Glitz and glamour at Sweden’s Nobel banquet

Dressed to the nines in tails and long gowns, the 2015 Nobel laureates were honoured at a lavish royal dinner in Stockholm's city hall after they received their prizes at a glittering ceremony.

Glitz and glamour at Sweden's Nobel banquet
From left, Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria, Physics laureate Arthur B McDonald, Princess Madeleine and Chemistry laureate Paul Modrich. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

A ban on mobile phones had been issued ahead of the dinner, but one or two guests were seen not being able to resist taking a selfie or even a snap of the royals as they walked into the splendid hall.

The two pregnant princesses – Victoria and Sofia – stirred the most attention when they appeared with clearly visible baby bumps in their ball gowns created by Swedish designer By Malina and Oscar de la Renta.

They dined on a Scandinavian-themed locally sourced feast, spread out over more than 60 tables requiring some 7,000 porcelain pieces. This year's offerings – composed by chefs Sayan Isaksson and Daniel Roos – included turbot, scallops, veal, and coffee-infused cherry flowers for dessert.

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The Nobel gala banquet in Stockholm's City Hall. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

A couple of facts and figures: 260 waiting staff and 42 chefs were involved in making sure all guests were served their dinner. A total of 400 bottles of champagne were opened during the night and 198 kilo of turbot was used for the 1,350 guests' starter course.

Top Swedish artists Seinabo Sey, Anna Ternheim and The Gustaf Sjökvist Chamber Choir performed in the city hall, which was decked out for the occasions with flowers from San Remo, where Alfred Nobel himself passed away on December 10th 1896.

Seinabo Sey performing at the Nobel banquet. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

The Nobel laureates also gave their traditional dinner speeches thanking the Nobel committee for honouring them. Sweden's own chemistry winner Tomas Lindahl drew a few laughs when he admitted that he had failed chemistry in school.

The longest speech of the night was given by literature winner Svetlana Alexievich – 14 minutes – who dedicated her award to the thousands of Russians she had interviewed for her books. Unlike most other women at the party she was dressed in trousers rather than a dress.

IN PICTURES: Royal razzle, dazzle, glitter and glam

No major gossip emerged from the night, unlike previous years. According to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, the biggest scandal was a minor faux-pas which meant the king was last at his table to be served the sauce for the main course. “Embarrassing,” one of the waiters was said to have commented on the incident.