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Sun shines as wedding fever grips Stockholm

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Sun shines as wedding fever grips Stockholm
10:05 CEST+02:00
The sun is beating down on Sweden's capital Stockholm as royal wedding fever starts to build in the city on Saturday morning.

The King and Queen hosted a dinner for the family and invited guests at the Grand Hotel on Friday evening launching the festivities which culminate today in the marriage of the couple's youngest daughter, Princess Madeleine to Christopher O'Neill.

The dinner was attended by Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and is reported to have been a lively affair which continued into the early hours of Saturday morning.

The wedding ceremony between Princess Madeleine and the Anglo-American financier Christopher O'Neill will take place in the Royal Chapel (Slottskyrkan) at 4pm on Saturday afternoon.

The modest church is set to be filled to the rafters with royals, politicians, family and friends from around the world. The actual wedding ceremony is expected to take about an hour.

The service will be held mostly in English and will be led by Lars-Göran Lönnermark and Pastor Michael Bjerkhagen. It is expected that Princess Madeleine will answer yes to the magic question in Swedish and O'Neill will respond in English.

Nearly 470 guests were invited to the ceremony and include Britain's Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince Carl Philip's girlfriend Sofia Hellqvist and even his former girlfriend Emma Pernald.

Among the other renowned guests are restaurateur and chef Marcus Samuelsson and Hennes & Mauritz CEO Karl-Johan Persson.

The nationality of the groom has led to an influx of American tourists and international press to the city and some road closures and traffic problems can be expected.

The bride and groom will appear at the palace at around 5pm and then be paraded around the city in a open carriage, or cadillac if it were to rain.

The parade will end on Riddarholmen where the wedding party will take a boat to Drottningholm Palace for a wedding dinner created by Operakällaren's Stefano Catenacci.

For those disinclined to join the throng and venture out into the summer sunshine, Sveriges Television will be broadcasting the ceremony from 3.30pm to 8pm.

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