1.The Princess and the Personal Trainer
Next in line to the throne of Sweden, Princess Victoria, 37, hit the news all over the world when she married her personal trainer in 2010. Many are the couples who have felt that first spark at the gym, and it proved to be a romance hotspot for the princess too when she met Daniel Westling, 41, at his fitness studio 13 years ago. A bit rough around the edges when they first met, the gym owner had to undergo "prince training" to prepare for his new role, but the happy couple today live in Stockholm with their daughter Estelle, who turned three this week.
Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel. Photo: Leif R Jansson/SCANPIX
2. The Finance Minister and the Euro Pop Star
Swedish Finance Minister from 2006-2014, Anders Borg, 47, started a love-declaration-by-text trend earlier in February (his former boss Fredrik Reinfeldt followed suit a couple of days later) when he announced he was divorcing his wife after getting together with former star of cheesy 1990s band Army of Lovers, Dominika Peczynski, 44. The extravagant pop star and dry economist seemed like an unlikely match to many, but as Borg said commenting the affair: “You cannot always control emotions and life.”
Anders Borg and Dominika Peczynski. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/Staffan Löwstedt/SvD/TT
3. The 'Lads Mag' snapper and the Blog Queen
Here’s a couple that’s anything but 'lagom'. Sweden's self-styled answer to Hugh Hefner, Bingo Rimér, 39, and Sweden's blog queen of mean Katrin Zytomierska, 37, hooked up after a party night in Stockholm several years ago and have been inseparable ever since. The unlikely match, who are now married with two children together, have taken an unusual approach to couple's therapy. Zytomierska, who has got into trouble more than once for naming and shaming enemies on her blog, frequently airs the couple's dirty laundry on her blog and does not shy away from telling Rimér exactly what she thinks. But every week they produce a successful pod cast, in which they answer people's relationship queries – so they must be doing something right.
Bingo Rimér and Katrin Zytomierska. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/SCANPIX
4. The Prime Minister and the Press Secretary
Only in Sweden would a former prime minister announce his new relationship by texting the news to a political reporter while on a ski trip with his new lover. Fredrik Reinfeldt, 49, who led the country’s centre-right government coalition for eight years and divorced his wife Filippa after 21 years in 2013, described his former press officer Roberta Alenius, 36, as an “amazing woman”. The Local can’t help but wonder what emoticons were used in that text message.
Roberta Alenius and Fredrik Reinfeldt on a government trip in 2010. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/SCANPIX
5. The Prince and the Reality TV Star
Sweden’s most famous bachelor Prince Carl Philip, 35, broke a lot of hearts in summer 2014 when he announced his engagement to Sofia Hellqvist, 30. A fashion model who has posed in men’s magazines and participated in scandalous reality TV series Paradise Hotel, Sofia’s relationship with the prince was frowned upon by some (the Queen herself is rumoured to have been not altogether delighted with the match). But all’s well that ends well for the couple who, after having dated since January 2010, are set to get married this summer.
Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT
6. The Opposition Leader and the Stand-up Comedian
It came as a surprise even to many Swedes when they realized that centre-right opposition leader Anna Kinberg Batra’s and popular comedian David Batra’s shared surname was no coincidence. The unexpected couple have in fact been married since 2002. And some of Kinberg Batra’s geopolitical gaffes (she recently misplaced the town of Falun where the Ski World Cup is being held by about 200km) could very well provide David, 42, with some comedy gold for his stand-up. That the 44-year-old politician once famously referred to Stockholmers as “smarter than hillbillies” evidently has not bothered her husband, despite growing up in rural southern Sweden. Love conquers all, as they say.
Politician Anna Kinberg Batra and comic David Batra. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/SCANPIX
7. The Hollywood star and the nature-loving Swede
US comedian Will Ferrell married his Swedish wife Viveca Paulin 15 years ago and the couple owns a summer house in Gnesta outside Stockholm. The former Saturday Night Life funny man last year appeared in Swedish-American TV series ‘Welcome to Sweden’, a sitcom about expat life in Sweden, written by fellow American-married-to-a-Swede Greg Poehler. Ferrell has even said in interviews that he could imagine moving to Sweden for good, despite also being quoted by Reddit last year saying “There’s a lot to hate about Sweden. Beautiful people, the high cheek bones, the fact that every person speaks better English than we do and the durability and great warranty plans on a brand new Volvo”. The Local hopes his wife is top of the list of things he loves about Sweden.
American Will Ferrell and Swede Viveca Paulin. Photo: John Shearer/Invision/AP
8. The Swedish comedian and the Swedo-Finnish teddybear
Comedian, artist and writer Jonas Gardell, 51, and Swedo-Finnish journalist Mark Levengood, 50, are one of the still-going-strong couples on the Swedish love scene. Adored by the elderly audience in particular, Levengood is known for his huggable teddybear personality – in stark contrast to Gardell's pull-no-punches comedy act. The couple frequently engage in tongue-in-cheek Twitter debates and Gardell has more than once referred to his husband as "that Swedo-Finnish old cow". But despite on the surface as different as night and day, the pair has been together for more than 20 years. Perhaps the thing they can teach us about love is acceptance of each other’s differences – and that a good Twitter row once in a while puts the spark back into the relationship.
Jonas Gardell and Mark Levengood at a movie premiere. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT