If you read the Sunday Editions (you should! That’s where the winners are! ;)), you know that I spent a weekend recently with a friend, doing a writing retreat. I wrote MOST of a novella (that will be FREE to newsletter subscribers later this year!). So while we were writing retreating, there was a royal wedding going on in Sweden! I simply had to stream it. For research. I didn’t get to see the whole thing “live” but they had the coverage available to stream in its entirety – it’s still available! I don’t know that I’d sit and watch it for NINE HOURS but stream it on the side? You betcha!
One thing should be obvious to anyone who’s seen the pictures or watched any of the video, Prince Carl Philip and the new Princess Sofia clearly adore each other! With three royal weddings coming in The Brides of Bellas Montagnes series later this year, the festivities were timely for my research. They showed the wedding itself, the drive through town in a horse drawn carriage, the dinner reception complete with speeches I couldn’t understand, cake cutting, and the first dance. There was also conversations with all kinds of people associated with the behind-the-scenes stuff – like the chef before each new course and someone who did something with the linens. I’m sure at least some of it will work it’s way into my own royal weddings – and it wouldn’t surprise me if a couple members of the Swedish royal family popped in for a wedding or two ;).
Here’s what I learned:
- I speak about six words of Swedish. Don’t ask me to recall what those words were ;).
- Prince Carl Philip needed a shave and a haircut before the wedding. He had been the Crown Prince for several months after his birth, but the laws were changed to “absolute primogeniture” meaning the oldest child, regardless of gender, would inherit the throne. His older sister, Princess Victoria, was promoted to Crown Princess.
Sofia Hellqvist has a bit of a checkered past (not too much, compared to some). She once posed topless with her back to the camera and a snake placed strategically. She also appeared on a reality show called Paradise Hotel, that seems to be sort of like Big Brother here in the U.S. She also /gasp/ has two tattoos – one of which was clearly visible on her wedding day.
- Swedish has no words for “hashtag,” “poker face,” or “Pop Rocks.” The Pop Rocks were a reference to the layer of Pop Rocks in the wedding cake (it was quite funny watching the guy try to explain them while saying “Pop Rocks” over and over). I would presume “hashtag” had to do with people tweeting about the wedding. “Poker face”? Yeah. I got nothin’ ;).
- The Swedish royal family are the “anti-Windors” (I saw that in the comments on a blog). I’ve heard Queen Elizabeth has quite the wicked sense of humor behind closed doors, but I cannot imagine cameras following the guests as they walked through the palace to the next part of the celebration. I’m also quite certain Queen Elizabeth would have had something to say about the bride – especially if she was marrying the heir. (Prince Carl Philip is not.)
- Sweden is beautiful!
A Coldplay song was featured during the wedding. Fix Me was sung in English by a Swedish pop artist of Syrian origin. Rihanna’s Umbrella was sung in Swedish. The recessional was Joyful, Joyful – the Sister Act 2 arrangement. It’s quite lively, but they continued to walk at the sedate pace generally associated with weddings.
- Princess Sofia’s tiara (with emeralds!) was a gift from her new in-laws. It is a new tiara rather than one that already existed. I counted at least sixteen tiaras all together! That’s a lot of bling! I also loved Queen Silvia’s tiara with it’s sapphires!
Princess Madeline must really love her older brother! She was quite heavily pregnant at the wedding. (I didn’t see her at the cake cutting or dancing, though that could just mean that I missed it.) Her son was born less than two days later. Prince Daniel Westling (husband of Crown Princess Victoria) is the baby whisperer. Princess Madeline’s older child, a 16mo-old daughter, was passed from relative to relative during the wedding, until she settled down with her uncle. (And I NEVER looked that good two days before delivery!)
- I’m sure it comes as no shock that the interior of the palace is super cool! Some of the walls were lined floor to ceiling with portraits. I presume they were of important members of the Swedish royal family through the years.
What’s your favorite part of a wedding? Let me know and be entered to win an ecopy of any of my books currently out (including Splash!) or Hand-Me-Down Princess, releasing in August and available to pre-order now! And it’s on sale! Only .99 through July 5!
Prince Malachi Van Renssalaer of Mevendia is getting married. The problem? He’s never even met his bride. His father arranged everything, right down to the marriage contract. Malachi swears to himself that he will be nothing like his father in the ways that count – including his fidelity to his wife.
Jessabelle Keller would happily spend her entire life in obscurity, but her father once saved the life of a future king. Before he dies, her father is committed to seeing that king make good on his promise to have one of his sons marry her so she would be taken care of for life.
No sooner than Prince Malachi and Jessabelle return from their honeymoon, they find themselves dealing with both private trauma and the very public drama of groundless accusations from the press. Just as they begin to weave their fragile trust back together, a ghost from the king’s past arrives and threatens everything they’ve ever held dear.
Secrets have a funny way of coming out and this one could rip the faith of the country in their leaders to shreds. Malachi is determined to protect Jessabelle no matter what it takes, but will it ever be enough for her to not feel like a Hand-Me-Down Princess?