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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Swedish Royal Wedding

Yesterday was a BIG day here in Stockholm!
Crown Princess Victoria married her former personal trainer Daniel Westling.
We were thrilled to be in the midst of it all cheering them on!
The flag says Say Yes!
Given the historical significance of such an event as well as the fact that I've never been anywhere near a royal wedding before combined with the fact that I've lived in Sweden for 12 years, I felt it important to figure out how to take part in this event. Fortunately for us, our friends, Sandra and Robert stumbled upon a great deal the night before the wedding.

Hurray for Sandra and Robert!
They scored tickets for a spot in one of the exhibit tents that were set up along the water front for all the pomp and circumstance that has been going on for weeks now. It was a terrace overlooking the water way where the newlywed couple would come by row boat at the end of their long cortege through town. This was our amazing view for the entire afternoon.Our tickets included one of the best vantage points, tables and chairs, plenty of space, heaters for when the evening chill came upon us, and food and drink. It was a major coup as we were able to truly enjoy the day in the comforts of a beautiful spot. The place had flat screen TV's set up all over the place so that we could also watch what was happening during the wedding and throughout town.
The wedding itself was beautiful and authentic. The clergy were looking grand in their vestments and the bride and the groom were sparkling, as brides and grooms do! When they each answered the Swedish equivalent of "I do" cheers and clapping erupted from the crowd! When sharing their vows, Daniel shed a tear, Victoria shed a tear, Queen Sylvia shed a tear...and OK, so did I! It was very cool to see that amidst all the huge ceremony of everything that was taking place, Daniel and Victoria were genuinely excited about being wed.
When the time finally came for the royal boat to arrive to our vantage point, the excitement in the air was electric. The jet flyover and the canons booming across the harbor created quite the celebratory environment. This boat, the Vasaorden was amazing. The rowing was in absolute precision and it was thrilling to see it come into view..Turned out we had a great perch and I'm pretty sure they both looked me right in the eye and waved! See them waving to us?!It was great being Swedish for a day and we were proud to wave our flags and cheer on the happy couple.We walked home after the events of the day in the midst of a beautiful summer June evening. This is the spot where they disembarked from the boat to greet the crowd and enter the palace for their grand reception.The guards were decked out in their finest and I loved the tassels that adorned their helmets for this special occasion.Here's the spot where Victoria and Daniel greeted the crowd before entering the palace.We shared the day with good friends who enjoyed celebrating with us. All of us were swept up into the joy of the day and we each made it memorable for all involved!The Royal Palace, bathed in the gorgeous long light of a June evening.
I am very happy that I got to be in this grand affair. It was a gorgeous day in Stockholm and I shall long treasure the memory of living here when Princess Victoria finally got her prince.I loved sharing this day with my prince to whom I am very happily married. It was a day to celebrate love and we did so in fine style.