Swedish fairy tale as Princess Victoria marries Daniel (Roundup)
By Lennart Simonsson Jun 19, 2010, 18:04 GMT
Stockholm - Cheers from tens of thousands of people, a 21- gun salute and the roar of 18 jet fighters resounded over Stockholm Saturday after Swedish Crown Princess Victoria tied the knot with Daniel Westling at a wedding ceremony in Stockholm Cathedral.
'It is a wonderful day, a fantastic view from up here,' King Carl Gustaf told the huge crowd assembled outside the palace after the wedding ceremony and procession through the capital.
'I would like to thank you, the people of Sweden, for giving me my prince,' Crown Princess Victoria, future heir to the throne, told the enthusiastic crowd.
'It is the greatest day to date in our lives,' Victoria said, expressing gratitude for the 'support' the newlyweds felt.
An estimated 500,000 people lined the streets.
Cheers erupted when crowds watching big screens around the capital heard the couple declare their 'Yes' when Archbishop Anders Wejryd, one of the four officiating clergy, asked them to confirm their vows.
King Carl Gustaf escorted his daughter - heir to the throne and future head of state - up the aisle in the carefully renovated church that was packed with royals from all over the world as well as the presidents of Finland and Iceland, and other dignataries.
The couple met in 2002 when Westling, 36, was Victoria's fitness trainer. They were engaged in February 2009.
In his speech to the newlyweds, Wejryd noted that they could play a role as unifying symbols in times of 'crisis and loss' as well as expressing 'indignation over human rights violations.'
He also alluded to the fact that Westling has not had 'as many years' as Victoria to prepare for a future life in the public eye.
Stepping out of the church, the couple paused briefly and kissed each other once, while waiting for the open-topped carriage.
Westling, who hails from the small community of Ockelbo in central Sweden, left the church not only with his bride, but also a title. Henceforth, he is to be known as Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland - a reverse fairy-tale story. The king also named him a knight of the Order of the Seraphim.
Victoria, 32, wore a cream-coloured silk satin wedding dress with an almost five-metre long train by Swedish designer Par Engsheden, and the same tiara that her mother, Queen Silvia wore when she married King Carl Gustaf on June 19, 1976.
Among the 1,000 guests at the ceremony were Danish Queen Margrethe and her husband, Prince Henrik, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, Dutch Queen Beatrix - one of Victoria's godparents, Spanish Queen Sofia, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, and Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan.
The 10 bridesmaids and pages included Dutch Princess Catharina- Amalia, Norwegian Princess Ingrid Alexandra, and Danish Prince Christian.
The newlyweds rode in the same carriage as the king and queen used 1976.
The carriage was escorted by an honorary guard from the Life Guards' Dragoon Battalion. Some 5,000 troops and 1,000 members of voluntary organizations including the Swedish homeguard and scouts were posted along the streets and 17 bands played along the route.
Some 2,000 police officers were on duty to provide security, and concrete barriers were placed along the route in order to prevent incidents such as last year in the Netherlands - when a man deliberately drove his car at high speed into a parade which included Dutch Queen Beatrix and other royals, killing five bystanders.
Victoria's tiara sparkled when the sun broke through the clouds on the final stretch of the procession route, just before they boarded the royal barge. To the photographers' joy, they also kissed on the barge.
An 18-strong team rowed the couple past Swedish navy vessels, the royal yachts of Denmark and Norway and the British frigate HMS Kent.
A salute was fired from a naval battery and navy vessel, and 18 JAS Gripen jet fighters flew over the city in a flyover.
Back at the royal palace the couple were greeted by their parents, siblings and friends.
A 250-strong choir feted them, and the huge crowd cheered the ecstatic couple when they exchanged a cheek kiss.
The celebrations end Saturday evening with a wedding banquet for some 400 guests at the royal palace.
Other royal guests were Belgium's King Albert and Queen Paola; King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan; and British Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie.