victoria takes over on the microphone.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 6:17pm

Victoria and Daniel are standing on the balcony, listening to the massed choirs of the Swedish choral society provide a musical tribute.

The Crown Princess and new Prince keep looking into each others eyes, and their hands are tightly gripped together. Victoria keeps pecking him on the cheek. Appropriately for a bride and groom, they clearly can’t get enough of each other. Very touching, actually.

The musical programme is as follows:

– Bridal March from Valbo, Gästrikland

– Benny Andersson’s “Duvemåla Pasture”

– August Söderman’s “Wish Song”

– Evert Taube’s “The Sea was Never so Shimmering”

– Pontus Edling’s “Summer Wedding”

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Djurgården, 6:14pm

All credit to foreign ministry staff – they have taken good care of the international media, plying us with a steady supply of wedding chocolate. Nice touch.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 6:07pm

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have now come out to Lejonbacken to greet the many people who have gathered to celebrate the couple. Many flags are waiving and there is much excitement amongst the crowds.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 6:05pm

Queen Sonja of Norway and several other European royals are on their way out to Lejonbacken. In just a few moments the Crown Princess Couple will join them to greet the thousands of people gathered to wish the couple well.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Djurgården, 5:55pm

The last of the marching bands pass Djurgården and the roads reopen. The huge crowds throng the route back into the city centre. A few of the many younger members of the crowd are starting to overdose on the festivities and there are a few harassed-looking parents battling to keep offspring under control. Looks like Wembley Way on Cup Final Day (apologies to those for whom English football references are incomprehensible).

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:55pm

Seems like AFP, AP and Reuters are sitting out coverage of the wedding over a broadcast rights dispute with SVT. AFP sent a note to its subscribers just hours before the ceremony explaining that “due to restrictions by Swedish public television SVT on images of the marriage…[AFP] will not distribute text, photos, or videos” of the event.

The three global agencies were unable to resolve the disagreement with SVT before the ceremony and decided not to cover the event despite having additional journalists, photographers and cameramen in Stockholm. The royal court decided to grant exclusive broadcast rights inside Stockholm Cathedral to SVT.

The agencies argued that restrictions would mean many viewers in Europe and North America would not see video images of the wedding until many hours or even days.

SVT barred the agencies from immediately sending any video to commercial channels around Europe and North America and told them they could make use of a brief edited segment of the ceremony for only 48 hours.

There were also issues relating to the amount SVT was charging for footage, as well as terms of use. The amount requested by SVT “largely surpasses the market price,” AFP reported, which SVT described as “standard.”

SVT said it is very surprised by their reaction and said that it thought it had an agreement with the three agencies. The three agencies contacted the royal court on Saturday morning hoping it would intervene, but their requests fell on deaf ears.

The agencies sent an email to the head of communications at the royal court, Nina Eldh, which was copied to Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, explaining their situation and decision.

AFP global news director Philippe Massonnet decried “the increasingly commercialised use” of large events by their promoters.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:42pm

The couple greet are greeted warmly by their parents on the steps. That’s a poignant moment in a ceremony that otherwise closely resembles the King and Queen’s wedding. The King’s father, Prince Gustaf Adolf, died when he was a child and his mother, Princess Sibylla died before he married.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:38pm

Prince Daniel is wearing the band of the Order of the Seraphim. Looks very regal. When did he slip that on? Or has he been wearing it all along?

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:36

The horns sparkle as Victoria and Daniel make their way up the steps of the Royal Palace, where they are warmly greeted by Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI Gustaf and the Westlings.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:35pm

The King and Queen are waiting on the steps with Prince Daniel’s parents as the Crown Princess and Prince come ashore. Both sets of parents looked happy and relaxed and appear to be laughing and joking with each other.

Thousands of people are assembled to watch.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre 5:33pm

There was a good deal of cynicism about before this wedding, but mingling with the huge crowds on Sergels torg the feeling was festive, patriotic and unabashedly royalist.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 5:32pm

The Crown Princess Couple are about to arrive, by the Royal Barge Vasaorden, at the Royal Palace amid loud cheers from the many who have gathered. After their entry into the Palace, they will come out to Lejonbacken to greet the many onlookers.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 5:29pm

The Crown Princess Couple are just about to arrive back at the Palace, on the Vasaorden, and you can just catch a glimpse of the barge coming into Stockholm Bay. Hundreds of more people have gathered along the waterfront outside the National Museum and Grand Hotel to catch a glimpse of the couple as they arrive.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:24pm

The crew of British warship HMS Kent, stood on deck as the royal couple went past and waved their hats in the air. It made for a great picture. When I met the crew in Gothenburg last week, they were thrilled to be involved.

Those members whose duties forced them to be below deck were stoical, but understandably disappointed to miss the spectacle.

The captain of HMS Kent, Nick Cooke-Priest, received an invitation to the wedding just last week. The Swedish King is an admiral in the British Royal Navy and had asked for a British ship to be present. The Royal Navy was happy to oblige.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 5:23pm

Salutes from the many ships in Stockholm harbor have began. In just a few moments the Crown Princess Couple will be approaching the Royal Palace.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:17pm

That royal barge trip looks rather good fun. A slightly eccentric way for the Crown Princess Couple to take themselves back to within a couple of hundred metres of where they married, but very picturesque.

Vivian Tse, Sergels torg/Drottninggatan, 5:15pm

Dart into the t-bana station to cross Sveavägen, then cut through a mall to get onto Drottninggatan again. Sergels torg is suddenly full of people, while the Pickwick Pub empties out as royal coverage continues as the spectators spill out onto the streets instead.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel 5:11pm

Outside the Grand Hotel an unofficial band of musicians is playing for the many people who are gathering to watch the Crown Princess Couple arrive by the Royal Barge Vasaorden. There are spontaneous cheers of “hurrah” and many people have their flags in hand ready to wave.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:10pm

The couple are standing ramrod straight as they are rowed across the harbour towards the palace. They will go around Castellholmen, an island in the harbour, where the navy will fire a 21-gun salute.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 5:07pm

The Crown Princess and Prince arrive at the Royal Barge, Vasaordern. This golden barge, built in 1923, is an exact replica of the original vessel, built 1774, which was destroyed by fire.

Paul O’Mahony, Strandvägen, 4:59pm

The cortege barrels along Strandvägen. The Säpo guards deserve a day off after all this running. Now they cross the bridge over to Djurgården.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Djurgården, 4:56pm

Sun makes an appearance just in time for the cortege. Old ladies are brushing their hair and touching up their make-up in time for the princess.

Paul O’Mahony, Stureplan, 4:51pm

The security guards are still keeping pace as the Crown Princess and Prince Daniel pass Stureplan and round the corner into Nybroplan. A large crowd cheers on the newlyeds and waves flags in front of Dramaten, the royal theatre.

Vivian Tse, Kungsgatan, 4:50pm

Get to my photo position just in time after having to race up an extra block due to the enormous crowds on the corner of Sveavägen and Kungsgatan. Confetti spills onto the street below from the building across the street after the carriage passes as people take photos of each other through the windows.

Paul O’Mahony, Sveavägen, 4:47pm

To avoid scaring the horses, the military bands have stopped playing their instruments as the carriage moves onto Kungsgatan, a street where sound echoes loudly among the tall buildings.

Paul O’Mahony, Sergels torg, 4:44pm

Horse guards lead the open carriage around Sergels torg. The security guards running alongside must be getting tired as they’re moving at quite a pace.

Vivian Tse, Sergels torg, 4:35pm

The area is relatively deserted given that there are huge banners hanging for “Democracy for Iran.”

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 4:28pm

The Crown Princess Couple will be riding in an open carriage. It has just passed the Grand Hotel on its way to Stockholm Cathedral.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Djurgården, 4:28pm

The kiss receives a big spontaneous cheer from Junibacken’s festive audience.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre 4:26pm

And we have a kiss!! On the steps of the cathedral as they wait to pass the guard of honour, with their swords raised. Both look thrilled and delighted.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre 4:24pm

And that’s it – the couple process out of the church, followed by the rest of the Swedish and foreign royal families.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre 4:23pm

Björn Skifs and Agnes perform a modern pop song for the couple. The Crown Princess and Prince look into each other’s eyes.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre 4:20pm

A moving sermon from Archbishop Anders Wejryd. He told them that they were facing “tasks that you can’t refuse, but that you can influence. One of you has had many years to prepare yourself to live this life – one of you has only had a few.”

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 4:16pm

Madeleine is wearing wearing a forget-me-not blue chiffon dress with a crystal-embroidered bodice. She is also wearing her own tiara and a necklace with what are known as the processional jewels (intågssmycket). The piece was given to her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria of Sweden, her sister’s namesake, following her wedding in 1881.

Victoria was given the necklace by her husband, then-Crown Prince Gustaf V. The necklace is made of Ceylon sapphires, baroque pearls and diamonds.

The queen is wearing a pink tulle dress with pearl and gemstone embroidery. She is also wearing the Brazilian Tiara, which is chiefly a French 18th century piece modernised around 1820.

It is called the Brazilian Tiara because it belonged to Brazilian Empress Amalie, younger sister of Queen Joséphine of Sweden. Joséphine inherited the tiara upon her sister’s death in 1873.

The queen’s necklace, earrings and brooch of diamonds and pink topaz were ordered by Tsar Paul I for his daughter Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna’s marriage to the Grand Duke of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach in 1804. The jewellery was then passed down to Queen Victoria of Sweden.

The king and Carl Philip are wearing Royal Navy uniforms since both have naval ranks. The king is an admiral in the Swedish Navy, while Carl Philip is a captain in the Swedish Amphibious Corp.

Both are wearing a mess dress model 1878. It is the military equivalent of formal evening dress and can be worn on festive occasions, when a tail coat is worn according to civil custom.

Carl Philip is also wearing the Order of the Seraphim’s chain and grand star. On his chest, he is wearing H.M.K. Commemorative Medal, the National Service Medal and a training medal from Karlberg.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 4:06pm

More information about Crown Princess Victoria’s ensemble:

The dress is made of cream-coloured duchess silk satin with short sleeves and a turned-out collar following a rounded neckline. The dress has a v-shaped back with covered buttons and the sash at the waist is buttoned up at the back.

The five-metre train is edged with a border fastened at the waist and matches the shape of the veil. The shoes are made with the same fabric as the dress.

As for the tiara, it was also worn by her mother at her wedding on June 19th, 1976. The tradition began with her aunt, Princess Birgitta, the first of her aunts to marry in 1961 to Princess Johann Georg of Hohenzollern.

Another aunt, Princess Désirée, wore the same tiara when she married Baron Niclas Silverschiöld in 1964.

The tiara was probably a gift from Napoleon to his wife, Empress Josephine, in 1809. The tiara was bequeathed to her granddaughter Joséphine in 1823, who became the Crown Princess of Sweden when she married Crown Prince Oscar in 1823.

Victoria’s grandmother, Princess Sibylla, received the tiara when she married Princess Gustaf Adolf in 1932.

The veil is her great-great grandmother Queen Sophia’s lace veil that was worn at her parents’ wedding, which was also worn by her grandmother Princess Sibylla at her wedding.

The veil has also made an appearance at the weddings of her aunts, Princesses Désirée, Margaretha in 1964 and Christina in 1974.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre 4:01pm

More soaring choir music with gentle string accompaniment to Vilar glad i ditt fam, by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Kristina Lugn.

Paul Rapacioli, outside Royal Palace, 3:57pm

Grown men weeping in the crowd in front of the big screen as Victoria slips the ring on Daniel. A big cheer goes up.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 3:56pm

Daniel Westling is now officialy H.R.H. Prince Daniel, the Duke of Västergötland.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:55pm

They’re married! Archbishop Anders Wejryd declares them man and wife. Victoria’s voice cracks as she repeats her vows.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:54pm

The minister turns away to face the altar for the blessing of the rings, holding them aloft during the prayer.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:53pm

The guests stand for the vows, which are first addressed to Daniel. The minister recites Victoria’s full name: Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée, while Daniel is addressed as Olof Daniel Westling.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:49pm

Victoria firmly clutches her bouquet, while Daniel holds his hands together as a female minister recites the introduction.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Djurgården, 3:50pm

The marching bands are moving into place. A cortege clad in folk costumes is generating a lot of interest among the young families sitting on the banks of Nordiska Museum and down by the water. A festival atmosphere.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:49pm

Clammy hands? Victoria and Daniel let go of their hands before quickly holding them again.

Victoria starts singing along to the first verse of the first , while Daniel prefers to stand still. It appears some of the non-Lutherans cannot find the lyrics, while the woman sitting behind Queen Silvia emits a quick laugh.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:47pm

Our ever-reliable royal correspondent Juan Navas has an answer for Vivian – the train is 5-metres long.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:47pm

It’s moving to see Olle and Ewa Westling, Daniel’s parents, sitting in the chancel. What must be going through their minds? Any parents find their child’s wedding day moving, but now they find themselves in the midst of Sweden and Europe’s royal families. Daniel Westling has said his family weren’t particularly interested in royalty, but this must still be a pretty incredible occasion for them.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:41pm

Any guesses on the length of the the train? The material appears to be a thick velvet. The Crown Princess and Daniel hold hands while listening to the musical interlude with harp, flute, strings and choir.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 3:40pm

According to the Royal Court: “The Crown Princess’s bridal bouquet includes the following flowers: lily of the valley, rose, phalaenopsis orchid, peony, clematis, cosmos, wax flower, sweet pea, dicentra formosa, Mårbacka pelargonium, Amazon lily, gardenia, azalea, bleeding heart and the traditional myrtle from Sofiero.”

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:35pm

A brass ensemble leads the children into the cathedral, including the son of Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik, the daughters of the crown princes of Norway and the Netherlands, as well as the princess’ relatives from Brazil, Germany and Sweden and the nieces of Daniel Westling.

Daniel quietly exchanges a few words with Carl Philipp, who is wearing a contented smile.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:35pm

She will be entering to the Duke of Gloucester’s March. The trumpets sound. Victoria can be glimpsed at the back of the church. The bridesmaids and pageboys precede her, She links arms with the king.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:35pm

Here comes the bride! The camera briefly pans to the princess emerging out of a vintage black sedan wearing a tiara and a thick cut at the chest. The veil appears minimalist.

Must be hot in the church with all the guests fanning themselves despite the cool 17 degrees outside and overcast skies.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 3:32pm

The Crown Princess’ wedding dress has been a point of discussion, and speculation, for quite some time now. The Royal Court has now confirmed that the dress is designed by Pär Engsheden. To the dress the Crown Princess chose to wear the kamédiademet, or the Cameo Tiara. The same tiara was worn by her mother at her wedding in 1976.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:30pm

Queen Silvia is accompanied down the aisle by the four priests who will be conducting the ceremony. The congregation stands as she enters.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:28pm

Daniel greets a folk music group composed of his relatives on the steps of the church. He appears confident and collected, waving at the crowds.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 3:23pm

The Queen has chosen to wear the Brazilian Diadem, which she almost exclusively wears to special occasions such as State visits. It is one of the largest pieces in the Royal Family’s jewelry collection.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:23pm

Queen Silvia has just left the Palace with Princess Madeleine. The Queen is wearing the Brazilian diadem – appropriately for a half-Brazilian. Madeleine is in powder blue, the Queen in lilac.

Daniel Westling has left with Prince Carl Philip. The groom looks composed and confident.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:23pm

Here come the Westlings – senior, the groom’s parents Olle and Ewa in a brief long camera shot. Ewa has chosen a floor-length fuschia ensemble for the occasion.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:19pm

Tarja Halonen, President of Finland, has just walked by in an impressive chain of office. The wedding’s a big deal in Finland, which was part of Sweden until 200 years ago. Just received a text from a friend in Finland, who says he’s in a packed bar in Helsinki watching the wedding “with a DJ giving hilarious English commentary.”

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:13pm

Prince Albert of Monaco is looking appropriately Mediterranean in his white frock coat. The Swedish invited him along with his girlfriend, South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. Terribly relaxed, these Swedes.

David Landes, Royal Opera, 3:13pm

The crowds outside the opera gasp as images from inside the church come up on the big screen. “How beautiful,” says one onlooker.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:13pm

Princesses Margaretha, Birgitta, Desirée and Christina arrive – a rare occasion to see them together.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:11pm

When asked if they felt it was a slight on the part of the British royal family that they did not send a more “senior” member to attend the wedding, with just Prince Edward coming, Sarah and Darren Holden did not seem fazed.

“No, not really. I don’t think any Swedes were invited to [Prince] Charles and Camilla’s wedding,” said Sarah Holden.

Perhaps they are a little biased, though, since the couple and their four children have lived in Sweden for five years and plan to stay permanently, as well as Darren’s grandparents being Swedish.

Swedes may feel differently. SVT suggested that Swedes are feeling that perhaps the World Cup is more important to the likes of Princes William and Harry, both of whom are currently in South Africa during a break from their military duties.

They were both on had to watch the English team stumble to a goalless draw against Algeria on Friday night and will drum up support for England bid for the 2018 World Cup, which will be decided next year.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:07pm

A note on Carl-Johan Bernadotte. Contrary to what I said a moment ago, he is the last great-grandchild of Queen Victoria, and is 93. He was born a prince, but lost his title when he married a commoner.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 3:04pm

The last of the motorcades have just driven up toward the cathedral. The streets around the Opera and Kungsträdgården continue to fill with people, and there is a lot of spontaneous music and singing coming from the people outside the hotel. The guests are starting to enter the church, including many royals and members of the government.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:02pm

Britain’s Earl and Countess of Wessex have left the palace. Sophie is wearing an elegant creation in grey. Prince Edward, who quit the royal marines, has eschewed the military uniforms beloved of royals, but is wearing very smart formal evening wear with a royal blue sash.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 3:01pm

Alice Trolle Wachtmeister, a lady-in waiting and close friend of the royal family enters the church as Daniel Westling’s uncles and aunts leave the palace.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 2:58pm

Carl-Johan Bernadotte, the grand old man of the Swedish Royal Family and the last surviving great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of Britain, has entered the church together with his wife Gunilla, wearing the royal blue of official court dress.

Vivian Tse, Drottninggatan, 2:55pm

Other flags in sight up and down the street include those from Chile and Russia.

Vivian Tse, Gustaf Adolfs torg, 2:50pm

I spot a man who appears to be an African or Caribbean diplomat or ambassador in an impeccable black suit heading towards what the wedding. He declines to tell me which country he represents and, wrapping his arm around my shoulder, jokes that he is the ambassador of Sweden, noting that we are passing government offices.

David Landes, Royal Opera, 2:47pm

Soldiers in parade uniforms – blue tunics, white gloves and green berets – are now lining up along the parade route outside the royal opera..

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 2:42pm

The Royal Palace just announced that Daniel Westling will be made a knight of the Order of the Seraphim after his wedding with Crown Princess Victoria.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 2:38pm

Guests are swarming into Storkyrkan. The Royal Philharmonica is playing. We’ve seen the Infanta Elana of Spain, Princess Alexia of Greece and Prince Phillipos. Princess Rosario of Bulgaria is looking divine in purple.

Vivian Tse, Drottninggatan, 2:32pm

Plenty of fabric Swedish flags still on sale at the corner of Drottninggatan and Fredsgatan for 10 kronor despite the countless number of people who keep picking them up. The Pickwick Pub is full of spectators catching the Netherlands against Japan at the World Cup. Tourist shops sell all sorts of curious souvenirs, including paper doll books of Victoria with paper costumes with tabs that children can attach on her.

David Landes, Gustaf Adolfs torg, 2:28 p.m.

Gustaf Adolfs torg nearly full.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 2:12 p.m.

SVT takes us on a quick trip down memory lane with childhood videos of Victoria, Carl Philip, Madeleine, “pappa” and their dogs throughout the years swimming, baking, biking and shopping for Christmas decorations, among other activities.

Paul Rapacioli, managing director of The Local, 2:04 p.m.

Just saw [Green Party spokesman] Peter Eriksson wandering around the back streets of Gamla Stan in old jeans and t-shirt looking lost and stressed!

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 2:02 p.m.

Several media outlets are reporting that the royal couple will ride in an open-wagon cortège through the streets of Stockholm. An estimated 250,000 will line the streets for a glimpse of the newlyweds this afternoon, with the thermostat currently reading 17 degrees and partly cloudy. One spectator said she felt it was a bit “un-Swedish” to say she was a royalist, adding that she was not particularly patriotic, but that she felt it would be allowed today amid a sea of Swedish flags.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 1:49 p.m.

SVT has just been showing its engagement interview with Daniel and Victoria. In it, Daniel says he didn’t have any “butterflies in his tummy” back then, but said he expected to as the big day approached. Wonder how he’s feeling now?

Our people on the streets say the crowds aren’t that big yet. But there’s plenty of time until the procession.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 1:35 p.m.

All of the party leaders will be attending the wedding, all except one – Left Party leader Lars Ohly, who felt that he did not know the royal couple well enough to join in the fun.

So what is the republican-leaning Lars Ohly doing while the Swedish political and social elite are attending the society event of the year? He is at home, according to SVT’s fly-on-the-wall camera report, currently just polishing off a Sudoku.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 1:29 p.m.

A team of hairstylists from Björn Axén has just left the Grand Hotel, most likely having assisted some of the visiting royals. It is well known that the hairstylists from Björn Axén have been used by the Royal Family for many years, and a team is most certainly at the Royal Palace right now helping the Crown Princess, as well as the Queen and Princess Madeleine, to get ready for the Royal Wedding.

Vivian Tse, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 1:22 p.m.

Here are some perspectives from journalists and photographers from across Europe and around the world on what they will be covering on Saturday.

Country: Denmark

Publication: Here and Now (tabloid magazine)

Photographer Lars Andreasson will be accompanied by journalist Helle Bill Madsen throughout the day. Another photographer and journalist from the magazine will cover the event in separate areas.

“I arrived on Thursday. We’re going to cover the Danish royals, as well as the Swedish, Norwegian, Belgian and Dutch royal families,” saidAndreasson . “We’ve been here since 9am this morning and hope for a 10 percent boost increase in magazine sales for this issue, which publishes on Wednesday.”

Andreasson estimates that he will take between 500 to 600 pictures on Saturday and guesses his colleague will take the same amount. About 30 of these will end up in six double pages in the magazine and about 100 on the website. A total of 12 pages will be devoted to the royal wedding in the next issue out of 96 pages.

They will be working late into the night, then send everything to the editorial team in Copenhagen, which will begin editing the issue at 4am on Sunday morning.

Andreasson and Madsen will be at Logårdskajen, a seafront position near the Slottsbacken, the royal palace, where the royal couple will disembark from the royal barge. The overcast but sunny skies are far superior to the rain they encountered on Friday.

“Yesterday, we were outside the Concert Hall for five hours in the rain,” said Madsen. “We sat on two chairs under rain ponchos.”

As it turns out, the last big royal wedding was in their home country just over two years ago, the nuptials of Princess Joachim and Princess Marie in May 2008, shadowing the birth of their son Prince Henrik just over a year later.

“Babies aren’t as big as weddings,” said Madsen.

Country: Germany

Agency: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)

Photographer Frank May arrived Thursday with his two cameras and “more” lenses along with two other photographers and a writer. He estimates he will take “hundreds” of photos on Saturday of mostly royals, as well as the scenery and captivating the emotion of the crowds and couple. He will be sending his photos directly after shooting atLogården at the royal palace. The media programme guide notes that photographers are not allowed to bring stepladders and must wear dark suits.

Country: Japan

Agency: Kyodo News

Ichii Gentaro is the agency’s London correspondent and arrived on Friday. He has already written an article focussing on the trend of declining support for the royal family about Swedes, citing an opinion poll demonstrating its waning popularity.

In addition to Ichii, he is accompanied by a journalist from Tokyo who has a position in the church and a local stringer who will be just outside the cathedral.Kyodo will pick up its photos from AP and Reuters.

Due to the time difference, Ichii must file all his stories by 5pm on Saturday for publication Sunday morning local time in Japan. The version that will appear on the website will only be slightly tweaked if he has anything to add.

Ichii returns to London on Sunday evening, while his Tokyo colleague will continue writing for publication on Monday focussing on issues surrounding the Japanese royal family’s succession.

When asked why Japan is only sending one royal, Crown Prince Naruhito, to the royal wedding, Ichii surmised with a chuckle, “Because we have a lot of royal family problems, they could only send the prince. [Crown Princess] Masako has some mental health issues and it’s unclear whether she didn’t want to come or if she wasn’t allowed.”

While his colleagues cover the event from ground, Ichii will watch and cover the telecast of the wedding from the media centre, which will be translated.

Country: France

Publication: Le Figaro

Stéphane Bern is media personality in France and the royal specialist at Le Figaro. He arrived on Friday and will write his one-page article on Sunday for publication on Monday because Le Figaro does not publish on Sundays.

Curiously, Bern will remain in and around the media centre throughout the day despite having access to the ceremony.

“I have a seat in the church, but I prefer to be here becuase I won’t understand a word and prefer to hear the translatation and go outside and smell the atmosphere,” said Bern.

Bern believes there is interest among Le Figaro – which takes a conservative stance – readers in the event because she is a popular personality and it is a happy occasion and as Bern put it, “a princess is marrying a former gym instructor.”

He added, “We adore the monarchy in France. We have a president who’s more powerful than any king in Europe [French President NicolasSarkozy] and Carla [Bruni], who’s so cute.”

Country: Brazil

Publication: Jornal do Brasil

Vaena Magnus is a student in Stockholm who was born and raised in Brazil. He is also a freelance photographer for Jornal do Brasil, which is paying attention to the wedding thanks to Queen Silvia, who grew up in Brazil.

Although Magnus has not met the queen, his parents – Brazilian father, Swedish mother – have thanks to his father’s former position as the honorary consul of the Swedish consulate in Riode Janeiro.

Magnus was still waiting for his photo pool assignment just before lunch, but hopes to just go on the streets and estimates he will take 300 to 400 photos on Saturday, of whichJornal do Brasil will publish 15 on its website, as well as a special supplement next week.

Country: Sweden

Agency: Bildbyrån

Photographer Joel Marklund arrived with two other photographers at 10am and estimates he will take about 200 photos on Saturday. He will have to wait just under five hours for thecortège to pass by Slottsbacken from the time he passes the security check at 12:15pm until the estimated finish at 4:50pm.

Marklund’s photos will be picked up around the world as far away as Japan and Brazil. His coverage will focus on the cortège, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel and other international royals.

Agency: Agero/

Photographer Felix Reychman will only have one camera with him on Saturday, but he and the other seven photographers from Eyewitness will be taking hundreds of photos on June 19th, in Reychman’s case from Junibacken.

Reychman lamented arriving too early at the media centre.

“I got here at 9am, but I was up at 5:45am and had to drop my children off at their grandparents,” he said. “I had to carry that big bag because there is no vehicle access in the city centre.”

Despite the physical nature of their work, Reychman is also wearing a dark suit or he will not be able to enter the photo areas. Reychman will have his lens focussed on Victoria of course, but also “whatever celebs we can catch, they’re quite big in Germany. We cooperate with German agencies.”

Other organisations and correspondents in the media centre came from Norway, China, the US, Finland and Switzerland.

David Landes, Gustaf Adolfs torg, 12:59 p.m.

The crowds are five deep outside the opera house with picnics, cameras and Swedish flags at the ready.

The procession is due to pass by here at the begining of its meandering path through town and more and more people are filing into the square jostling for positions to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 12:59 p.m.

The thermometer has passed 16 degrees, according to SMHI. Slight 2m/sec winds and 52 percent humidity – ideal conditions for all concerned. No sign of the forecast rain yet, but there are a few threatening clouds in an otherwise blue sky over Stockholm.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 12:55 p.m.

Swedish rockers Roxette have arrived at Stockholm Cathedral – will they play or they merely guests at the wedding?

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 12:50 p.m.

The Police and Säpo are also getting ready to lead a large motorcade from the Grand Hotel to Stockholm Cathedral. They should be leaving in about 45 minutes.

Juan Navas, Grand Hotel, 12:45 p.m.

The police and Säpo are all around the hotel, as well as in the lobby. Many foreign dignitaries are staying here, including Finland’s President and the Crown Prince Couple of Belgium. Looking across Stockholm Bay you can see the Police sweeping the water. The crowds around the Royal Palace are growing by the hour.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 12:40 p.m.

While a visit to Ikea won’t offer any view whatsoever of the festivities it will offer a refreshing lack of crowds for a Saturday and the latest rumour coming in is the offer a free slice of cake. Followed by a five kronor hot dog and an ice cream you have had yourself a meal fit for a prince.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 12:30 p.m.

While the royal couple sail across the harbour from Djurgården back towards the palace at around 5.30pm, there will be a fly past with a fleet of 18 Gripen aircraft passing over the city centre at an altitude of around 400 metres.

The last time the Gripen flew over Stockholm at a ceremonial occasion, in 1993, a plane crashed on the island of Långholmen during the Water Festival. Incredibly no one died that day.

The royal couple’s ship Vasaorden will be accompanied by the British frigate HMS Kent among 21 other vessels lined up in the Strömmen channel. One of the more off-beat spots to witness both the nautical element of the procession and fly over could well be up by Mosebacke on Södermalm.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 12:10 p.m.

Will they, won’t they….kiss? There is significant speculation over whether the royal lips will meet in front of the baying masses on the balcony of the Royal Palace.

The King and Queen did not offer up a public show of affection when they tied the knot in 1976. Whether the royal couple 2010 will display their love will be known at around 6.30pm when the couple appear on the palace balcony.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 11:57 a.m.

International interest for the wedding is huge with more than 500 journalists from, among others, Germany, Finland, Britain, Spain, France and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Japan.

The Japanese crown prince is in Stockholm for the occasion so that might explain the far eastern interest, and Crown Princess Victoria has also visited the country on several occasions and has perhaps left an impression. Either way a warm welcome on a resplendent day in Stockholm.

“Broader global interest than EU meeting in Gothenburg (2001),” foreign ministry press head told SVT. There you have it.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 11:27 a.m.

The media centre is a hive of activity as groups of foreign media discuss their approach to covering the wedding and swap tips for the day.

So, what’s the latest with less than fours to go before the royal nuptials?

The wedding dress has been delivered. According to the Aftonbladet daily, a mysterious package was delivered by the designer Per Engheden to the Royal Palace shortly before 11am.

The Princess travelled in from Drottningholm this morning and is inside busy readying herself for their big day.

Royal watcher and author Susanna Popova is the only person outside of the immediate circles around the Crown Princess who has reportedly seen the dress, the rest of us mere mortals will simply have to wait our turn.

The Old Town, and the area around the Royal Palace is already starting to fill up with expectant crowds, many of whom have been there hours hoping to get a glimpse of the royals.

The police are running the largest operation they have ever fielded with thousands of smartly-clad officers complete with white gloves lining the city’s streets.

James Savage, Royal Wedding Media Centre, 10:04 a.m.

Welcome to The Local’s live blog of the Royal Wedding between Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling. Well, the weather seems to be holding out (so far), although light rain is forecast for some point in the day. We’ll all be looking anxiously skywards at 4:30pm, as we get ready for the carriage procession to leave Stockholm’s Storkyrkan cathedral.

It’s the calm before the storm. Much of central Stockholm is now closed to traffic – so if you’re heading into town, be sure to leave your car at home, and don’t expect to be able to take the bus. One of the few people not affected by the road closures is the bride herself, who arrived at the Royal Palace a short while ago to get ready.

So, what can we expect to see today?

The short answer is Sweden’s most spectacular show of pomp and pageantry since King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Apart from the carriage procession there will be military bands, an airforce flypast and a naval salute. The harbour is filled with ships from the Swedish navy, royal yachts from Denmark and Norway and British cruiser HMS Kent.

We’ll see tradition, but also breaks from Swedish tradition, when Victoria is led halfway up the aisle by her father, the King. The church service will, according to reports, include a duet between veteran singer Björn Skifs and younger counterpart Agnes. Given the occasion, they presumably won’t be performing her dancefloor hit ‘Release Me’.

There’s also speculation that Sweden’s 2009 Eurovision entry Malena Ernman will perform. She is, at least, on the guest list – and is widely respected as one of Europe’s top sopranos. All will be revealed…

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Stockholm Open set to serve up a storm

The ATP Stockholm Open hits the Swedish capital on Saturday with international players vying for a piece of the €530,000 ($718,000) pie. Will it be a local Swede who takes out this year's title? The Local chats to the tournament organizer to find out more.

Stockholm Open set to serve up a storm

“All the sponsors, players and organizers are getting ready, I’m really excited,” tournament spokesman Christian Ahlqvist told The Local over the phone, with the sound of tennis balls thwacking around in the background.

Held inside Stockholm’s Royal Tennis Hall, the tournament has been played every year since 1969, attracting some of the biggest tennis names in Sweden and the world.

“All the big Swedish players have played in the Stockholm Open, Björn Borg, Mats Wilander. Former world number one Roger Federer won the title in 2010. We’ve had some really great players, its always been one of the tournaments to play in,” explained Ahlqvist.

IN PICTURES: See Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg’s career in pictures

Headlining this year’s contingent is Spanish world number four David Ferrer who is tipped to take home the trophy.

“Ferrer is coming from Shanghai, he’s a great player and he’s always performed very well here,” said Ahlqvist.

But if you thought it was a one horse race, think again. Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Polish giant Jerzy Janowicz (who is over two metres tall), both 22, are two young players looking to challenge Ferrer and show the tennis world that they belong at the top.

However the odds are against Sweden netting the championship. World number 444 Markus Eriksson is the only confirmed Swedish player so far, although more may find their way through in Friday’s final qualifications. But statistically, the odds aren’t historically in the Swedes’ favour, with the last winner, Thomas Johansson, in 2004.

A strong Swedish presence in the singles may be lacking, but the Swedish men are expected to do better in the doubles.

“Jonas Björkman is making a comeback in the doubles with one of the best doubles players in the world, Robert Lindstedt. So that will be interesting to see,” said Ahlqvist.

As for a tip for the winner, Ahlqvist likes world number 41 Jarkko Nieminen from Finland.

“Jarko is someone who’s been a bit on and off the court with injuries. He’s played here so many times before, he’s almost a Swede. Everyone would love to see him win one.”

Saturday marks the opening ceremony for the Open, which will be held on centre court and is free for everyone. The tournament begins on the same day, with the final scheduled for Sunday the 19th.

Josh Liew

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