Stockholm: Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria wed her former personal trainer Daniel Westling in Stockholm's Storkyrkan cathedral on Saturday, the culmination of almost two weeks of festivities in the Swedish capital.
The ceremony was followed by a carriage cortege through central Stockholm as well as a boat ride across the city's bay on the royal barge. The king and queen host a wedding banquet at the Royal Palace.
About 1,100 guests were present in the church and about half of them were invited to the dinner at the Royal Castle.
The guest list included Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway, Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, King Albert II of Belgium, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Prince Edward of the United Kingdom.
The 32-year-old daughter of King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia, met Westling, 36, almost nine years ago at his gym Master Training in Stockholm.
Victoria is in line to become Sweden's first female regent since Ulrika Eleonora, who reigned 1719-1720, and the fourth ever. Sweden's constitution was adjusted in 1980 to allow for the oldest child, regardless of gender, to inherit the throne.
"It is a historical moment, it is as joyful as the wedding between Carl XVI Gustav and Silvia," said Riitta Kujansivu, who watched the royal cortege at Stureplan in downtown Stockholm.
Victoria Ingrid Alice Desiree is the first of Carl's children to get married. She has a younger brother, Carl Philip, and a younger sister, Madeleine.
Carl XVI Gustav, 64, became king in 1973 and is the seventh member of the Bernadotte family on the Swedish throne. The Nordic country is a constitutional monarchy and the king's duties are primarily ceremonial.
Princes and Princesses
An estimated 500,000 people lined the streets and wharves of Stockholm, many with Swedish flags, as marching bands paraded through the Swedish capital ahead of the wedding.
Children dressed up as princesses and princes outside the castle, where they waited with their parents to get a glimpse of the Crown Princess and Westling.
"As a new Swede, it is a privilege to take part of the celebration that is the Royal Wedding," Mikael Hakola, who was born in Finland and lives in Stockholm, said. "It is wonderful, it is a day of joy and love."
Warships, the 18th century replica Gothenburg ship and the Danish and Norwegian royal families' yachts lined the quay outside the Royal Castle, where people stood hoping to see the prominent guests.
Daniels Westling's official title after the wedding is "His Royal Highness Prince Daniel, Duke of Vaestergoetland."
He was born in 1973 in Oerebro, the son of social services chief Olle Westling and postal services employee Eva Westling, and led an ordinary life until the summer of 2002, when he was caught on camera kissing Victoria at a restaurant.
The couple announced their engagement in February last year. Westling underwent a kidney transplant three months later with his father as the donor.
In an interview with Svenska Dagbladet on May 22 he said his condition was congenital and not hereditary, possibly the result of his mother having had a cold during pregnancy.
The couple was married by Archbishop Anders Wejryd. Victoria's wish to be escorted down the aisle by her father caused controversy, because the Swedish tradition is for the bride and groom to enter the church together.
Victoria's dress was designed by Paer Engsheden and was made of cream-coloured duchess silk satin, the court said in an e-mailed statement.
The estimated cost of the wedding, 20 million kronor ($2.6 million), also caused protest among some Swedes, even after the king said he would pay half of it.
The discontent was channeled into Facebook groups such as "Refuse to pay for Victoria's wedding" and "If I'm supposed to pay for Victoria's and Daniel's wedding, I want an invitation."
The share of Swedes that oppose the monarchy has risen gradually to 25 percent this year from 10 percent in 1996, even as 46 per cent still support the institution, according to a study published by FSI on June 16. Some 28 per cent have a "negative" view of the royal family, compared with 40 per cent with a "positive" image, the survey showed.
The Royal Family will receive a total of 125 million kronor from the Swedish state this year.
About half pays for the costs of the royal court and the royal family, while the rest is used for maintenance of the royal castles, Dagens Nyheter reported June 9. Victoria and Daniel will live at Haga Castle, just north of Stockholm.
The Bernadotte family traces its roots back to the French marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte who was adopted by the childless Swedish king Karl XIII. He became Karl XIV Johan in 1818.