Congratulations on the birth of Prince Oscar! Below, my sketch of Victoria, Daniel, and Estelle.
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It’s usually exciting to see a royal wedding, but the excitement is dulled this time around.
Sweden’s Prince Carl-Philip marries next week, but the woman he is marrying has, to put it politely, a dubious reputation. Sweden stands to gain a princess, but is she right for the job with her background?
Sofia Hellqvist, the prince’s fiancée, is a former soft-porn model. The media gleefully refers to it as “glamour” modeling, but we’re all adults here. We get it. No need to sugar-coat it. Sofia then topped off this “career” with a spell in reality television. All she needed to make her resume complete was a sex tape a la Kim Kardashian. So you can see why Sofia’s imminent marriage to Prince Carl-Philip is depressing. Her fairly recent past sucks the romance out of the whole wedding. At least he’s not next in line to the throne. We can be grateful for that much, at least.
Despite all of this, there are many people who still want to give Sofia a chance. Often mentioned in the debate over Sofia’s suitability is the troubled past of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, who was caught up in the underground drug scene in her younger days. She ended up as a single mother struggling to make ends meet. When she met Crown Prince Haakon and he proposed, everything changed for her. Haakon and Mette-Marit went before the press, where she tearfully expressed embarrassment about her past. It was a tough life of questionable choices and people, but she seemed genuinely sorry about it. Importantly, it was out of the limelight. Mette-Marit did not seek to profit from her lifestyle and tout it as appropriate. Sofia, however, seems to have a cavalier attitude over her past choices. She claims that she wouldn’t do anything like it now, but that goes without saying. You don’t see a princess representing her nation in a lad’s magazine each month.
I’m glad if Prince Carl-Philip and Sofia truly love each other, but the prospect of Sofia representing Sweden as a royal princess is depressing. It lowers the bar on what a princess and a professional woman should be. Would you take the U.S. ambassador seriously if they had already spent the majority of their career prancing half-naked?
No doubt the wedding is still on no matter what anyone thinks, so it’s best to try and look on the bright side. It’s nice to see that Sofia is willing to style herself like a grown woman with some decency. She cut that far-too-long black hair that was neither suited to her skin tone nor her face shape. It’s now shorter, softer, and lighter. Her hats are cute. Her clothes are elegant, and most importantly, they’re on.
At least Carl-Philip isn’t next in line for the throne. Sweden gets to avoid having to explain to the world why their queen’s former title was “Miss Slitz”. The prospect of the wedding is depressing, but at least we can be thankful for small miracles.
Sweden’s Darling Has Started School!
Two-year-old Princess Estelle of Sweden had her first taste of public daycare when she arrived at Äventyret Preschool on August 25.
Clasping the hands of her parents, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, toddler Estelle smiled and waved to photographers as she arrived at the Stockholm preschool to formally begin her education outside of the palace walls.
According to the official website of the Swedish Court, Äventyret Preschool was founded in 1992 and uses “the Ur & Skur outdoor teaching methods to teach children about nature and to convey a sense of the natural world”.
Estelle’s hair was swept to the side in an adorable bow, and she wore a cute little cardigan to match. It was a sight to draw tears and sighs of how fast the time has passed already.
Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Duchess of Östergötland, was born on February 23, 2012. She is the first child of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.
Princess Madeleine of Sweden has married her American love, Christopher O’Neill. Below are photos of the event [click to enlarge photos. All are screen captures from SVT.se].
Princess Madeleine’s wedding dress was created by Valentino and made from pleated silk organza with appliquéd ivory-coloured Chantilly lace. Her tiara, the Modern Fringe Tiara (one of her frequent headpieces), is decorated with sprigs of orange blossom.
The assembled royal guests:
The church guests:
Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle, Princess Victoria, and Queen Silvia:
Chris’ mother, Eva O’Neill, far left:
Chris awaits his bride with his best man:
Sweden’s Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland, has died today at the age of 97.
Lilian was born Lillian May Davies in Swansea, South Wales on August 30th, 1915. In her youth, she was a popular fashion model in Britain. In a move that would affect her future, Lilian made a wartime marriage to British actor Ivan Craig in 1940. During the war, Lilian worked at a factory that made radios for the Royal Navy and at a hospital for wounded soldiers.
In 1943, she met Sweden’s Prince Bertil, uncle of the present King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Lilian and Bertil fell in love, but were to face struggles with their relationship as Lilian was still married and would eventually be divorced. A divorcee in a royal family at this time was unacceptable.
Things became more complicated when Bertil’s older brother, heir apparent Prince Gustaf Adolf, died in 1947. Gustaf Adolf’s son, Carl Gustaf, was still a baby, so Bertil had to serve as regent in his nephew’s stead. To be regent, Bertil had to make a suitable marriage. He loved no one but Lilian, so they chose not to marry and Bertil remained a bachelor for official purposes. They lived together discreetly for more than 30 years.
Bertil’s father, King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, lived until young Carl Gustaf came of age. The new king fell in love with a German commoner Silvia Sommerlath, whom he had met at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Silvia was working as an interpreter and hostess and caught the king’s eye. Carl Gustaf courted Silvia and they married in June 1976, an event that paved the way for Bertil and Lilian to marry. The king, now married to a commoner, granted his uncle permission to marry his love. On December 7th, 1976, Lilian and Bertil realized their dream. They were wed in the church at Drottningholm Palace.
Prince Bertil predeceased his wife in January 1997 with Lilian at his side. They had no children.
Lilian, in her capacity as Duchess of Halland, fulfilled a number of royal duties. She took up many of Prince Bertil’s former posts, particularly in the area of sports. Each year, she distributed grants from the “Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian Sports Foundation”. Lilian also worked closely with SOS Children’s Villages Sweden, which provides a home and an education to children who have been orphaned.
In recent years, Lilian’s health had deteriorated. After breaking a hip, she became increasingly frail. In 2010, the Royal Court said that the princess had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and would not be appearing in public.
The king and queen, together with their children Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine, and Prince Carl Phillip, adored Lilian. She will be missed.
Estelle, the Duchess of Östergötland, is the first child for Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel.
The revelation of the princess’ name was met with surprise by many Swedes, as Estelle is an uncommon moniker in their country. There is one precedent for the name among the Bernadotte dynasty: Estelle, Countess of Wisborg, who was married to Count Folke Bernadotte. The Count was a first cousin of Crown Princess Victoria’s great-grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.
Princess Estelle was christened in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace on May 22, 2012. In accordance with the 1979 Act of Succession, the little princess is second in the line of succession, following Crown Princess Victoria.
Estelle’s birth and christening will be part of an historical exhibition at the Royal Palace until March 3rd.
[See the photos at Kungahuset.se!]
Congratulations to the happy couple!
This is Madeleine’s second engagement. She was engaged first to Jonas Bergstrom, but when it was revealed that a woman named Tora Uppstrøm Berg had an “intimate” affair with Bergström in 2009, the princess called off the engagement.
Happily, Madeleine has found her true love and her soulmate in Chris, whom she has been dating since 2011.
Princess Madeleine of Sweden Engaged To Chris O’Neill
Princess Estelle was born on February 23, 2012. Her godparents are:
Prince Carl Philip (maternal uncle)
Anna Westling Söderström(paternal aunt)
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, wife of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
While some reacted with surprise at the baby’s first name, historians found that there was a previous Estelle linked to the Bernadotte dynasty – Estelle Romaine Manville, the American wife of Folke Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg.