Preparations ahead of the Royal Wedding
An information briefing for the media at the Royal Palace on Monday May 24, gave details of the preparations that are underway ahead of The Crown Princess Couple's wedding on 19 June, 2010.
Chief of Staff coordinating wedding The Chief of Staff and Wedding Coordinator Håkan Pettersson spoke about the many aspects involved in organising such an important event:
- Representatives from Swedish society will have the opportunity to meet The Crown Princess Couple
- Stockholm will put on a good show for visiting journalists and for tourists coming to Sweden
- Meanwhile it is important to maintain a relatively low financial profile.
- There is also the challenge of creating a wedding that is both a ceremonial state occasion for the whole of Sweden and a private event for The Crown Princess Couple.
Palace wedding preparations in full swingThe palace is now a hive of activity, with planning and cleaning in every corner. Renovations, redecorating and repairs are being completed. Chamberlains, cabinet chamberlains and the Master of Ceremonies are preparing to support the wedding celebrations, in addition to the permanent members of staff.
Profile Manual As well as being a ceremonial state occasion, The Crown Princess Couple's wedding is also a major visual experience. This is why it has been important to create an attractive and consistent visual profile. A Profile Manual has been developed to assist in this work. The Profile Manual functions as a guide in creating the visual profile and was from the start mainly intended for the Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral. Later on the idea of an Official Wedding Series emerged.
In addition to the visual profile, the wedding will also be characterised by words chosen by The Crown Princess Couple. These words are: consideration, commitment, sincerity.
Finally, the Profile Manual also contains an idea on the type of setting that The Crown Princess Couple wish to represent — timeless tradition with a personal touch.
The Profile Manual gave rise to the idea of the Official Wedding Series. There was very little time — just four months to create the Wedding Series in collaboration with 17 companies.
Royal Chapel versus Stockholm Cathedral The Crown Princess Couple belong to the Royal Chapel parish, but the chapel only has room for 400 people. Since this wedding is a ceremonial state occasion guests will include representatives from official Sweden, as well as heads of state from other countries. With its 400 places, the chapel is not big enough. So the choice fell on the beautiful Stockholm Cathedral.
Stockholm Cathedral is both large and beautiful, but with its many columns and sections only 20 percent of the people sitting in the cathedral can actually see what is happening at the altar. So large screens have been set up in the cathedral.
Cortège route The cortège is being organised to enable The Crown Princess Couple to greet all those who want to congratulate them. It will travel along Norrbro and parade streets such as Kungsgatan, Birger Jarlsgatan and Strandvägen. The cortège route will come to an end at the Royal Barge Vasaorden. Afterwards they will walk up Logården to Lejonbacken. At Lejonbacken they will be met by a choir with representatives from Sweden's bands. The conductor is Cecilia Rydinger Ahlin. The choir will be accompanied by the Armed Forces´ Music Corps.
A rough estimate puts the cost of the Royal Wedding at 20 million kronor. All the events taking place at the Royal Palace will be financed by The King, while those events that are affairs of the state will be paid for by the government. According to estimates from the Swedish Trade Federation, visiting tourists, guests and journalists will bring in approximately 2.5 billion kronor. This means that every krona being spent on the wedding will generate 100 kronor in revenues.
Royal Collections prepares palace for wedding Director of the Royal Collections, Carin Bergström, spoke about how the department is preparing for the wedding. The Royal Collections Department at the Royal Palace is responsible for some 200,000 articles distributed across the 11 royal palaces, which means that it deals with the practical aspects in terms of furnishing, preserving items and repairing furniture and paintings. The department employs 35 people who look after and renovate the articles in the collections, and make sure that each room is furnished correctly according to preserved historical documents.
Some 30 people will be staying at the palace for the duration of the wedding celebrations. The Royal Collections department is responsible for preparing for these guests. Drottningholm Palace is also preparing to receive several wedding guests.
What do they have to think about? One concrete example of the kind of thing the Royal Collections Department has to think about is protecting the crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling of the floor below when there is dancing. The Royal Collections Department also looks after the cope worn by the Archbishop during the wedding ceremony. It also prepares an exhibition of all the wedding gifts received by The Crown Princess Couple. The exhibition will take place at the Royal Palace and opens at the beginning of September. The Royal Collections Department has already created an exhibition on royal weddings: there is a photographic exhibition this summer at Strömsholm Palace featuring images from royal weddings, 1823 - 2010. The exhibition will be updated with additional photographs following The Crown Princess Couple's wedding. The exhibition will then be shown at Tullgarn Palace and Ulriksdal Palace.
Karl XIV Johan abandoned torchlight dance, public suppers and leading bridal couple to bed When the first Bernadotte Prince married (the future Oscar I) in 1823, three ancient traditions disappeared that had up until then been part of royal weddings in Sweden. The first to be abandoned was the public supper, in which the King ate in front of an audience. The second tradition to disappear was the torchlight dance, in which the members of the government at the time danced with torches at royal weddings. The third and final tradition to be dispensed with by the first Bernadotte, Karl XIV Johan, was the leading of the bridal couple to their bed by the wedding guests.
Public church service with banns Chaplain to The King Lars-Göran Lönnermark explained the various church preparations taking place prior to the Royal Wedding. This Sunday, 30 May, there will be a public church service at Stockholm Cathedral with Holy Communion and the publishing of the banns of marriage between The Crown Princess and Mr Daniel Westling. Publishing the banns of marriage is now merely an old tradition that has been replaced in its legal form by an inquiry into impediments. The wedding service at Stockholm Cathedral on 19 June will be conducted by Archbishop Anders Wejryd, who will be assisted by three priests. On Sunday 20 June there will be a formal thanksgiving service for the wedding in the Royal Chapel, which will not be attended by the Royal Family.
Media Centre open 17-19 June Johan Murray and Claes Jernaeus from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs' press centre then informed everyone that the Media Centre will be open 17-19 June and manned by staff from the MFA, the Royal Court, the Police, the Church of Sweden and the Council for the Promotion of Sweden. The media centre will provide the latest information. The MFA will also be opening an SMS service with updated information for all accredited journalists from 17-19 June.
Detailed information about photo positions is available on the MFA's website, http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/12900
Accreditation is open until 31 May. Journalists who have not yet applied for accreditation are asked to do so.
Some 1,500 journalists have registered so far, 1,000 of whom are from Sweden. Twenty-five foreign TV companies are on site broadcasting. There will be press viewings providing background information about the monarchy in Sweden at Rosenbad on Thursday 17 June and Friday 18 June. These press viewings are brief and in English.