Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria celebrated her 35th birthday Saturday at Solliden, on the island of Öland where the Swedish royals spend their summer vacation. As always, the Crown Princess met with Swedes who were there to offer their future Queen gifts and flowers.
But this year, Victoria brought out her 4 1/2 month old daughter, Princess Estelle, for the public to see. The infant royal looked around at the crowds as though she was well aware of what was going on.
After posing with her parents and husband, Prince Daniel, in front of the courtyard, Victoria transferred her daughter to Daniel’s arms so she could meet and greet with the crowds.
She thanked the 7,000 people for waiting all day, as it was heavily raining in the morning. “You are brave souls,” the Crown Princess told them.
Later on, the entire Swedish royal family gathered for the outdoor birthday concert at Borgholm Idrott Place. Victoria and her mother, Queen Silvia, wore traditional Swedish dresses. Princess Estelle was not with her family, but Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine were there for the performances, which included Eurovision Song Contest winner Loreenia.
Norwegian royal watcher, Kjell Arne Totland, made this comment to VG Nett:
“Victoria and her family in many ways gives new hope for the monarchy in Sweden – after all the scandals surrounding King Carl Gustaf. But I hope Victoria will get many years as Crown Princess and the mother of young children before she has to take over as monarch after her father.”
The newest royal heir of Sweden was baptized today at the royal chapel at Stockholm’s Royal Palace. Proud parents Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel had their three month old baby daughter, Princess Estelle christened in an event televised live throughout the country, plus a few other European nations.
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Victoria and Daniel were all smiles and very doting towards their firstborn child. The Prince held his daughter as he and the Crown Princess entered the chapel. Estelle was wearing the baptismal gown that has been worn by Swedish royals since the early 20th century.
The infant Princess was very alert and very calm during the ceremony. She only let out a burp when Bishop Anders Wejryd poured the water over her head. That made everyone giggle. By the way, the baptismal water is from the island of Öland, where the Swedish royals vacation in the summer.
Estelle’s godparents are Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary, Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, her uncle, Prince Carl Philip, and Anna Westling Söderström, the sister of Prince Daniel.
After the official baptism was over, proud grandpa King Carl XVI Gustaf bestowed on the baby the Order of the Seraphim, which is given to members of the Swedish royal family and some other heads of state. The King himself was made a member of the Order during his baptism in 1946.
About 400 guests came the event, including Danish Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and his fiancée, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy, and Princess Martha Louise and husband Ari Behn of Norway.
Also in attendance were the significant others of Victoria’s siblings – Sofia Hellqvist, girlfriend of Prince Carl Philip, and Chris O’Neill, boyfriend of Princess Madeleine. This was a major break in tradition as the partners of royals usually do not attend public royal events unless they are officially engaged.
After the christening, there was a reception at the royal palace.
Born on February 23, Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary is second in line to the throne of Sweden.
When a crowd gathered outside the royal palace in Stockholm Monday, they were mainly there to wish King Carl XVI Gustaf a happy 66th birthday.
But the people got a big surprise when the King’s first grandchild, 2 month old Princess Estelle made her royal debut on the balcony with her parents.
Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel brought their daughter out for the public to see at the end of the celebration, making the people cheer with joy and excitement. Proud father Daniel even held his baby girl’s hand and made it wave to everyone.
Every April 30th, the birthday celebrations at the royal palace include the King meeting with the crowds who give him flowers and sing him a happy birthday, plus an Army Band playing a parade march and a gun salute.
On Tuesday, Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö and his wife, Jenni Haukio, made their state visit to neighboring Sweden. The purpose of their visit is to strengthen links between the two countries. Not that they need much strengthening – Finland and Sweden have had close, friendly relations for many years.
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Arriving at Arlanda airport, the Presidential couple were welcomed by Prince Daniel. They then went to the Royal Mews, where they met with Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. The four couples traveled to the palace in a horse and carriage procession.
After the official welcoming ceremony at the palace, President Niinistö and First Lady Jenni Haukio went inside where they met Crown Princess Victoria. The Finnish couple and their Swedish hosts then posed for the media.
Then it was time to get down to business. Lunch was served at the palace, and afterward, Niinistö went to Swedish Parliament where he met with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. He later gave a speech at the Stockholm School Colleges where he talked about the subject of “Northern European Perspectives”.
While that was happening, Queen Silvia took Jenni Haukio to the the Museum of Modern Art to see the exhibition Parallel worlds of Eija-Liisa Ahtila. It was right after their visit that the place was the scene of a bomb scare. The museum has been a center of controversy over a cake in the shape of a black woman, which offended the Afro Swedes’ Association.
In the evening, there will be a state gala for the Finnish couple. The King and Queen will attend as will Prince Daniel.
For tomorrow, Sauli Niinistö and his wife will tour Swedish institutions such as Karolinska Institute, the Sweden Finnish school and Stockholm’s Finland Institute. They will return to their country at the end of the day.
Niinistö is Finland’s 12th president who came to office on March 1st.
On Thursday, Britain’s Prince Charles made his first ever official visit to Sweden. Although His Royal Highness has made numerous private trips to that country in the past, this was the first he went there on behalf of the British government. He and wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are doing a Scandinavian tour to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.
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Upon arriving at Arlanda airport in Stockholm, the couple were greeted by Prince Carl Philip. It was there that the Swedish air force showed Charles and Camilla their Gripen jets, which were part of NATO’s air strikes in Libya in 2011.
Later on, the couple went to the royal palace where Queen Silvia greeted them. As Queen of Sweden of 36 years, she had long been waiting for this moment.
“It’s very nice since Prince Charles during my time, unfortunately, hasn’t had the possibility to visit earlier,” she reportedly said according to the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet. “But we have a very close contact with the British royal family and so we’re very happy about their visit.”
At the palace, they also met with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who took Charles and Camilla to Fyrahuset, a major community center in Stockholm. There, they met with local youths and showed their basketball shooting skills. Unfortunately, for Prince Charles, his shots were more or less forgettable.
On Friday, Their Royal Highnesses returned to the palace, this time to lunch with the royal family – including Crown Princess Victoria who made her first public engagement since giving birth to daughter Princess Estelle one month earlier. By looking at her in her bright green dress, one would never had guessed Victoria recently had a baby.
During that lunch, Prince Charles gave a speech where he discussed the close ties between the United Kingdom and Sweden. “I need hardly say that it is the greatest pleasure to return to Sweden after what seems to have been far too long an interval and for what my staff tell me is my first official visit. On this occasion I am so pleased to be able to introduce my darling wife to your country.”
“Your Majesties, within the European Union Britain has no better partner than Sweden in promoting our shared values and goals. Together, the friendship and partnership between our two countries provides a solid foundation on which to continue to build inclusive and responsive societies, fit for purpose in the 21st century.”
After the lunch, Queen Silvia and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visited Stockholm’s British International Primary School.
In the evening, Charles and Camilla toured Drottningholm Palace Theatre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Prince got a try at operating the theatre’s antique machinery, such as its wind and thunder machines.
Saturday will see Their Royal Highnesses head to Denmark, their final stop on their Jubilee tour.