For two centuries, the Bernadotte dynasty has reigned in Sweden, and the family has long had a tradition of grand royal weddings. Sofia Hellqvist will join the ranks of Sweden’s royal brides this weekend. Here’s how brides have married in the Swedish royal family from the early years of the twentieth century until today!
1905: Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden (later King Gustaf VI Adolf) married Princess Margaret of Connaught, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The pair met and fell in love in Cairo, and the Khedive of Egypt sent a romantic diamond tiara to the couple as a wedding gift. They would have five children before Margaret’s untimely death at the age of 38.
1923: The widowed Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden wedded a second British bride, marrying Lady Louise Mountbatten (who was born Princess Louise of Battenberg) at the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace. In 1950, they became King Gustaf VI Adolf and Queen Louise of Sweden. They remained married until Louise’s death in 1965.
1926: Princess Astrid of Sweden, the third daughter of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg, married the Duke of Brabant (later King Leopold III of Belgium) in two ceremonies: a civil wedding in Stockholm, and a religious wedding in Brussels. At the civil ceremony, she wore a traditional Swedish myrtle crown perched atop her veil. Her wedding gifts included the iconic Nine Provinces Tiara. Like Margaret of Connaught, Astrid sadly died young, perishing in a car accident before her 30th birthday.
1929: In Oslo, Princess Märtha of Sweden, the second daughter of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg, married a fellow Scandinavian royal: Crown Prince Olav of Norway (later King Olav V). Theirs was the first royal wedding in Norway in more than three centuries. Like her sister, Märtha wore a traditional myrtle crown on her wedding day. She and Olav had three children, including the current Norwegian king, Harald V, and weathered World War II before her death from cancer in 1954.
1932: Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, the eldest son of King Gustaf VI Adolf and Margaret of Connaught, married a German princess, Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Both were great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The civil and religious wedding ceremonies both took place in her native Coburg. The couple had five children, including the current Swedish king, Carl XVI Gustaf, before his death in a plane crash in 1947.
1935: Princess Ingrid of Sweden, the only daughter of King Gustaf VI Adolf and Margaret of Connaught, married the heir to the Danish throne, Crown Prince Frederik (later King Frederik IX) in Stockholm. To remember her late mother, Ingrid’s father gave her a large diamond daisy brooch set with stones that had belonged to Margaret. Ingrid had inherited the Khedive of Egypt tiara, which has become the traditional bridal tiara for all of her female descendants. Frederik and Ingrid became the Danish king and queen in 1947, and they remained married until his death in 1972.
1961: Princess Birgitta of Sweden, the second daughter of Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla, married Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern in two ceremonies: a civil wedding in Stockholm, and a religious wedding in the groom’s native Germany. Birgitta became the first Bernadotte princess to wear the Cameo Tiara on her wedding day. Johann Georg and Birgitta are still legally married today, though they separated twenty-five years ago and have lived apart for decades.
1964: Princess Désirée of Sweden, the third daughter of Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla, wore the Cameo Tiara to wed a Swedish aristocrat, Baron Nils-August Silfverschiöld, at Stockholm’s grand cathedral. Because she married a commoner, Désirée lost her royal status and her place in the Swedish line of succession; her new title was Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld. She and Nils-August have three children, and they’re still married today.
1964: Princess Margaretha of Sweden, the eldest daughter of Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla, married John Ambler, a British businessman, at the Gärdslösa Church on the island of Öland. Rather than wearing a tiara, she opted to use the church’s traditional bridal crown. Like her sister, she lost her royal status and her place in the line of succession after marrying a commoner, and she’s now known as Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler. After having three children together, the couple separated, but they never divorced. Ambler died in 2008.
1974: Princess Christina of Sweden, the youngest daughter of Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla, married Swedish businessman Tord Magnuson in Stockholm. To honor her mother, who had recently died, Christina wore Sibylla’s favorite tiara: the Connaught Diamond Tiara, which had been one of Margaret of Connaught’s wedding gifts in 1905. Christina lost her royal status and her place in the line of succession, becoming Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson. The couple have three children and live in Sweden.
1976: King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, the only son of Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla, married German translator Silvia Sommerlath, who became Sweden’s queen on her wedding day. Silvia wore the Cameo Tiara at her wedding, following in the footsteps of two of her sisters-in-law. Carl Gustaf and Silvia have reigned in Sweden for four decades; they have three children and two grandchildren.
1976: Prince Bertil of Sweden, the fourth son of King Gustaf VI Adolf and Margaret of Connaught, was finally able to marry his longtime partner, Lilian Craig, after receiving permission from his nephew, King Carl XVI Gustaf. The two had remained unmarried so that Bertil could retain his royal status, in the event that he’d needed to step in as regent for the young Carl Gustaf. Bertil and Lilian married at Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, and she became Princess Lilian of Sweden. They remained married until his death in 1997. Lilian died in 2013.
2010: Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, married Daniel Westling in a grand ceremony in Stockholm. Like her mother, she wore the family’s Cameo Tiara. Although Daniel was a commoner, the marriage was approved by the king; the groom became Prince Daniel of Sweden on his wedding day. The two now have a young daughter, Princess Estelle, who will one day be Sweden’s queen.
2013: Princess Madeleine of Sweden, the youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, married British-American businessman Christopher O’Neill in Stockholm. Madeleine wore her mother’s Modern Fringe Tiara on her wedding day. She did not lose her royal status or her place in the line of succession even though she married a commoner; Chris O’Neill did not receive a title. They have one daughter, Princess Leonore of Sweden, and Madeleine is expecting their second child.
Which Swedish royal bride’s gown was your favorite? Do you prefer the traditional Cameo Tiara, or some of the more unconventional tiara choices?
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