The news of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden’s engagement to Sofia Hellqvist came out last Friday, late in the day. I would have covered it, but the death of my dog and my subsequent depression took precedence. Anyway, I’m covering it now ahead of an appearance by Kate Middleton later today. So, Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist are engaged, and planning a wedding for summer 2015. Yay? I guess congrats to them, but my sympathies to the Swedes who will now have a former nude model/reality TV star as a representative of their country. I mean, I know we have some crappy representatives here in the US, but at least we (for the most part) get to vote them out when they do stupid stuff. Of the engagement, Carl Philip said, “I have the incredible honor of being engaged to this fantastic girl.” And Sofia said, “Carl Philip is the most humble person I have ever met, which is what made me fall for him in the beginning. He has one of the most beautiful hearts, he is very warm.”
So… let’s learn about Sofia (this post is going to be long; I apologize in advance). I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much prior to researching for this post, and I still don’t know all there is to know about these two. I haven’t been following their relationship closely; or at all really. The Swedish Royal Court website published an information sheet about Sofia, which is the overly whitewashed version of her history. Like our dear Katie Middleton, the palace had to whitewash Sofia’s past; but unlike our Katie Middleton, Sofia has far more scandalous things to whitewash. I guess I’ll bullet point some non-whitewashed highlights:
- Apparently Sofia’s nude modeling career started when she was 16.
- She moved to Stockholm when she was 18 to become a model/waitress.
- In 2004, when she was 20, Sofia posed nude with a snake for men’s mag, Slitz, and was voted Miss Slitz that year.
- In 2005, Sofia participated in a reality TV show called “Paradise Hotel”. I’m not familiar with the show but apparently there was an American version, as well as a number of foreign versions. Sofia obviously appeared on the Swedish version. I guess the premise is a group of strangers share a luxury hotel resort and whichever one stays the longest is the winner? And of course there is a bunch of sex and drama involved. Sofia reached the final but didn’t win.
- Also in 2005, Sofia bragged about kissing p0rn star Jenna Jameson at a Las Vegas party. Because nothing says “princess material” like making out with a p0rn star.
- In the fall of 2005, Sofia moved to NYC and studied to be a yoga instructor while working part time as a waitress and continuing her nude modeling career. She also shacked up with a dude with a 4 year old son.
- In 2009, Sofia decided she needed an image change if she was going to land her prince, so she went to Ghana and worked with orphans (always a PR goldmine). After that she started a charity called Project Playground with a friend, Frida Vesterberg. The charity may or may not be sketchball. I checked the website, and it gives financial reports for 2010 and 2012. There is no budget report for 2011, and none for 2013. Their budget reports aren’t very clear. They don’t do an itemized report, and the report they do give makes it unclear how much is actually given to the kids. I would like to think the “purpose expenses” is for the field trips and events and such for the children, but I’m not sure, because the “operating result” seems to be the total after expenses and I’m not sure what the “operating result” means. Is that the number they spend on the kids events, or is that the number left over after all the events and other expenses? People really should be more thorough with their expense reports; especially if it’s a charity. But one thing is clear, from 2010 to 2012 the “administrative expenses” jumped from 5,700 to 1.04 million. I’m not sure what currency they are listing their numbers in; the report is in English but I don’t know if those numbers are in dollars or whatever currency Sweden uses—probably the latter, but I don’t know so I don’t know what currency sign to use. Anyway, that’s a huge jump in total administrative expenses. Granted their donations jumped from 220,000 to 3.7 million, but still. That’s a percentage hike from 2.6% to 28%. Damn. Apparently they have 25 employees, which means, if the money were divided equally, each person would get roughly 41,000 a year (of course the money isn’t divided equally, some people get way more than that and others get way less). If that were in American dollars, I’d say that’s quite a bit, considering I know PhD-ed college professors and instructors that don’t get paid that amount. And of course 40 hours a week minimum wage doesn’t get you anywhere near that amount. I wonder how much Sofia gets paid from her charity. Probably quite a bit, right? She is the president.
- The timeline for the start of Sofia and Carl Philip’s romance is a bit sketchy. The official start of their relationship is 2010—Wiki says the court announced it in August, but the Telegraph article it cites was published in April, and the Expressen articles announcing the relationship were published in January. Supposedly they met in 2008, and then started dating in 2009. One article says they met in the seaside town of Bastad and were introduced by mutual friends. But then other articles say they met in a club. Maybe the club was in Bastad? There are also reports that when she moved back to Sweden, she started going to clubs he frequented because she wanted to meet him. I really don’t know. All I know is that he was in a 10 year long relationship with Emma Pernald, an advertising executive, until March of 2009 when they officially ended their relationship. So I guess they fudged the dates a bit so that it doesn’t look like they had an affair; except that the sketchiness makes it look even worse. Congratulations on being a cliché, Carl Philip.
- It did not take long for Sofia’s friends to come out of the woodwork and chat to magazines about how great Sofia was and how she made such a great match with Carl Philip. Because that’s what every non-famewhore does, have their friends leak info to tabloids.
- Sofia and Carl Philip moved in together in 2011.
- In December 2013, Sofia appeared in a TV program about her charity where she talked about the charity and what it means to her, and also about her life and boyfriend. Because, image change.
Now, I’m not going to criticize her sexual choices, it’s her body and she can do whatever she wants with it, but I am going to extrapolate conclusions from her past actions and criticize those. I would say Sofia is probably a famewhore who was desperate for fame and/or fortune. No one goes on a reality TV show—especially one that is all about sex and alcohol—unless they are so desperate for fame they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. Seriously, what self-respecting person goes on one of those trashy reality shows? Everyone who goes on those shows has some sort of self-esteem issue. Given that Sofia showed a penchant for wh0ring herself out for fame, I would be willing to bet that her meeting Carl Philip wasn’t accidental. She wanted to be a princess and so she put herself in a position to meet a prince. Once she met her prince, she played the long game. She knew that in order to be accepted as a princess, she needed to lose the nude model/reality star image, so she did. Now, she may have genuinely wanted to change, and she may genuinely want to help children/orphans, but her sudden image change, to me, seems more like she tried to be famous by taking her clothes off, but then she found a better way to be famous so she changed in order to get that. I don’t know, I’m not in her mind and I may be being too hard on her, but nude modeling + trashy reality TV + bragging about kissing a p0rn star = famewhore. And the only reason a famewhore changes is because he or she has found a bigger, better way to fame and fortune (usually it’s fortune, and it’s usually from marriage). Or they’ve faded into obscurity, but that doesn’t apply to Sofia.
Before you think I’m hating on Sofia and not Carl Philip, let me mention Carl Philip. I’m going to start by saying he is kind of hot, in a pretty-boy/Orlando Bloom type of way. But that doesn’t mean he’s some great catch and/or great royal. He’s been labeled a playboy over the years fro his partying and spends his time driving race cars that he frequently crashes and doesn’t do a ton of royal duties. He’s like Prince William, who would much rather have spoiled rich kid fun than actually work. Carl Philip is an aimless rich
kid 35 year old with too much time on his hands. Carl Philip was the heir for a few months in 1979, after his birth, until the Swedish Government changed the laws of primogeniture in 1980 so that the first born, no matter the sex, was the heir. That change made Victoria the Crown Princess and moved Carl Philip to third in line behind his two sisters Victoria and her daughter, Princess Estelle. King Carl XVI Gustaf was pissed about that. Because Carl Gustaf is a misogynist who doesn’t think women are capable of ruling (even though the Swedish monarchy is purely ceremonial) and a cheater who likes wild parties and orgies with models. Hm, apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it. Carl Gustaf hated Daniel—Victoria’s husband—and made them wait years and years to marry, but apparently approves of Sofia because… of course. Carl Philip’s mother, Queen Silvia, on the other hand, was against the relationship from the beginning. I wonder if she still disproves. I would.
I had a request to compare Sofia to Kate Middleton. You know, I never thought anyone would make me appreciate Kate, but Sofia has done that. Kate has a ton of faults, which we have discussed endlessly, but at least she’s not as scandalous as Sofia. For all of Kate’s faults–and there are many, which I am not listing here because this post is already super long–I would say Kate wins if we are running a contest. Both Kate and Sofia (allegedly) stalked their princes so I guess they’re even on that front. Kate may be lazy, but at least she wasn’t such a famewhore that she made an idiot of herself on a trashy reality show. And Kate’s nude photos were pap pics of her on vacation, rather than professional nude modeling photos like Sofia’s. The only thing I would say Sofia did better than Kate is that Sofia got in on the charity game right away. She knew she was going to be a princess and needed an image makeover, so she started a charity to change her image. I think Kate should have done that. We’ve all said many times that Kate should have shown an interest in charity work prior to marrying if she really wanted to show how dedicated she was, and she should have done much more charity work since her marriage.
Anyway, congratulations to the couple. They probably deserve each other.
Below is another engagement photo (both photos copyright the Swedish Royal Court, kungahuset.se). Below that are two photos of what Sofia is best known for. They are a bit risqué and show skin, but all her bits are covered. I’m not posting her most risqué photos. I’m giving the engagement photo buffer just in case anyone doesn’t want to see why Sofia is famous. By the way, her eyes in that snake photo make her look ridiculously vacant.