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Crown Princess Victoria’s name day 2014

Crown Princess Victoria's name day 2014Until yesterday, three years had passed since Crown Princess Victoria’s name day was last celebrated with the traditional congratulatory call by the defence and the public at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

In 2012 only weeks had passed since the Crown Princess had given birth to Princess Estelle when the name day came along and so the public celebration was cancelled. In 2013 the Royal Family were in mourning for Princess Lilian when the Crown Princess’ name day occurred two days afterwards and so it was cancelled again. But yesterday, 12 March 2014, it was time again.

Crown Princess Victoria's name day 2014After a grey, damp and altogether depressing winter everyone in Sweden is longing for spring and summer. And so it was a treacherous sun that cast its glorious golden rays over Stockholm yesterday morning, making many people pick their spring coat instead of something warmer for the day. At the Royal Palace however, standing in the shadow of the inner courtyard, many realised how deceiving the sun can be. Luckily, I took the safe option and grabbed my winter coat for the day as I got on the train in the early morning.

Crown Princess Victoria's name day 2014

Crown Princess Victoria's name day 2014But however freezing many of us were, standing there awaiting the start of the event, I think the temperature might even have slightly risen when Crown Princess Victoria came out together with not only Prince Daniel but also the two-year old charmer Princess Estelle. Many happy exclaims came from all sides at the sight of the little princess who had a lot to look at, from the crowds surrounding the royals to the military men and band standing in front of them.

The Crown Princess’ family took their places together at the small blue podium, where the Crown Princesss has previously stood alone. At a safe distance behind the royals the head of H.R.H. The Crown Princess’ Household, Court Marshal Karoline A. Johansson, and Aide-de-Camp Helena Sigurdsson, placed themselves.

Crown Princess Victoria's name day 2014Princess Estelle was impeccably well behaved during the concert part which consisted of the performance of three military marches, a drum salute, the traditional Swedish congratulatory song “Med en enkel tulipan” (“With a simple tulip”) and the Victoria fanfare followed by the congratulatory hurrah exclamation of the public.

The little princess applauded each performance and even broke into a little dance every now and then. Princess Estelle curiously looked up at the military representatives when they stepped forward to present their company’s congratulatory bouquet to her mother; perhaps thinking they had some funny looking hats on… Every now and then the little princess also looked back at Karoline and Helena standing behind them.

Crown Princess Victoria's name day 2014After the musical programme was finished the Crown Princess went on her usual walkabout to receive flowers, presents and children’s drawings from the crowds. Prince Daniel took Princess Estelle on his arm and walked along. As always it was wonderful to watch the Crown Princess’ fantastic interacting with people of all ages, always taking the time to stop for a moment for all of those who wants her attention.

Crown Princess Victoria's name day 2014The most spectacular gift of the day was probably the spettekaka that a woman brought with her directly from Skåne, of which it is a speciality. The Crown Princess was very happy to receive it and was impressed by how this fragile cake had been transported so far and arrived without any noticeable damages.

To see more of my photos from Crown Princess Victoria’s name day in 2014, please visit my Flickr album dedicated to the event.

Crown Princess Victoria's name day 2014

Crown Princess Victoria’s name day 2011

Arriving a few hours in advance to get the best spot, it was a palace bathing in sunshine that met me this forenoon when I arrived to the Royal Palace of Stockholm. Quite a stark difference to previous years when there has at times even been snow on the ground or falling down from the sky.

When the doors to the Inner Courtyard opened at 11:30 the usual race for the best spots took place, and the temperature changed. Going from warming sun to shadow and ice cold winds, it was quite a trying half an hour of waiting until the ceremony began. It was one of those winds that feels right down to the marrow and some spring-optimistic people had quite a hard time coping with shaking hands and frozen feet. But at least it didn’t snow.

Crown Princess Victoria receiving flowers from the music performers

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel stepped out of the palace at noon (12) and the princess immediately took her position on a small podium and the prince at a safe distance behind his wife together with one of her Aide-de-Camps and Court Marshal Jörgen Lindström, head of H.R.H. The Crown Princess Household. The princess wore a striking red coat paired with black scarf, gloves and high heeled boots.

As always there was a music program, this time performed by the Mounted Music Corps of the Life Guards, the Royal Guards and an honorary troop from the Life Guards. After the traditional tune “Med en enkel tulipan” (“With a simple tulip”), the Victoria Fanfare sounded and representatives of the performers handed over a bouquet of flowers each to the Crown Princess.

Crown Princess victoria & Prince Daniel waving goodbye

Then the crowds got their part as the Crown Princess Couple did a walkabout along the several-fold line of members of the public – a jolly mix of people of all ages. Many children gave her drawings and little presents of all kinds, one of them was a simple wedding album made of folded A4 pages and cut-out photos accompanied by a child’s large text.

Walkabouts are always the part where the Crown Princess shines. Taking the time to personally greet all those who want a personal interaction, receiving all flowers and presents by own hand, bending down for small children, stopping for photographers’ requests for photos. Prince Daniel kept a little bit in the background but did give his wife a hand with some flowers and did step up when someone asked for him.

When the public, media and invited few plus staff had all gotten their bit of the couple everyone was happy and impressed. Tourists always marvel at the Swedish openness and approachability of the royals, we Swedes love to see our warm and natural Crown Princess who does a great job in giving all the people she meets each their own little piece of her attention. Before withdrawing back into the palace the Crown Princess Couple halted near the doors, waved and took a bow towards everyone. When the doors closed behind them the Swedish monarchy had gotten another little boost in the right direction.

In connection to the ceremony today the Crown Princess Couple also received a silver horseshoe worn by Regent, the mounted horse closest to the carriage during their wedding cortège in June 2010. One of the horse’s shoes has already been added to the collections of the Royal Armoury where it will be kept and exhibited.

To see more of my photos from the ceremony go here to see my Flickr album devoted to the Crown Princess name day 2011.

The Crown Princess Couple embarking on the walkabout


Crown Princess Victoria’s name day 2010

IMGP6061Yesterday 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.

IMGP6071As 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. Continue reading