On Friday last week, 27 June 2014, the Royal Court summoned members of the media to a press conference at the Royal Palace of Stockholm, and without telling them the reason for it. The given time was 4:30 PM in the afternoon and the media duly arrived at what looked to be a very spontaneous and not very well planned event…
After much waiting the media could see Prince Carl Philip and Sofia walking into the palace from the inner courtyard and almost an hour after the set-out time they (and the live-watchers, as the media were live on internet TV) were told that the couple were inside speaking to King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.
Members of the media were taken to the small baroque park at the Royal Palace, looking down at the water below its stairs, the same place where Crown Princess Victoria arrived to the palace as a newly married bride on the royal barge in 2010. After a long wait the royals finally came out from the palace.
- Hello everyone, as you understand I’ve had the great honour of getting engaged to this wonderful young girl. A day that is completely amazing. We’re both overjoyed. A little nervous of course, but very happy. It feels great, Prince Carl Philip said as they approached the hoard of media waiting.
The proposal had apparently been made on the morning of the same day, on the countryside at a place which they both love. The couple stood in front of the gathered media and took questions to cameras and microphones stretched forward.
- Sometimes it feels good and right. Today it did, the Prince said about the timing of popping the question.
- I was very surprised. I thought I was on my way in to work and would have a completely normal day, but that didn’t happen. I was overwhelmed with joy, Sofia Hellqvist told the media.
- The day has been great. I don’t think I’ve had time to digest everything just yet, as said, this just happened a few hours ago. Then it was bang-on, then I was supposed to stand her and meet you. Great, but completely new for me. It’s been busy. Tomorrow I think we’ll sit and stare each other in the eyes, wondering what we’ve done, Sofia explained her experience of the day that far.
Asked what they fell for in each other, Prince Carl Philip replied that Sofia has an enormous heart, is wise, warm, humble and makes him feel comfortable and at home, while Sofia said that Carl Philip is the most humble person she has met and that this was one of the traits he fell for in the beginning, and that he has one of the most beautiful hearts she has ever met, a very warm person.
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were seen arriving at the Royal Palace just before the appointed time of the press conference. As they stepped out into the baroque park around an hour after the set time they were also asked to comment.
- We have gotten to know Sofia during a number of years and we think she is a nice person and we have always had a very nice time together when she has visited us together with Prince Carl Philip. This will be great for us in the family. It’s all very nice, the King remarked.
- We got to know about this rather late also, so it was all very secret, the Queen said.
Around the same time as the press conference, the Royal Court’s website released the following statement via their website:
Engagement between Prince Carl Philip and Miss Sofia Hellqvist
The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce the engagement between Prince Carl Philip and Miss Sofia Hellqvist.
After His Majesty The King of Sweden had given his consent to the marriage between Prince Carl Philip and Miss Sofia Hellqvist, His Majesty requested the approval by the Swedish Government, in accordance with the procedures set out in the Swedish Constitution.
- Sofia has today said yes to the question to spend the rest of her life together with me. Today is a very happy day for Sofia and I, says Prince Carl Philip.
The wedding date has not yet been decided but it is planned to take place during the summer of 2015.
Marshal of the Realm
Sofia Hellqvist was born in 1984, grew up in Dalarna County from the time she started school and has two sisters. The Prince and Sofia supposedly met for the first time in 2007 and began dating in 2009 after his break-up from girlfriend of ten years, Emma Pernald, in February of that year. The Royal Court confirmed their relationship in 2010 an they have lived together since May 2011. Sofia has, unlike previous royal partners, been invited to several official royal events, the first being Princess Estelle’s christening in May 2012.
It is believed that Prince Carl Philip and Sofia will renovate Villa Solbacken on Royal Djurgården, the former home of Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian left to him in Bertil’s testament. The court has already said that Sofia’s first official appearance will be on Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday which is celebrated on the island of Öland on 14 July. The wedding will be held in the summer of 2015 and Sofia will probably be made Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Värmland; that is if the King keeps with his gender-neutral ideas and reminds himself that Jonas Bergström was announced to be made a HRH and duke of his future wife’s duchies upon the marriage that never happened.