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What you have to know about the royal wedding

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What you have to know about the royal wedding
The couple at their engagement announcement last year. Photo: TT
10:33 CEST+02:00
Whether you've avoided the hype so far or are lapping up every new detail, here are the key facts you just have to know about Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist's rocking royal wedding on Saturday.
Who exactly is getting married?
 
Let's start with the basics. Prince Carl Philip, 36, is the second child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia and holds the title of Duke of Värmland.
 
He is third in line to the throne, behind his elder sister Crown Princess Victoria and her three-year-old daughter Princess Estelle. The prince has also got a younger sister - Princess Madeleine - who is about to pop with her second child.
 
His fiancée is descended from...well, no one in particular. Sofia Hellqvist, 30, is most famous in Sweden for being on a scandalous reality show called Paradise Hotel. She was raised in Älvdalen, a small town in central Sweden.
 
 

The royal couple in June 2015. Photo: TT
 
So she's a bit of a commoner then?
 
Here at The Local we're not remotely bothered about her past. This is a fairytale romance, right?
 
But if you thought the UK's Duchess of Cambridge was too "ordinary" to become a British royal, then this woman's background will definitely get your heart racing.
 
After her TV debut and a subsequent appearance on the cover of gentlemen’s magazine Slitz, Sofia Hellqvist gained a reputation as a party girl in her home country before relocating to New York, where she studied accounting and worked as a waitress and a yoga instructor.
 
She first bumped into Prince Carl Philip at a Stockholm night club, before being introduced again by friends at a beach bar on Sweden's west coast.
 
By the way neither of the the prince's sisters have stuck to convention with their partners either. Victoria got hitched to her personal trainer, Daniel Wesling in 2010, while Madeleine married British-born American businessman Chris O'Neill three years later.
 
 

Sofia Hellqvist in 2012. Photo: TT
 
But back to Prince Carl Philip, isn't he that guy from Game of Thrones?
 
Yes, we couldn't go without mentioning the Prince's doppelganger Jon Snow (the Game of Thrones character played by Kit Harrington), who is sadly perhaps slightly better known in international circles than his Swedish counterpart.
 
Prince Carl Philip isn't famous for his jausting or acting skills, but he does have a fair few more contemporary talents of his own.
 
After studying graphic design at Forsbergs skola in Sweden and Rhode Island School of design in USA, the prince has produced stylish pieces of silverware, ceramics inspired by endangered Swedish insects and even worked on a linen collection for Swedish department store Åhlens. Wonder if that's what the modern pair will be sleeping on during their first night night as a married couple?
 

Jon Snow (left) in a snowy scene from Game of Thrones. Photo: Game of Thrones/TT
 
 
Where's this wedding going on then?
 
A legally-binding church service will take place in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, starting at 4.30pm, followed by a horse and carriage procession around the city, a dinner in the royal family's posh Vita Havet Assembly Rooms and a dance in Karl XI's Gallery, where some of Sweden's top dance music stars Avicii and Icona Pop will be providing the entertainment.
 
If you live in Stockholm you might be able to catch some of the procession as it passes through some of the most beautiful streets in the city's Old Town from around 5.30pm, as well as nearby Östermalm and Djurgården.
 
Here are the key spots the couple will pass through: the Royal Palace's Outer Courtyard, Slottsbacken, Skeppsbron, Slottskajen, Norrbro, Regeringsgatan, Hamngatan, Nybroplan, Nybrokajen, Hovslagargatan, Södra Blasieholmshamnen and Strömbron, ending below Logården.
 
Immediately after the couple's arrival at Logården, a 21-gun salute will be fired at five-second intervals from the island of Skeppsholmen. The Swedish Armed Forces will parade along the route of the cortège and on arrival at Logården.
 

Rehearsals for the wedding procession. Photo: TT
 
Are any celebrities expected?
 
Well there will be plenty of royals to look out for including Denmark's Queen Margrethe II (although notably not her husband Prince Consort Henrik, who's got a reputation for missing major events), Norway's Queen Sonja and Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, from the UK. It's unlikely any other members of British royalty will make it as the wedding coincides with Queen Elizabeth's official birthday celebration. 
 
There are also some top business people on the guest list from Swedish firms Saab and Volvo and deputy CEO of Klarna, Niklas Adalberth, will be representing Stockholm's booming start-up scene.
 
At the other end of the scale, Marwan "Marre" Hitti, Sofia's hairdresser from her time on the reality television show Paradise Hotel will also be attending.
 

Photo: Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, from the UK. 
 
Will the Swedish royals wheel out any random national traditions?
 
Absolutely. Unlike in the US or UK, in Sweden there is no tradition of the father of the bride giving his daughter away to her husband and the bride and groom will walk down the aisle together. Expect plenty of speeches too (up to a dozen) and the couple stealing plenty of kisses from other guests. Read our full guide to Swedish wedding traditions to find out why.
 
It's sounding better and better. Any chance at all of bagging an invite?
 
Afraid not. But you might be able to get a sneak preview of Avicii's royal set if you've got a ticket to Stockholm's Summerburst festival, where he is set to headline on Friday night.
 
You can also watch the whole wedding on Swedish television. Coverage gets underway on SVT1 at 3pm.
 

The red carpet being prepared on Thursday June 11th. Photo: TT
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