13 June 2015

Prince Carl Philip & Sofia’s Wedding: The Bride, Groom, and Bridesmaids

There are a lot of things you could say about the wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist (now H.R.H. Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland), but you couldn’t say that they didn’t stay true to themselves or – take cover, horrible cliché coming your way – that they weren’t absolutely over the moon on their wedding day.

From pop music to a new tiara, this was their wedding, done their way, and I can’t hate on that. Besides, I now know that the couple are ardent fans of the classic film, Sister Act 2 (I will accept no other possible explanation for the arrangement of “The Hymn of Joy/Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” that followed them out of the chapel), so I am obliged to LOVE THEM.

Let’s start with the groom. Prince Carl Philip wore the mess dress model 1878 uniform of the Swedish Amphibious Corps, where he holds the rank of major. He also wore the sash and star of the Order of the Seraphim, with the cross of the Order of the Polar Star around his neck.

Mattias Edwall / Kungahuset.se

His medals include King Carl XVI Gustaf’s Jubilee Commemorative Medals I and II, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s commemorative wedding medal, the gold Fredsbaskrarnas Service Medal, and the Swedish Defence University commemorative medal.

Led by Princess Estelle, the bridesmaids were Tiara Larsson, Anaïs Sommerlath, and Chloé Sommerlath. They wore dresses by Ida Sjöstedt in pure silk and Italian silk organza. (And don’t forget the hair bows. Never, ever, forget the bows.)

Mattias Edwall / Kungahuset.se

Like the bride, the bridesmaids carried bouquets of cream and coral garden roses. Sofia’s bouquet and hairdo also included sprigs of myrtle from the bush brought to Sweden by Princess Margaret of Connaught, who married the future Gustaf VI Adolf in 1905. Sprigs of myrtle from that plant have been used by Swedish royal brides since 1935, and a cutting from the same bush was taken to Denmark by Princess Ingrid of Sweden.

The myrtle turned out to be the part of Sofia’s wedding ensemble that was the most closely tied to family tradition, as she wore neither a family tiara nor the family veil. As was speculated and tentatively confirmed several times over, Princess Sofia chose Swedish designer Ida Sjöstedt to make her wedding gown. Created in shades of white, the gown has a strapless base of silk crepe with a flowing train and a long-sleeved Italian silk organza overlay with applied lace made by José María Ruiz.

The lace created flattering lines down the front of the dress and train and was concentrated on the sleeves and the wide neckline. Hand-embroidered cotton lace also adorned her sheer tulle veil.

I’m sure this one will draw comparisons to any number of other royal wedding gowns, and any number of non-royal wedding gowns also. It’s basically a running list of classical bridal traditions put to work, with really only the train length marking it as the dress of a royal bride (well, and the tiara, but we’ll get to that in a minute).

Sofia’s made some very safe sartorial choices of late, and I suppose you could say this is the safest of them all. I wouldn’t call it memorable, as royal wedding gowns go, but despite that, it was lovely on her and she looked comfortable in it. And it allowed the most intriguing part of her ensemble to take center stage…

Sofia got a NEW TIARA! A present to her from the King and Queen, according to the Royal Court, it has a diamond base of palmette or honeysuckle motifs and is topped by emeralds or other green stones. I was hoping to see her in a tiara from the family collection, but this is also a lovely gesture. Most of the Swedish princesses have a tiara to call their own in addition to the family tiaras available to them, and it only seems right that the newest Swedish princess should have that luxury too. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, it is very sparkly, and it’s a beautiful way to welcome a new family member. (Obviously, we’ll be giving it the full Tiara Thursday treatment later on.)

Coming up in a bit, we’ll talk about other members of the Swedish royal family and all of their guests. For now:

What did you think of Princess Sofia’s wedding gown?

Photos: via Getty Images, Kungahuset.se, SVT video screencaps, Mattias Edwall/Kungahuset.se