Royal Wedding 2015: The Bride and Groom (updated with official photos)

Royal Wedding 2015: The Bride and Groom (updated with official photos)

As we look at the Swedish Royal Wedding in depth, let’s start our coverage with the bride and groom (but let’s be real, this post is mostly about the bride). Sofia Hellqvist married Prince Carl Philip at the Royal Chapel in the Royal Palace in Stockholm today, June 13. Sofia is now HRH Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland.

Carl Philip and Sofia

The wedding was very emotional. Carl Philip looked on the verge of tears, as did Sofia, several times throughout the ceremony. Several guests were spotted wiping tears, including Crown Princess Victoria and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Carl Philip and Sofia also chose some interesting music, including Coldplay, a Swedish cover of Rhianna, and “Joyful, Joyful”. The music seems odd to me, but it clearly meant something to the couple, and because of how happy they both looked, I can let it go.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia official wedding portrait
[Mattias Edwall/Kungahuset]

As predicted, Sofia wore a dress by Swedish designer, Ida Sjöstedt. The dress is “three tones of white… made of a crepe-silk doubled with Italian silk organza” and hand-embroidered couture lace applique. Sofia’s veil was made of thin bridal tulle with hand-embroidered sheer cotton lace.

Sofia's dress sketch by Ida Sjöstedt

Sofia wore a new diamond and emerald tiara that was a gift to her from King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

Sofia carried a bouquet of garden roses in cream and coral, and the traditional myrtle from Sofiero. Princess Margaaret of Connaught brought a bush of myrtle from England to Sweden when she married Gusta VI Adolf in 1905. Sprigs of myrtle have been used by royal brides since 1935.

Carl Philip and Sofia2

Sofia shocked me with her choice of dress, and not in a bad way. I was fully expecting a giant sequin and tulle disaster, and Sofia came out in a rather subdued lace gown.

Several of you have mentioned that Sofia’s dress reminds you of Kate Middleton‘s wedding dress. I understand why people think that, but it doesn’t remind me too much of Kate’s. The neckline is far more open rather than a deep V like Kate’s. And Sofia’s dress does not have as full a skirt, nor the bustle in the back. And the lace is completely different. In fact, other than that it has sheer lace sleeves, I don’t see much similarity. I think Sofia’s dress was nice and on the simple side. It was not a showstopper, nor was it iconic, but she looked pretty.

Sofia wore her dress with her sun back tattoo showing. I’m glad she showed her tattoo. It’s a part of her and she shouldn’t have to cover it up if she doesn’t want to.

Carl Philip and Sofia at reception2

The only thing I really have a problem with is how her tiara sat on her head. It seemed like it was placed there after the fact, rather than the hairstyle incorporating the tiara into it. Also, I’m just not a fan of center parts.

Carl Philip gives speech

In terms of how Sofia stacked up against previous royal wedding dresses… As I said, she didn’t have a showstopper gown, nor was her gown iconic, but she did look beautiful. She didn’t crack my top 5, but definitely top 10. In terms of how she ranks with other royal wedding tiaras, Sofia’s doesn’t do much for me. It’s not my least favorite, but it’s toward the bottom.

Carl Philip arrived with his best man, Jan-Åke Hansson.

Carl Philip did not shave his beard. Carl Philip wore the 1878 dress model of the uniform of the Swedish Amphibious Corps, along with the Order of the Seraphim sash and star, and the Order of the Polar Star cross around the neck.

Cutting the cake.

cutting the cake

Carl Philip and Sofia3

In case you missed watching the wedding live, here is a video of the ceremony (it’s a good hour long):

57 thoughts on “Royal Wedding 2015: The Bride and Groom (updated with official photos)

  1. I agree about her tattoo. It’s not ostentatious; it was hidden by the veil and it is her. Why should she hide it.

    Lovely bride and groom, and lovely wedding. I was surprised that it was so emotional, but then I’m used to those fusty old Brits. 🙂

    1. It was lovely to see so much emotion from the couple considering I rewatched Will and Kate’s wedding this week and there was almost no emotion at all save for a few smiles.

  2. They do look very happy, and that’s the most important thing! Good job to all three siblings for choosing spouses with whom they have a deep bond and truly share the joy of marriage.

    I actually liked Sofia’s tiara, but the dress… well, it was better structured than Kate’s and seemed less revealing, but I thought the lace resembled a tablecloth. Carl Philip looked very nice in his uniform.

    1. I liked Sofia’s lace better than Kate’s, personally. Kate’s seemed too harsh to me.

  3. What in the hell kind of cake is that?

    KMR, you took the words out of my mouth about the dress. It is simple and it will stand the test of time. It’s not the best and it’s not the worst. I am glad that she showed her tattoo. CP loves her and all of her. She looked like herself, which is so important for a bride IMHO.

    Outside of that hideous part, her hair looked fine. I’m not a fan of the tiara, but wouldn’t turn it down if it were offered to me.

    Joyful, Joyful is quite apropos for this wedding. There’s a lot of love and passion between these two. Sofia was beaming after the ceremony. And CP looks like he is smitten.

    There is a bond woth the family that was so nice to see. I lost it when Daniel started to dance to the gospel song. Can you really imagine the BRF holding George or holding hands or looking at each other in a loving way? It was also nice to see Fred and Mary and Mette-Marit and Haakon holding hands.

    I will say that this wedding was in my top 5 of all royal weddings.

    KMR, you need to get some rest. You’ve been at it all day with the posts and responses. Thank you for indulging us today.

      1. I’m really puzzled about that cake. Is that LED lighting in them? Kind of resembles a small fleet of UFO’s coming in for a landing. And pop rocks? Donnez moi un break. Where’d he come up with that brainchild, Pinterest?

        1. The cake looks like a futuristic sci fi art piece rather than a cake.

    1. Deconstructed cake tubes?

      I would never turn down any tiara offered me. That would be a sin of the highest order.

      I can’t really picture the BRF taking turns holding George the way the SRF did with Leonore. I can’t even picture Harry holding George and Harry loves kids.

      I’m going to go take a nap now.

  4. Organza! All I could think of was taffeta, because of the shimmer and a certain stiffness. Thank you so much for the detailed descriptions.

    I’ve now seen lace on several brides and I realise I don’t like it. I love lace curtains, but don’t seem to care for it on people.

    1. Lol. You sound like a grumpy old man. It’s endearingly funny.

      Memo to self: don’t wear lace around maven the first! 🙂

      Now that you’ve mentioned lace, i’m back in love with duchess satin or shantung silk without lace for a wedding dress which I’d grown to hate after all those 80s puffball meringue wedding dresses.

  5. Thanks for this post KMR!!! The last post was a little overwhelming, so much to see, so many Tiaras!!!

    I thought Sofia looked simply lovely. Her dress was was beautiful and she certainly won’t regret her choice when she looks back at pictures 10 years from now. I also liked how she styled her hair, very elegant and the veil was lovely, set low instead of covering her face. Also, the emotion her groom showed when he saw her says that her choice was the right one for the two of them.

    Wow, what a great wedding gift from the in-laws, a shiny, new tiara!!! It certainly suits her and her new position. Am I remembering correctly or is Kate the only bride of the BRF who wasn’t given a tiara upon her wedding?

    While the BRF does pomp and circumstance better than anyone, their weddings are rather stiff, formal affairs with little to no emotion. I have to say the SRF are the best at royal weddings, the emotion was palpable, the joy of the day was real and the interactions between the family members was so sweet to see. My only complaint is the time during the ceremony between when the groom arrived and the bride’s arrival with dead silence, no music, no nothing. The guests are looking around and talking amongst themselves, it just seemed a little weird to me.

    1. Whilst the Brits can be stiff upper lipped, WK’s wedding set a new standard for cold, stiff upper lipped formality.

      If you youtube charles and Diana, Andrew and Fergie, especially the latter, their weddings did manage to radiate joy despite the formality.

      The Scandinavians – all of them – seem to radiate such joy at their weddings. It’s life affirming.

      I think Harry will be emotional at his wedding. He seems to show his emotions publicly unlike his family.

    2. Yes, that live blog post got quite long. I didn’t even realize until later how long it got.

      Most of the married in BRF ladies got a life-time loaner from the Queen (though Sarah got a new tiara that was her personal property) to use until they die. Kate was lent the Halo Tiara for the day, but it’s not a life-time loan like the others.

  6. Victoria started crying when Sofia walked up the aisle. I almost started tearing up too.

    I actually love the dress beter than Kate’s because it doesn’t have weird pointy boobs. She looks very soft, I love it.

    1. You described it perfectly J, she looks very soft, gentle and kind. She didn’t look like she was trying to please anyone but her groom and by the look on his face she succeeded.

    2. Sofia does look really soft. Kate’s lace seemed rather hard, but Sofia’s looks like a soft pillow.

  7. Does anyone know what song Sofia walked down the aisle to? The music’s been bugging me all evening. I need to know the name of the song.

    Other than that, awesome and fun wedding, beautiful bride, lovely couple, weird cake. I hope that they have a happy and long life together.

    1. From the wedding program:

      Processional Music:
      Athair ar Neamh
      “Father in Heaven”
      Music: Enya
      Arr. Anders Neglin

  8. OK, I don’t speak the language, but you could feel the love in the air with this wedding. It was just like a big family wedding with kids yelling and being wiggly. I loved how the whole family helped out with Leonore when she was being wiggly and when Victoria was holding her when Joyful Joyful and Madeline and Daniel were looking at her and rocking with her. I loved Sofia’a dress and it did not remind at all of the fembots with Waity’s dress. To me, it looked simple and elegant. I think that the Swedish Royals are so down to earth and they are obviously close to each other, you can see this in the way that the Leonore related to Daniel and Victoria.

  9. I just looked at the wedding coverage on the DM and at the very end of the article with beautiful pictures they posted old photos of Sofia in her bikini modeling days. Ugh, just so tacky and spiteful. This really pissed me off, I mean everyone knows about her past, can’t the DM let her have one, beautiful day without printing these pictures? DM is even more tasteless than I thought.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I don’t like throwing labels around, but I found it sexist at best and misogynistic at worst.

    2. Wow I just checked out the DM and damn their coverage of the wedding is so rude. “She scrubs up so well” and “fails to preform in crucial moment” and sticking “tattooed bikini model” into the title. Ugh. Also, in the pic where they say who all the royals are, they labeled Leonore as Estelle, and labelled Queen Margrethe as Princess Leonore. WTF DM? Oh, I just scrolled to the bottom. How gross that they included those photos in the wedding article.

      1. Hi KMR, I had asked that my post be deleted as I really didn’t want to ruin this day by bringing attention to the tasteless DM. I guess that my request didn’t arrive in time and I am sorry to have mentioned this article but I was just so angry at their coverage of her ah…past on this day of all days.

      2. I think the DM has invested so much in their “William and Kate are perfect” brand that they try to undercut anyone they see as potential competition, hence the snide coverage. The shoddy journalism–the “proofreading” and jumbled facts–is just par for the course. Taken together, I found the articles to be in very poor taste.

      3. I don’t understand the fuss about Sofia’s past. It’s not like she committed a crime against humanity or something like that, she just posed nude and did reality tv. Nothing one has to keep remembering all the time. Most of us do stupid things when we are young and still manage to grow into sensible adults. So give her a break.

        This is off topic, but I think it would be interesting to have a royal wedding involving same gender or different ethnicity. I wonder how DM would react to that.

        1. Well said Emilia about Sofia’s past. It really bothers me how much hate Sofia gets because of her past. And from women who supposedly claimed to be “pro-women” and “pro-choice” and whatnot. It’s really disturbing to me how many supposed feminists shit on Sofia so hard for her past.

          I don’t know how the media would react if there were an interracial royal couple, or a same sex royal couple. I feel like that couple would get a lot o crap from people especially if it were a same sex couple.

  10. Great wedding! I love how much in love they are. I certainly didn’t get that feeling watching William and Kate’s wedding. These two absolutely glowed! OMG, I wasn’t expecting that. Anyway, all the best to them!

    1. Carl Philip and Sofia showed so much more emotion than Will and Kate.

  11. The ceremony was quite informal as compared to the British ones.

    I am not a fan of hair parting in the middle but at least, Sofia had an updo. I am not crazy about the Sofia’s tiara. I love CP Victoria’s tiara.

    Bride’s dress-It’s quite OK but I am not crazy about the top part. The lace looks kinda cheap but of course, I know it’s not cheap. I didn’t get to see the bottom part close up. From the sketch, OMG the bottom part looks like my wedding dress. Of course material wise, there’s no comparison.

    Did I see Q Leti?

    1. No to seeing Leti. There was no representative from Spain or Luxembourg.

  12. I loved all of it! thank you KMR…was in bits only five minutes into the service…never mind, it’s my own son’s wedding soon so I’m in practice! what a lovely, unusual service, but them I’m comparing to UK and BRF..they look so happy!!! Sofia’s dress is just ‘ok’, but then I do have the Kate dress imprinted into my brain, and whilst this one was different, there is still that bodice thing….but Sofia did look gorgeous. Her bouquet was sublime….lovely colors…..not sure about the singing and choice of songs but hey they all seemed to love it….

  13. What a wonderful wedding. Thank you for the live link. I couldn’t watch all the posted links from various sites so could only comment from pictures.

    I think her dress is better live than photographed. I actually loved it more than Kate’s dress. You have no idea how much that kills me because I’m a McQueenloonie. This dress only resembles Kate’s dress if you are saying that they are both white, have lace accents and lace sleeves. In structure and material and design, Kate’s dress is quite different. You have to look at them in motion rather than photographs. Kate’s dress is very late victorian in it’s structure and design. This one is actually very late Georgian. If not for the sweetheart neckline, i’d push it as far as an empire style dress. You can really see the empire when they are walking down the stairs and how little corsetry is in the dress besides the bustline.

    And my goodness, how did they resist dancing out of that church. I’m stealing that song + moment for my imaginary wedding. I’ll be bopping down the aisle and out of the church.

    So much has been written about these two, but this is the first time I’ve seen them live. So much love and passion and joy. Let’s hope it sticks.

    Mazel tov!

    Ps: as for the criticism about pop songs in church, perhaps i’ve attended too many church events. Pop songs are always sang at all these occasions. Heck Gospel music is actually a lament to be rescued from a horrible situation that black people found themselves in when they were slaves in america, but it’s been turned into a positive thing and everyone ignores the cry for help that they are. Pop songs go back and forth between church and the charts. I’ve heard Beyonce songs, elvis songs, any type of music really, as long as the sentiment fits.

    Personally I wouldn’t have picked coldplay or Rihanna, but that’s because I personally can’t stand those two artists, but I can understand the sentiment behind the coldplay song because Chris Martin wrote it specially for GOOP after her father died. They met a few weeks after his death and GOOP was heartbroken. Chris wrote the song to express how much he wanted to heal her and be her rock, so I guess Sofia and CP feel the same towards each other.

    1. Ditto the Rihanna song whose lyrics are all about how they will always be together and nothing will come between them.

    2. It would have been great had they danced out of the church. All the guests were clapping. It actually seemed odd that Carl Philip and Sofia were just walking while everyone else was clapping and dancing.

      I didn’t know that about that Coldplay song. That’s so sweet.

    3. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote except for the fashion history but that’s because I don’t know much about fashion history. I’m not sure I could have walked so quietly out of the church either especially with all the clapping. If you pick that for your imaginary wedding I’d like to come and watch you dance out!

  14. From the pictures alone, this looks like a joyful, happy, romantic, sweet, loving wedding! As others commented, they keyword for this wedding should be “emotion”! It looks like a glamourous wedding, where the parties just happen to be royal. Carl Philip and Sofia seem to be truly in love, as do other members of that family, and they looked at each other as if to say, “I can’t believe I get to marry this wonderful person!” This was the first wedding I’ve seen in a long time that was about the couple – not the dress, not the jewels, not the bride herself, but the coming together of a man and woman. Very sweet!

    Lace is not necessarily my favorite thing on a wedding dress, but Sofia looks just lovely! I really like the feminine neckline and the flow of her dress. She looks comfortable! Her tiara is stunning, and a lovely addition to the other Swedish tiaras on display! And, she had a beautiful bouquet of creamy, apricot flowers! She just looks like a spring bride – so cheerful!

    By comparison, W&K’s wedding was all about tradition, duty and formality. Did W even crack a smile? Kate’s gown was stuffed with so much symbolism – the flowers from the 4 countries of the UK, the Victorian design, and the nod to Grace Kelly (and the fembots! heehee!), that there is nothing about the dress that tells you anything about Kate Middleton. Dinky, little, white posey/bouquet – again all about UK symbolism and very little about Kate Middleton. I remember the coverage all but screaming, “It’s a McQueen” as soon as she arrived at Westminster Abbey. Why? Because Kate is only defined by what label she is wearing. I think WK’s wedding was all about W being resigned to getting married and K gloating over her ring and new position. W might have regretted saying that he didn’t want to get married until he was 30, because he certainly didn’t look ready or happy to get married in 2011. Kate looked like the cat that got the cream…that nobody wanted. It’s so sad to think that maybe she now realizes that nobody else wanted W.

    Wishing every joy and happiness to the newlyweds!

    1. William smiled when Kate came up to the alter, and he smirked a few times throughout. But he really didn’t show much emotion, certainly not as much as Carl Philip.

  15. Well, you were right, KMR. Sophia was gifted a new tiara for her wedding. And it’s lovely and suites her perfectly. I think she chose well with her dress because it’s simple, classic, and timeless. She won’t look back in 20 years and think “Whaa?”

    I think Sophia looked awesome and I loved her hair. The center part is a bit harsh, but she seems to favor it and thats ok. It’s her style. I am irritated by some sites who report her dress as cheap looking and copy-Kate. It’s not. There are only so many variations on wedding dresses for a royal wedding and Sophia’s dress is perfect for her entry into the family. Understated. I don’t approve of her fairly reckless early adulthood, but she seems sweet and seems to be trying hard, so I wish her all the best. I hope she is happy and works hard within the family. I don’t enjoy seeing people unhappy.

    1. She can’t be continually judged on choices she made as a minor (with her parents help, mind. Maybe we can judge them instead). It sounds like she’s an independent lady with probably her fair share of street smarts. I’m thinking her common sense has caught up as well, or she wouldn’t be a princess today. The SRF would only put up with so much. Her past is her past, but if she’s sincerely moved on from it, let her. Most of the people I know wouldn’t have been able to get a job at McDonalds, if their youth was held against them ( not me, of course *demure eye blink* haha)

      1. “Her past is her past, but if she’s sincerely moved on from it, let her.”

        Well said.

        1. I totally agree. Sofia seems to have put that all behind her. It’s what she is and does from here that counts. Smart people are continually growing, changing, and improving.

          1. It is really disappointing how people have handled Sofia and this wedding. Yes, Sofia took nude photos and went on a reality show, but that was 10 years ago and she’s clearly moved on. Yet some people want to crucify her for the rest of her life. Let’s give her time to be a princess and see what she does. If in a year or two she hasn’t done much, like Kate, then we can call her out on that. But let her past go.

    2. Sofia went with the safe choice, but that’s probably a good thing in the long run for her.

      It bugs me, too, that so many are comparing Sofia’s dress to Kate’s just because it has long lace sleeves. The dress is completely different in how it is cut and structured.

  16. The moment when Prince Carl-Philip glances at the flowers girls but can’t take his eyes off his bride made me tear up. They are both so happy.

    When I saw Estelle come in with those other girls I thought it would be lovely for her to have a gaggle of siblings, and I wonder if Victoria thought the same thing and got teary? Although having to fight to marry Daniel makes me wonder if this wedding was especially emotional for her.

    I thought the tattoo placement with her gown was cheeky. Sofia seems like a lot of fun. The dress and hair were youthful and elegant at the same time, not easy to pull off.

    Does Sofia have green eyes? The tiara seems to match them, it’s a lovely piece, and a very nice gesture if it was made to match her eyes.

  17. I sobbed all the way through this! Omigod, the way they look at each other!! They seem beyond smitten and in love and it blew me away. Princess Sofia was absolutely stunning and the obvious joy and her love for Prince Carl Philip are so clear and obvious. What a fabulous Royal couple!! Everything about this was perfect, from the wriggling Princess Leonor to the tears of joy of the other Royals. So many perfect moments and this is the first Royal wedding I’ve watched where my main impression is that they really, really, really love each other and would be that joyful if they were getting married in potato sacks in a parking lot. Unlike some people I could mention, (cough cough, Kate…) Sofia looked like she was totally focused on her love and filled with joy and happiness at marrying her dream guy, rather than looking smug, cold and tightlipped. Yay for no cone boobs too! She was class all the way (even with her charming tattoo showing). I can’t wait for them to have babies!

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