Photo: Henrik Montgomery, Scanpix.
Newly-restored Stockholm Cathedral prepared itself for the celebrations. The cathedral was restored to its former glory following extensive renovations during the winter, and was ready to welcome 1,200 guests to the royal wedding. A new chapter began written in the cathedral's 700-year history.
Stockholm's old village church Stockholm's old village church and the current church of the Cathedral Parish of Stockholm, built in 1306, has been the scene of royal coronations, weddings, christenings and funerals since the 16th century.
Royal weddings at Stockholm Cathedral The cathedral has been the venue for the weddings of kings or successors to the throne on five previous occasions. Gustav Vasa (I) and Katarina of Sachsen-Lauenburg in 1531; King Erik XIV and Karin Månsdotter in 1568; Crown Prince Oscar (I) and Joséphine of Leuchtenberg in 1823; Crown Prince Karl (XV) and Louise of the Netherlands in 1850, and King Carl XVI Gustaf and Silvia Sommerlath in 1976.
Traditions from the time of Gustav Vasa Ceremonies have lived on from the time of Gustav Vasa's first wedding in Stockholm Cathedral in 1531. The most important of these traditions are Gustav Vasa's decision to appoint the Archbishop as officiator at weddings, and for the foremost symbols of the country and the monarchy, the Royal Regalia (today just the crowns), to be on display in the cathedral. The inside of the cathedral was decorated specially then, as now, to mark the important event and enhance the beauty of the grand interior. Gustav Vasa ordered the walls and floor, particularly in the sanctuary, to be adorned with woven rugs and embroidered textiles. At the royal wedding in 1976, the central part of the altar railings was covered with a blue cloth embroidered with gold crowns. The red carpet on the central aisle both protected the expensive shoes of the female guests and added royal lustre to the ceremony.
Gustav Vasa and his bride exchanged rings and received the church's blessing while kneeling on a hassock in front of the Archbishop. The music played on medieval instruments lent solemnity to the royal proceedings.
Gustav Vasa and Katarina were married by Archbishop Laurentius Petri, the first Evangelical Archbishop of Sweden.
Archbishop Anders Wejryd officiated at the wedding on 19 June. The royal wedding in 1976, Archbishop Olof Sundby wore the gold embroidered silk cowl from Adolf Fredrik's coronation in 1751.