Yesterday 12 March, Victoria’s name was in the calendar again and it was time for the traditional congratulatory ceremony in honour of one of Sweden’s many Victorias – the country’s Crown Princess herself.
Together with a few ardent supporters I arrived at the Royal Palace in Stockholm well ahead in time and as usual there was lots of chit chat as the group grew larger and we had to endure cold, snow and some sunshine in our wait for the gates to open. The question of the day was of course if Daniel would be there, but also if any other members of the family would show up.
The answer was yes. Once the crowd was let into the Inner Courtyard many curious eyes were directed towards the doors. Daniel was seen walking past and it was duly noted by many voices in the crowds, but they kept us waiting a little bit longer. Many cold feet and fingers tried to do anything to keep some heat and circulation, Daniel disappeared out of sight and people looked at their watches. Then Queen Silvia became visible, walking with Daniel slightly behind her and it became clear it was Her Majesty they had been waiting for. The crowd immediately became slightly more cheerful.
With the Queen and Daniel behind her, Crown Princess Victoria then stepped out into the wintery weather with elements of spring sunshine, just like last year there was also a little snow on the ground, and the cameras pattered.
As always Victoria placed herself on the blue raised podium while Queen Silvia and Daniel took their places behind her, just like last year when the two of them accompanied each other at what was then the future Prince’s official debut, and the Queen was even dressed in the same coat as last year. The Crown Princess was dressed for spring in a pretty cerise coat with flounce and high boots.
When the music entertainment by defence bands was over Victoria took Daniel’s arm and brought him along for her traditional walkabout, and there was an immediate spontaneous positive reactions from the crowds. Young and old got a chance to greet her, wish the couple well and hand over flowers and gifts. Daniel kept himself a little bit in the background together with the Aide-de-Camp and security men while Victoria did what she’s always commended for doing so well, meeting her people.