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30th anniversary of The Marianne & Sigvard Bernadotte Arts Fund

Prince Carl Philip and Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg

Prince Carl Philip and Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg

One week ago, Thursday 7 June 2012, The Marianne & Sigvard Bernadotte Arts Fund (Marianne & Sigvard Bernadottes Konstnärsfond) celebrated its 30th anniversary with an extra grand Marianne & Sigvard Bernadotte Art Awards event in the Winter Garden of Grand Hôtel in Stockholm.

Over 200 of Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg’s closest friends and supporters turned out to celebrate the anniversary and among the royal VIP guests were Prince Carl Philip of Sweden (protector of the fund since last year), Empress Farah of Iran, Queen Noor of Jordan, Duke Duarte Pio and Duchess Isabel of Bragança, The Duchess of Orléans, Prince Lakshyaraj Singh of Mewar, Prince Leka of Albania with fiancée Elia Zaharia and Princess Christina Mrs Magnuson with husband Tord.

Duke Duarte and Duchess Isabel of BragançaOther illustrious guests included Count Oscar Bernadotte af Wisborg, Madeleine Kogevinas, Baron Carl and Baroness Maria Silfverschiöld, Duchess Christina d’Otrante and the rights-contending Paul Lambrino and wife Lia from Romania (referred to as Paul and Lia Hohenzollern and Prince and Princess of Romania).

Among the many political officials present were the Speaker of Parliament, Per Westerberg with wife Ylwa, the Minister for Culture and Sport, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, and Filippa Reinfeldt, County Commissioner of Health Services and wife of the Prime Minister.

Gala overview

Guests were served Taittinger champagne (the brand’s export manager Clovis Taittinger was on the guest list) with which Countess Marianne toasted the guests with at the beginning of the sit-down dinner, a meal served on porcelain designed by her late husband and cutlery designed by Prince Carl Philip. The menu consisted of:

  • Carpaccio of albacore tuna with a tartar of red king crab with spring onions and avocado
  • Grilled fillet of veal with green asparagus, sugar snaps, yellow beets, early carrots, semi-dried stem tomatoes, tarragon cream sauce and roasted new potatoes
  • White chocolate bavaroise on dark shortbread with marinated strawberries and yoghurt and strawberry ice cream
  • Drinks: LeCheteau Pouilly Fumé 2010, Gerard Bertrand Tautavel 2008, Braastad VSOP

This year’s scholarship winners, Behnaz Aram (b. 1978 in Iran) in category design, Kristoffer Zetterstrand (b. 1973 in Sweden) in category art/painting, Nina Zanjani (b. 1981 in Iran) in category theatre, Paulina Pfeiffer (b. 1981 in Sweden) and Yinjia Gong (b. 1983 in China) both in category music, were presented on the stage in the presence of and with the help of Countess Marianne, Prince Carl Philip, Empress Farah and Queen Noor.

The 2012 scholarship winners

After presenting the scholarship to Behnaz Aram, Empress Farah held a speech in which she remembered hosting the late Count Sigvard on a visit to Iran together with her late husband the Shah. The Empress also compassionately offered her most sincere condolences to Countess Marianne on the recent loss of her son (Robert Tchang died in April) and said that she as a mother knew what it means to lose a child. Empress Farah concluded her speech with a sentence in Swedish, something that aroused great applauds. Also Queen Noor gave a speech, after awarding Nina Zanjani with her scholarship, and focused on international issues and Sweden’s role in the world, also remembering a visit by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia to Jordan during King Hussein’s reign.

The Duchess of Orléans & Countess MarianneDuring the night artists entertained the guests on stage. Linnea Olsson with ”Dinosaur”, Anna Larsson and Matti Hirvonen with ”Mon Coeur” (from Samson and Delilah by Saint-Saëns), LaGaylia Frazier and Trio X with ”I will always love you”, Tommy Körberg and Trio X with “Anthem” and Margareta Bengtson with ”Natasha” (by Rufus Wainwright). The scholarship winners in music, Paulina Pfeiffer and Yinjia Gong, sang a applauded duet, ”O Soave fanciulla”, from La Bohème and the recent Eurovision Song Contest winner Loreen performed ”Joga” (by Björk), “My heart is refusing me” and, of course, ”Euphoria”.

To everyone’s delight, Countess Marianne absolutely loved “Euophoria” and asked for a second performance of the song to end the night with, and Loreeen agreed. So while the Countess stood in the speaker’s chair, Loreen sang her hit song especially for her and it all ended with huge applauds.

To see more of my photos from the event please visit my Flickr album dedicated to it, I will continue to upload more photos there in the coming days.