The annual documentary Aret med Kungafamiljen (A Year with the Royal Family) aired last night in Sweden and featured interviews with the Swedish royals while going about their royal duties. The documentary focused on Prince Carl Philip‘s wedding to then-Sofia Hellqvist as well as Princess Sofia‘s work in South Africa with Project Playground, Crown Princess Victoria‘s overseas visits, Prince Daniel‘s work with kids and sports, Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine visiting the Pope, and King Carl XVI Gustaf fishing.
I’m not going to lie, since I started covering the Swedish royal family I’ve learned a few words in Swedish, but any more than the few words I know and I’m lost. Unlike last year, where Madeleine and Chris did their interview in English, no one spoke English this year. So the interviews were largely lost on me. I was able to gauge a few things, though: I know Sofia talked about forming Project Playground; I know Madeleine talked about human trafficking as well as Princess Leonore; and I know Victoria talked about the bridge between Sweden and Peru. I can only guess at what else was talked about.
Because I could not understand what anyone was saying, I was left to judge the royals based purely on the visuals. A few thoughts based purely on what I saw:
- There seemed to be a lot of focus on Princess Sofia. I haven’t done the math or anything but it seemed to me like Sofia got more screentime than pretty much everyone else.
- Sofia came off pretty well. She talked fairly confidently when interviewed about Project Playground, she seemed genuinely moved that people from her hometown showed up when she and Carl Philip visited, and she hugged several people in the crowds during walkabouts.
- Victoria came off very well to me. I sometimes think Victoria comes off a bit cold, but she seemed very playful and light while also holding the air of regality, and she was really nice to a fan who wanted a photo with her.
- Leonore is my favorite royal. The documentary showed Leonore meeting Pope Francis and the exchange between them, and it was just too cute for words.
I found a couple articles who quoted parts of Sofia’s and Carl Philip’s interviews, but I have not been able to find quotes from the other royals. Quotes translated by Google Translate, please excuse any errors/wonky wording.
Sofia on the wedding: “It became a real fairytale wedding. We are so happy. We were treated with so much care. Both in Sweden and outside Sweden’s borders.”
Sofia on founding Project Playground with Frida Vesterberg in 2010: “There was some resistance. Two white girls were in a shanty town and opening a center for children. But with hard work and fighting spirit, we got the respect we needed and were able to show that we were here to stay. We are doing very very well.”
Sofia on her current status with Project Playground: “I found working with Project Playground. Work is more comprehensive. Still working with the time I can. A couple of days a week in the office in Stockholm. And then I’m down here.”
Sofia on working with people with disabilities: “To spend time with these so amazing souls gives me enormous pleasure, but at the same time an enormous frustration at how society looks like. But one sees the world from a completely different perspective. I’m glad that I get to have this part of my life. It gives vast insight and I become more humble towards life in every way.”
Sofia on why she cried when visiting Älvdalen: “I was really touched when I got there and realized that people had gathered. It meant a lot to me. I was of course a bit nervous coming home to Älvdalen. They are used to seeing me in a different role. They met me with much love and warmth.”
Carl Philip on visiting Dalarna: “It felt so clearly great fun and wonderful to get up there. Especially for Sofia to come home and meet friends who she hasn’t seen since childhood.”
Aret med Kungafamiljen can be viewed online at SVT Play through February 4.
In other Swedish royals news: Carl Philip and Sofia were spotted out baby shopping the other day. Also, the Swedish court released the below photo with the message, “Gott nytt år!” (Happy New Year). The photo was taken on December 10 after the Nobel Prize Awards. Having seen the high resolution photo, I have to say that I love Madeleine’s dress even more now – the detailing is very pretty.
Victoria and Daniel kissing Princess Estelle on Victoria Day in July.
Victoria and Daniel embracing while on a trip to Colombia in October.
Photos: SVT screengrab / Jonas Ekströmer/Kungahuset.se