Saturday, June 19, 2010

Crown Princess Victoria

Sweden celebrates royal wedding 

The Swedish Crown Princess Victoria is set to tie the knot with Daniel Westling, her former personal trainer, in the country's long-awaited royal wedding.
More than 1,000 guests, including royalties from around the world, were expected to attend the ceremony in Stockholm Cathedral on Saturday.

Several days of celebrations have been held
ahead of the wedding
 Security was tight in the capital, with 7,000 security personell deployed, the biggest security operation ever in the Scandinavian country.
The future queen's relationship with Westling, a commoner from a small town, has been under close scrutiny since it got known to the public eight years ago.
Possibly because of the heavy media coverage, anti-royalist sentiments have grown stronger in Sweden in recent years.
Only half of the population now wants a monarchy and a quarter does not support the royal family, according to a poll released on Friday.

The set-up of the wedding ceremony has stirred controversy in the country which views itself as a front runner in the field of gender equality.
Swedish couples getting married in church normally walk to the altar together, a tradition which is said to symbolise that the man and the women both enter the marriage of their own free will.
But Victoria has expressed a wish to be escorted down the isle by her father, King Carl Gustaf XVI, causing a media storm dubbed 'Altargate'.
Anders Wejryd, the Swedish Archbishop, has joined the critics who described the decision as a step backwards for women's liberation and the Royal Court finally announced a compromise - the King and Westling will each walk half the way to the altar with the Crown Princess.
After saying "yes", the bridal pair will be driven by horse-drawn carriage through

the city before boarding the royal barge which will sail them to the palace - the same route the King and Queen Silvia took when they got married in 1976, also on June 19.
Guests attending the celebrations include Jordan's King Abdullah, Japan's heir to the throne, Prince Albert of Monaco and many other European royalties.

Crown Princess Victoria 
Victoria is the current successor to the throne.
It was three years after her birth, in 1980, that Sweden became the first country to make its Act of Succession gender-neutral so as to allow the throne to be passed to the first-born child, whether male or female.
The monarch is the head of state but does not have any political powers. He makes no political statements and does not vote.

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