The romance of a very modern royal wedding
It was a very modern royal wedding. The setting may have been an historic royal building, the groom's father may be monarch of one of Europe's oldest kingdoms, the guests may have been from the oldest royal families in the world but the event they attended was very much part of the 21st century and very much all about the couple saying 'I do'. Carl Philip and Sofia of Sweden brought modern romance to the royal wedding.
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden share a kiss after their romantic and very modern wedding in Stockholm on June 13th 2015
On the surface it all looked very traditional. In the mid afternoon of June 13th queens, princes and princesses began arriving at the Royal Palace in Stockholm in full gala dress with tiaras and diamonds as far as the eye could see. Among the royal guests was a queen regnant, three queen consorts, two crown princes (with a matching number of crown princesses) as well as a royal earl and countess and endless princes and princesses. They walked through the ancient courtyards of the palace lined with guards in traditional uniform and into the chapel which was consecrated in 1754 and which is decorated with some of the most ornate and traditional art work in the Swedish capital. It was all just as we've come to know royal weddings.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrive for the Royal Wedding in Stockholm
The Royal Family of Sweden then arrived with Princess Madeleine and her husband, Chris O'Neill, first and their sixteen month old daughter, Princess Leonore, in daddy's arms. Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Prince Daniel, came next.
The sisters f the groom with their respective husbands make their way to the church to see their only brother get married
The King and Queen of Sweden were the last to arrive and as they walked into the Royal Chapel the emotion of the day began to build. Carl XVI Gustaf looked almost tearful as he took his seat at which point Crown Princess Victoria also began to look weepy. The days of a royal stiff upper lip are long gone - and all the better for it - and this was going to be a wedding 21st century style where even the father of the groom, currently Europe's second longest reigning monarch, was going to have a bit of a blub.
The King and Queen of Sweden enter the Royal Chapel for the marriage of their son, Prince Carl Philip, on June 13th 2015
The chapel was decked with flowers in pink and peach and cream and yellow which gave it a summery, light and bright feel. Many of the guests chose mauve or green for their dresses and as the clock ticked round to 4.30pm local time all was set. The groom entered in traditional dress uniform and waited for his bride.
Prince Carl Philip stands alone at the altar with Europe's royals looking on
And that's when it all went very modern. The music swelled, the doors opened and in walked the flower girls with one bridesmaid in simple white dresses- among them Princess Estelle, holding hands with her fellow attendants and looking pleased as anything to be a bridesmaid for the first time. And then suddenly there was the bride - Sofia Kristina Hellqvist, wearing a dress by Ida Sjostedt and with a tiara given to her by the King and Queen of Sweden, walked in on the arm of her father.
Here comes the royal bride - Sofia Hellqvist prepares to become a princess
The groom couldn't wait to get to his bride and walked towards her with tears in his eyes. And before we knew it they were at the altar and after a psalm and a few brief words from the minister three of their four sisters were at microphones giving readings.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden giving a reading at the wedding of her brother, Prince Carl Philip
Their vows followed but then things got really modern as the bride and groom turned to face the congregation and a singer performed a version of 'Fix You' by Coldplay. It was as surprising as it was unusual and many were still recovering from it throughout the sermon. But they didn't have long because before we knew it, the new princess and her husband were facing forward again to listen to a Swedish version of 'Umbrella' by Rihanna. It was a royal wedding like no other.
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden exchange their wedding vows
But things got even more modern as the couple prepared to leave the church. There was a traditional curtsey from the bride to her new in laws and then the music started. 'Joyful, Joyful' - know thanks to Sister Act 2 - started up but that wasn't the most striking part of this break with tradition. The lead singer then turned to the guests, including the crowned heads of Europe, and asked them to start clapping along.
The Crown Prince and Princess of Norway can be seen clapping along as the newlywed royal couple leave the chapel
But while it may have been unusual, it was happy and the bride and groom clearly loved it. They headed off into a new future together, which began with a carriage ride through the streets of Stockholm, smiling just about as broadly as royal newlyweds ever have. There was a kiss of course - so very traditional now - to put the final romantic seal on a very modern royal wedding.
Stills taken from live coverage of wedding on SVT