Dutch royals to attend wedding of Swedish princess

Royal Palace, Stockholm
Royal Palace, Stockholm (Photo: andreybl)

The Dutch in Stockholm are looking forward to Saturday. First there is the World Cup football match between the Netherlands and Japan, and then there is a royal wedding. Swedish crown princess Victoria is marrying fitness centre owner Daniel Westling. 

For the first time in Sweden’s history, a crown princess is getting married. And to a commoner at that.

The Bernadotte royal house has organised three days of festivities. The capital Stockholm, has its own festival for the wedding, Love 2010. Royals from all over Europe will attend the ceremony. And media from home and abroad will turn out to report the event, which has filled the pages of Swedish gossip magazines for months.

Dutch royals
The Dutch royals will all be there: Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima, Prince Friso and Princess Mabel and Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Never before have so many of them turned up to a foreign royal wedding.

To top it all, six-year-old princess Amalia will be bridesmaid for her godmother Victoria. It is her first public appearance and her parents say she is looking forward to the spectacle which will be broadcast all around the world. She even got time off school to prepare.
The two royal families are close. Princess Victoria is Queen Beatrix’s godchild and members of both families visit each other on birthdays as well as official events. It is common knowledge that Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Victoria like each other a lot. At one time, people thought they might become an item, but things turned out differently.
That’s not all says Frank Schipper, of the Dutch embassy in Stockholm. “The two countries are like-minded, with exchanges in all kinds of areas.”
Vasa ship
“Göteborg was built by the Dutch, as are many of the buildings in Stockholm, like the embassy. And of course there is the famous Vasa ship, built by the Dutch, which sank as soon as it was launched in 1628.”The fairy-tale wedding is the talk of the town, says Mr Schipper. “Stockholm is full of bunting, the preparations for the coach tour of the city are in full swing and the papers are full of stories. The latest gossip is whether King Carl Gustaf will be allowed to give his daughter away to Daniel. Many Swedes think this will make her inferior to her husband.”

Slip away

The Dutch people living in Stockholm are more likely to be watching the football in the afternoon, although with free public transport and several events, they could easily visit Love 2010 later. Chairman of the Holland club Jeroen Kok says, ‘‘I do feel a bit sorry for Willem-Alexander, because he is an avid football supporter. It will be difficult for him to slip away during the ceremony to see how the Dutch are doing against Japan. But I think he will keep track of the score secretly.”

Dit artikel verscheen oorspronkelijk op de Engelstalige website van de Wereldomroep. Vertaling: RNW.