Tag Archives: Sofia Hellqvist

Prince Alexander’s Christening

On Friday, Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil, Duke of Södermanland, son of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, was christened at the Drottningholm Palace Chapel.

The godparents for the fifth in line to the throne are: Crown Princess Victoria, Victor Magnuson (Prince Carl Philip’s cousin), Jan-Åke Hansson (Prince Carl Philip’s friend and best man), Lina Frejd (Sofia’s sister) and Cajsa Larsson (Sofia’s friend).

At just four and a half months old, Prince Alexander seems to be ballin’.   He’s already been on two international  holidays, the first to Spain and the second to the south of  France and  has spent time at the track to watch his father race.


He even did it in a sun-and-paparrazi-shielding bucket hat with a swallow design that is popular for tattoos.   I bet even his binky is badass.


I don’t spend a lot of time around tiny humans but Prince Alexander seems  pretty advanced for just four and a half months.  I’m pretty sure he’s sitting on an ace-high straight flush in this photo released ahead of his baptism.


On Friday at the Drottningholm Palace Chapel christening ceremony, Prince Alexander looked like he was making some after-after-party plans with his cousin, Prince Oscar.


For the littlest prince’s baptism, Sofia pulled a Kate Middleton and matched her attire to the christening gown which caused  the predictable photographic challenges.


Not only is finding Prince Alexander in group photos like playing Where’s Waldo, White Lace Edition, in some of the pics it created a spectral glow.


Sofia’s lace ensemble was custom made by Ida Sjöstedt, the same designer who created  her wedding gown.  The floral elements in the chapel for Prince Alexander’s christening (photos can be seen in the Daily Mail’s piece) were the same color scheme as Prince Carl Philip’s and Sofia’s wedding so it’s possible Sofia was intentionally referencing a bridal look with the white lace dress and center-parted updo which was very similar to how she wore her hair on her wedding day.

It was a big day for Prince Alexander who also received the Order of  the Seraphim.   Traditionally, the Order of the Seraphim wasn’t awarded until a member of the royal family turned 18, but the youngest generation  of Swedish royal babies have all received theirs during baptism.  It seems strange to give Sweden’s most prominent honor to an infant… it’s almost sends the message that they’re special by virtue of their bloodline and will be handed things without merit.   Okay, so that’s basically being royal in a nutshell, but it’s also the antithesis  of Sweden’s beliefs.  Perhaps that’s why the Order of the Seraphim is now given as part of  the baptism package, the Swedish Royal Family is unsure if there will still be a Swedish Royal Family when its youngest members turn eighteen.  Prince Alexander tried  to eat his newly acquired order proving he may just be wise beyond his months.





The Future of Sweden’s Monarchy

In Sweden on October 6th, a  motion was filed with Parliament calling for the abolishment of the monarchy.   While these motions are certainly not new, the latest is significant in that for the first time in modern history, a joint motion across party lines was filed.

The justification for the motion stated in part that, “We in Sweden have long fought for equality and it has created a society in which success is based on the individual merits rather than on the privileges and kinship… The monarchy is incompatible with democracy, equality and civil rights. We believe that the right to represent Sweden not to be inherited. It can only be given through democratic processes…”

Monarchies in today’s society are like park statues, they are reminders of historical figures, serve no real practical purpose beyond the decorative, some people enjoy them, some people think they’re a waste of money, some don’t even notice them but they tend to get crapped on a lot.

It’s always struck me as odd that Sweden still has a monarchy, as a society Sweden is evolved in ways I greatly admire but still maintains its rich cultural charm.

As Sweden’s official website notes, “Staunchly opposed to privilege, Sweden has always sought to avoid ranking people which is why beauty contests and ‘homecoming queen’ events are rare.”  No homecoming queens, but taxpayers are still expected to fund the privileged existences of actual kings and queens?  The member of the Swedish Royal Family who best represents Sweden’s societal beliefs is British American Chris O’Neill who refused a title.

The king is a ceremonial figure but he does still have influence and the power of course to get millions from Swedish citizens for the weddings of two of his children who aren’t in the direct line of succession, cost he could easily cover from his own personal fortune, estimated to be around the $50 million mark.  As a representative of Sweden, King Carl Gustaf’s views on women are unsettling.  He objected to changing the rules of succession to absolute primogeniture in 1980, stating, “I would prefer that my son Carl Philip be my successor, and I’m sure the majority of the Swedish people would prefer to have a king on the throne.”  And in 2003 when asked if he still thought the succession change was wrong, he responded, “Of course.”    But the reason offered in 2003 had to do with the succession change being retroactive, his son was seven months old when the throne went back to his first born, Victoria.  The statement still raised enough eyebrows that the following day the court had to release a statement that the king thinks Crown Princess Victoria is doing a fine job.  Commenting on the king’s sex scandal, Katrine Kielos noted in an Aftonbladet article, “Women were simply desserts, used as sweets to be served with the coffee.”  When all three of his children married, the bride was given away by her father, a sexist tradition not observed in Sweden because it represents a property exchange.  One of the latest additions to the Swedish Royal Family is the anti-feminism figure Miss Slitz 2004 whose work history promotes a view of women as sex objects elevated to the status Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia.  Members of the Royal Family are official representatives of Sweden and yet nothing about the Swedish monarchy reflects the egalitarian beliefs and progressive views of Sweden.

As noted on the website for  The Swedish Republican Association, the monarch’s powers extend being duties as head of state outlined in the 1974 Instrument of Government. “By making statements in political questions he or she influences the debate through his or her unique position without having to take political responsibility. Due to the massive medial attention they receive, the royal family has a decisive influence on the public opinion.”  Some of Sweden’s citizens are afraid to openly criticize the Royal Family, believing harm will come to them or their families.  In a 2010 Svenskdam article on Carl Philip’s relationship with Sofia Hellqvist, one commenter responded to another’s urging that Svenskdam readers complain to the Court about Sofia’s unsuitability with the comment:


Similar fears have been expressed to me by Swedish citizens, who are also frustrated by the influence the Swedish Royal Family seems to have over the media.

I’m beginning to understand why some people feel paranoid about criticizing members of the Swedish Royal Family.  While working on this post, my apartment was buzzed by a man in a baseball cap standing with his back to the door so I couldn’t see his face and shortly after when I got thrown off my Wi-Fi, this came up under diagnostics where I expected to see my own network:


Likely an eery coincidence, but my mind began to wonder if Sofia is aware of my blog and has figured out the identity of the anonymous source to which I’ve eluded in some posts.  Although, really, due to Sofia’s lack of discretion, there’s little I could add about her character that wasn’t summed up in this Svenskdam comment five years ago:


For clarification, the above point was about understanding paranoia which by definition is an irrational belief caused by anxiety or fear.   When a king causes anxiety or fear by virtue of the shady characters he has consorted with as revealed by his sex scandal, his effectiveness as a country’s representative is compromised.  A formal investigation was never made into the strip club visits and blackmail photos because the monarch is immune from criminal charges.  As Sven Erik Osterberg, a member of Parliament and the constitutional oversight committee noted, “The only person who can look into this is the monarch himself, [he] who wishes it to blow over.”  While considered a ceremonial figure, the monarch has absolute immunity from criminal charges and cannot be prosecuted or held accountable for his or her actions in judicial proceedings.  It’s not difficult to understand why some  Swedish citizens have expressed fear of someone who has had dealings with criminals and cannot be charged with a crime.

Supposedly King Carl Gustaf believes the monarchy is nearing its end.  Were it not for the popularity of Crown Princess Victoria, likely the end would come sooner than later.  I believe Victoria will likely be Queen, but only if she ascends the throne in the next decade and only if reforms are made.

As the motion filed with Parliament indicated, “The current form of government are over 40 years old and was in his time a political steps that deepened democracy by limiting the monarch’s power. The Democratic reforms must continue, and in this direction is the abolition of the pre-democratic system that monarchy is an expression. It is high time to look again the monarchy’s role in modern Swedish society.”

The monarchies of Europe are looking for ways to evolve for the sake of self-preservation.  Prince Charles envisions a streamlined monarchy when he becomes king while newly kinged Felipe promised financial transparency and the opening up of the palace’s accounts following  his father’s  abdication.  While reports in the last few years have listed the Dutch Royal Family as the most expensive to taxpayers, no one really knows how much each monarchy costs to run because of costs that are hidden from the public.  With an estimated additional undisclosed $300 million in security, the British Royal Family likely is the most costly while Spain’s monarchy is probably the least expensive.  But no one really knows which is pretty astounding in modern times that the taxpayers have provided these hereditary institutions with blank checks.  Recently an extra $1 million was granted to King Carl Gustaf for “security”.  Likely the increase was for protection officers for its latest princess, Sofia, although it could be for new security cameras or it could be for a different kind of security for a king whose past scandals have required the purchasing of incriminating photos.

If Sweden’s monarchy is continue, it should follow the streamlining trend of limiting the Royal Family to current king/queen, heir and heir’s children and Spain’s lead with its operating costs.   According to the Swedish Monarchy’s royal finances page which lists 2013’s numbers, included in the budget for the Court Administration was Princess Lilian’s Household.  While Princess Lilian who passed away in March 2013 was obviously a beloved member of the Swedish Royal Family (she was the wife of the king’s uncle), I don’t understand why she continued to have a household staff covered under the appanage since it was announced in 2010 that sadly due to Alzheimer’s, she would no longer be able to make public appearances.  She was no longer undertaking royal duties so shouldn’t any expenses related to her care been covered out of her family’s personal finances?  Additionally, on the Royal Finances page, it lists budget and staff in terms of “approximately”.  When it comes to taxpayer money, shouldn’t there be complete transparency?


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Mysteries of an Expecting Princess

On Thursday, the Swedish Court announced that Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip are expecting their first child to be born in April.  With Crown Princess Victoria expecting her second child in March, Sofia’s child will be fifth in line to the throne.

The announcement comes just days after the christening of Princess Madeleine’s second child, Prince Nicolas.   Notably absent from the christening was one of Madeleine’s best friends, Emma Pernald, the once long-time girlfriend of Prince Carl Philip with whom Madeleine has remained close.  Sofia was rumored to have objected to the attendance of the woman from whom she allegedly stole Prince Carl Philip which is why the guest list remained Emma-less.

I guess it is awkward to run into someone you plotted to replace at your nephew-in-law’s christening, but Carl Philip was apparently totally cool with Niclas Rahm being invited to his and Sofia’s wedding.


For those who haven’t heard of Niclas Rahm, Sofia and Niclas go way back.  Like this far back:


They were very much alike and Sofia fell hard for Niclas who was said to be less serious about her because of the seemingly endless string of beautiful women who were charmed by him.


Interestingly, Niclas Rahm isn’t the only man to whom Victoria Silvstedt and Sofia have both been romantically linked.  The former Playboy model has been involved with a man identified on a few different forums as one of Sofia’s NYC sugar daddies.

Despite Sofia having her sights set on fame and fortune, it’s rumored she still never got over Niclas and allegedly they would continue to secretly rendez-vous even while she was with Prince Carl Philip.  Some also believe that Niclas is the only man Sofia has ever truly loved.

So it’s strange that while Sofia vetoed the presence of Carl Philip’s ex at her sister-in-law’s son’s christening, Niclas was invited to all of the royal wedding festivities including the pre-wedding dinner.  Could it be that unlike Sofia, Carl Philip just isn’t the jealous type?  Or is he perhaps in the dark about some of the mysteries of his wife’s past?  Like why she used to wear a gold band on her wedding finger.


The gold band also appears in this photo of Sofia  looking very happy with a man who appears to be Niclas Rahm.


Another mystery worth mentioning is how a woman working for a charity afforded a luxury apartment in South Africa, purchased months before her wedding.  And why exactly does a Swedish princess need a residence in her own name in a different country?  Does she plan on spending that much time there?  Wouldn’t that cut into the alleged job she has working with the Court Administrative Offices?  It was announced in the spring that Sofia would be working for the King’s Offices, then more recently it was noted she would be employed by the Queen’s Offices instead.  Is this a real job or just  a way of funneling money to Sofia from the appanage so the high end designer clothes Sofia has been criticized for wearing recently are paid for by the taxpayer?

According to a recent article, these criticisms have angered Sofia “who does not compromise on her expensive habits”.  According to the article’s source, “She simply had enough of this crap.”  Four months in and she’s already fed up with some people finding it hypocritical that someone who supposedly is working to help the disadvantaged is now flashing a new diamond Rolex and spending thousands on outfits?  Instead of calling the taxpayers who funded a good chunk of her lavish wedding “petty”, shouldn’t she be saying thank you?  Sofia is in for a long road ahead, especially now that she is forever tied to the Swedish Royal Family with the child she’s expecting.


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Princess Sofia

Several years ago, on a warm summer evening in New York City, three women sat at a sidewalk table in front of a pub drinking cocktails and discussing men as cocktail-drinking women often do.

Two of the women had only just met.  The youngest of the three, a Swedish woman named Sofia hadn’t made the best of impressions on the woman to whom she had just been introduced.  Before Sofia had even sat down, her strikingly beautiful blue eyes suddenly become cold as she looked the woman up and down, as if trying to determine if this new contact would be of use to her.  With a gap-filled smile incongruous to an otherwise pretty face, Sofia sat, casting a disapproving glance around at the selected establishment.  Sofia immediately suggested a change of venue, perhaps they could go to a club like Marquee.  The two other women politely declined Sofia’s counter-offer, citing work fatigue.  Sofia announced she wouldn’t be able to stay long.

The woman who had made the introduction steered the conversation to the man Sofia was after, a prince Sofia had spent some time with.  Sofia suddenly became more interested in girl chat.  “His name is Carl Philip, he’s a prince.  He’s very good looking…”  The woman who had made the introduction interrupted Sofia, urging her to show her friend “the picture”.  Sofia started to dig through her bag for her phone, sharing, “He’s nice.  Even though he’s a prince, he’s not what you would expect.  He’s more…”  Sofia wasn’t sure what the word in English would be and conferred with the woman who had made the introduction, deciding on, “down-to-earth”.  Sofia passed her phone down so the other women could look at the prince’s picture.

Sofia began listing other things she liked about the prince, which was more of a list of cool stuff he and his family owned than it was a run-down of his personality traits.  Sofia mentioned race cars,  a ski chalet, a house in the south of France and started to go into something else the prince’s money had access to, but the woman Sofia had just met tuned her out, staring at the picture.  The photo of the prince was taken with a camera phone, indoors, but from the angle it definitely didn’t look like he had posed for it.  The woman wondered if the prince even knew Sofia had taken the picture, it looked like a sneaked shot.  The woman handed the phone back thinking the whole thing seemed a little stalkerish as Sofia gushed about the benefit package a prince comes with.  There was just one little problem.  Even though Sofia was positive the prince really wanted her, there was the matter of a serious girlfriend the prince had been with for years.  A mere complication, Sofia was confident the prince would be hers.  She was going to marry him, live in a palace, wear tiaras, become Princess Sofia.  The woman wished Sofia luck, thinking to herself princes don’t marry women like Sofia, his family would see Sofia for what she was from a mile away and never allow it.

On Saturday, June 13th, the woman who met Sofia on a summer evening several years ago was proven wrong.  Sofia Hellqvist, a former Miss Slitz and racy reality show finalist walked into the Chapel  of the Royal Palace in Stockholm to Enya and emerged Her Royal Highness, Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland.

Flower phalli had been erected around the palace to celebrate Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist being joined as one and an orange carpet which didn’t quite match the color scheme or the drapes for that matter was laid out.


Sofia broke with Swedish tradition and had her father walk her partway down the aisle and the groom walk the rest of the way with her as Crown Princess Victoria had done on her wedding day.


The bride’s dress was three different shades of white and had been made by Swedish designer Ida Sjöstedt from silk crepe overlaid with Italian silk organza and lace applique.  The dress was beautiful and in line with predictions of what Sofia would wear.


Sofia’s diamond and emerald tiara was a wedding gift from the King and Queen.  While the palm leaf is a common Art Deco motif, I believe the tiara is brand new.    It’s quite stunning and a perfect starter tiara.


The bride’s hair was style by Marwan Hitti who won Paradise Hotel the same season Sofia made it to the finals.  I can only assume the harsh center part and tiara placed a little too far back was Marwan’s way of getting back at Sofia for any unresolved conflicts that came up during the competition.

Sofia’s make-up was done by William Värnild and despite speculation to the contrary, Sofia did not bend to convention by attempting to cover up the tattoo on her back.


The myrtle sprig Sofia wore in her hair is a Swedish royal bride tradition, it was clipped from the myrtle bush Princess Margareta brought to Sweden when she wed Gustaf VI Adolf.  Sofia’s rose bridal bouquet also incorporated myrtle.


While most were in agreement that Sofia’s dress was very pretty, but somewhat underwhelming, the guest fashion was an Ice Capades showcase with tulle, sequins and rhinestones as far as the eye could see.  Some of the guests appeared to be the victims of vajazzling explosions.

VajazzlingDress1 VajazzlingDress2I have no idea who this woman is, but with her expression, unkempt hair, gardening dress and shiny pink pumps, she is the fashion embodiment of how many royal watchers felt on the inside about this wedding.


Someone had to bring some sass, especially since Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wound up being a let-down.  Of course Mary looked beautiful, but part of me wanted Mary to show up at this wedding stroking a hairless Sphynx cat, proclaiming, “When Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, people die.”  The Ice Queen Disappointeth.


One of Carl Philip’s aunts showed up in pants while the groom’s sister, Crown Princess Victoria, wore a gown by H&M and the tiara I thought Sofia would probably borrow if the Swedish Royal Family went that route, the Connaught.  Prince Carl Philip’s wedding was the first time his sister has ever worn the Connaught.


Prince Carl Philip’s other sister, Princess Madeleine, who is nine months pregnant, wore the Modern Fringe tiara and this expression:


Of course, that’s when she wasn’t wearing this one:


Throughout her wedding day, Sofia debuted a new princess hand gesture, the thumb’s up which she flashed several times throughout her wedding day, from the chapel to the reception.



At least it’s an upgrade from this one (and some people said she learned nothing in Princess School):


During the ceremony, some unusual musical selections were played, such as the Salem al Fakir cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You”, a Swedish version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately”.  Sofia and Prince Carl Philip aren’t the first Swedish couple to play pop music during their wedding ceremony, apparently it’s becoming a thing in Sweden.  Sweden, stop it.  Stop it right now.  Don’t make me come over there.

The wedding was reported to cost 9 million Swedish Krona (about $1.1 million is USD) with an additional 1 million Swedish Krona in security.  Sweden’s citizens will picking up a third of the tab, but the King has established a pattern of asking for more money after the wedding is over so Sweden’s citizens could wind up paying more of the bill.

During the vow exchange, Prince Carl Philip had difficulty getting the ring on Sofia’s finger which some suggested might be a bad omen.  I think Carl Philip was just overwhelmed by the moment, the bad omen was in the carriage when Prince Carl Philip attempted to hold Sofia’s hand but she pulled it away so she could do a princess wave.


My sincerest hope is that at some point along the way Sofia fell in love with more than the idea of becoming a princess and developed genuine feelings for the man she agreed to spend the rest of her life with on Saturday.


It was obvious on Saturday that Prince Carl Philip truly loves Sofia.  While Sofia didn’t have the same kind of emotional moments her groom did, she seemed very happy on her wedding day, hopefully it was because she married a man she truly loves and not because she acquired a title she long desired to have.



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Swedish Tiara Possibilities

Royal weddings, like the upcoming one in Sweden, are like the Super Bowl of shiny things.  Even if you aren’t a fan of either team, you still watch for a love of the game.

Royal tiaras, occupying their perch above a glittering and gilded visual feast, are usually masterpieces of jeweled artistry.  As soon as royal engagements are announced, speculation begins about which tiara the bride will wear down the aisle.

Historically, most brides marrying into royal families wore tiaras from their own families on their wedding day, the tiara represented the bride’s past and the family from which she came.  Now that restrictions have lifted and royals are no longer required to select a spouse who comes from the sort of family that has their own tiaras, royal families are left in a bit of a tiara quandary.  Most tiaras owned by royal families are steeped in history and quite valuable so now that the mere mention of royal divorce doesn’t require smelling salts, royal families are understandably more reluctant to give one of the family’s tiaras to the bride as a wedding gift, opting instead to simply loan the bride a tiara, purchase her a new one or acquire an older one at auction. Mary wore a brand new tiara when she said her I Dos to Crown Prince Frederick, as did Sarah Ferguson when she became the Duchess of York, while Sarah’s one-time sister-in-law Sophie received a new rather disjointed-looking tiara made from old pieces.  When Mette-Marit married Crown Prince Haakon, a tiara from 1910 was purchased at auction, perhaps unknown to the family at the time, it’s the same one worn by Cate Blanchett in An Ideal Husband.  Both Maxima and Letizia got loaners while Charlene went a tiara-less route, opting for a jeweled piece in her hair when she wed Prince Albert.

It’s been speculated the Prince Carl Philip was designing a tiara for his soon-to-be bride Sofia Hellqvist and that would probably be the best scenario given the pre-wedding debate over Sofia becoming a princess, supporters would see it as a nice personalized element while more traditional royal watchers would find it more appropriate than Sofia wearing a historically significant piece.  Additionally, while the Swedish Royal Family has some truly spectacular and some truly unfortunate tiaras, not all of them are for general use and most wouldn’t really work as a bridal tiara.

A new tiara is extremely costly and with a few possible exceptions, they pale in comparison to those made prior to the beginning of the 20th century.  Given how relatively modest Sofia’s engagement ring is, it’s very possible Sofia will wind up being loaned a tiara from the Bernadotte Family Foundation.  Having a foundation like the one employed by the Swedish Royal Family for their jewels is quite brilliant, the shared set-up allows for a larger selection of jewels available to family members while having them belong to a collective whole instead of individuals ensures they won’t ever leave the family or be sold.

Several smaller tiaras have been sold at auction this past year and it’s possible one of them was purchased for Sofia as a wedding and starter tiara.  Out of what I’ve seen, though, none have struck me as a great first all-around tiara for Sofia.  Despite the critical opinions I hold of the bride, I begrudge no one a great tiara.  I’m not sure the king and queen share my beliefs about the inalienable right of quality sparkle, though.

Both Princess Madeleine and Crown Princess Victoria received a tiara on their 18th birthdays, as is Swedish Royal Family tradition.  Starter tiaras are usually smaller because tiara wearing can take some adjustment.  Tiaras are often difficult to anchor in hair, many can wobble depending how they are attached, a quick turn of the head can cause one to fall with often disastrous results, some can cause headaches… tiara wearing isn’t for sissies.  Consequently brides who aren’t used to tiaras can have some difficulty so their bridal tiaras tend to be small as well.  When Kate Middleton married Prince William, the Halo Scroll Tiara was sewn into her hair to ensure it wouldn’t fall off.

It’s highly unlikely Sofia would wear Princess Madeleine’s and Crown Princess Victoria’s starter tiaras because they belong to the princesses and aren’t shared as part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation.

Princess Madeleine, Aquamarine Bandeau

Princess Madeleine, Aquamarine Bandeau

Princess Madeleine’s tiara, the Aquamarine Bandeau, is most commonly referred to as the Cyclops Tiara.

This style tends to look better worn further down as was the style in the 1920s, but in this case, not so much.

Princess Madeleine, Cyclops Tiara

Princess Madeleine, Cyclops Tiara

When someone as beautiful as Princess Madeleine makes a bandeau look like a band-no, it’s time to repurpose the stone.

Aquamarine Bandeau, a.k.a. The Cyclops Princess Madeleine's 18th Birthday Tiara Verdict: A giant no

Aquamarine Bandeau, a.k.a. The Cyclops
Princess Madeleine’s 18th Birthday Tiara
Verdict: A giant no

Crown Princess Victoria’s 18th Birthday Tiara looks like a teeny tiny menorah made out of whatever was at the bottom of the king’s desk drawer… some paperclips, a few tiny sapphires, some picture hanging wire and some loose melee… basic king desk drawer stuff.

Crown Princess Victoria, 18th Birthday Tiara

Crown Princess Victoria, 18th Birthday Tiara

While the Cyclops Tiara isn’t as tragic as the one Madeleine’s older sister got, every time I see these tiaras, I wonder if the king and queen secretly hate their children or if perhaps they were trying to impart some kind of tiara humility.

Crown Princess Victoria's 18th Birthday Tiara Verdict: Nuh-uh

Crown Princess Victoria’s 18th Birthday Tiara
Verdict: Nuh-uh

Another privately owned tiara is the Laurel Wreath Tiara which Princess Lilian left to Crown Princess Victoria.

Crown Princess Victoria, Laurel Leaf Tiara

Crown Princess Victoria, Laurel Leaf Tiara

This piece holds tremendous sentimental value to Victoria because of the strong bond she and Lilian shared.  The only person I can see Victoria loaning this to is her daughter, Estelle, when she’s older of course.  Even then, she might require her to leave a valid driver’s license and credit credit card.  Sofia would have a better chance of getting hit by lighting while holding a winning Lottery ticket in Smurf Village than wearing this piece on her wedding day.

Lilian's Laurel Leaf Tiara Privately owned by Crown Princess Victoria Verdict: No smurfing chance

Lilian’s Laurel Leaf Tiara
Privately owned by Crown Princess Victoria
Verdict: No smurfing way

Also among the tiaras with no chance at all of showing up on Sofia is the Braganza Tiara.

Queen Silvia, Braganza

Queen Silvia, the Braganza Tiara

The Braganza Tiara is reserved for queens.  And I’m not talking the awesome kind of queens who steer you away from bright pink lipstick and make you margaritas when you’re sad, a Crown Princess wore this once and when she got home, the tiara ripped off her arms and beat her unconscious with them.  Okay, that last part probably only happened in my head, but this is one big badass tiara you don’t mess with, it’s about five inches tall and no one even knows how much it weighs probably because they’re afraid to ask it.

The Braganza Tiara Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation, Reserved for the Queen Verdict: No chance

The Braganza Tiara
Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation, Reserved for the Queen
Verdict: Not bloody likely

Sofia probably won’t wear the Cameo Tiara either.  Some people assume this tiara is reserved for the top slot-bound brides because both Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria wore it on their wedding day, but it was also the bridal tiara of two of the king’s sisters and was even borrowed by Queen Ingrid of Denmark when she went to a costume party dressed as Queen Josephine of Sweden.

Queen Ingrid of Denmark in the borrowed Cameo Tiara

Queen Ingrid of Denmark in the borrowed Cameo Tiara

It’s a very difficult tiara to pull off but Crown Princess Victoria did it to perfection on her wedding day.

Crown Princess Victoria, The Cameo Tiara

Crown Princess Victoria, The Cameo Tiara

Because the tiara is so closely associated with Crown Princess Victoria in the minds and hearts of the Swedish people, it’s unlikely Sofia would wear it as a wedding tiara.

The Cameo Tiara Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation Verdict: Possible but highly improbable

The Cameo Tiara
Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation
Verdict: Unlikely but possible

Despite being part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation, the Baden Fringe Tiara is another piece that’s closely associated with Crown Princess Victoria.


Crown Princess Victoria, the Baden Fringe Tiara

Queen Victoria had specified that she really wanted this to be a tiara mainly for the Crown Princess.  The tiara has made a few appearances in the past on the heads of non-Crown Princesses, but in recent years, it’s only been seen on Crown Princess Victoria.  Maybe Queen Victoria’s ghost finally came back and said something.

The Baden Fringe Tiara Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation, Intended Primarily for Crown Princess Use Verdict: Over Queen Victoria's dead ghost

The Baden Fringe Tiara
Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation, Intended Primarily for Crown Princess Use
Verdict: Over Queen Victoria’s dead ghost

The tiara most closely associated with Princess Madeleine is the Modern Fringe Tiara.

Princess Madeleine, Modern Fringe Tiara

Princess Madeleine, Modern Fringe Tiara

It is privately owned, not part of the family’s foundation, and is believed to have been given to Princess Madeleine as a wedding gift by Queen Silvia who received it from King Carl Gustaf for their 10th wedding anniversary.  Princess Madeleine wore it on her wedding day and has been the only one to wear it since.


The Modern Fringe Tiara
Privately owned
Verdict: Inconceivable

One of the tiaras technically up for grabs is the Napoleonic Cut Steel Tiara.

Crown Princess Victoria, Napoleonic Steel Cut Tiara

Crown Princess Victoria, Napoleonic Steel Cut Tiara

Queen Silvia found it in one of the cabinets when she was rooting around the palace one day and she should have left it there.  Usually when a tiara gets shoved out of sight and no one even thinks to look for it for a century, there’s a reason.  This thing has no stones in it at all.  I am a Sparkle Purist who believes that a tiara without stones is like a swimming pool without water, Lucky Charms without the marshmallows, an optimist without hope.  One of the issues of a cut steel tiara as a wedding tiara is how it would photograph.  At a royal wedding, the tiara has to hold up under a variety of lighting conditions, these tiaras lose their impact and look like dull metal without a strong enough light source. The metal work on this one is pretty spectacular, but for a votive candle holder, not a tiara.  This tiara always makes me think of the American Thanksgiving celebration with a feather motif that looks a bit like a fanned out turkey tail, acorns scattered about and the general feeling I’m left with of unrealized expectation and relief it it doesn’t come around more frequently.

Napoleonic Cut Steel Tiara Part of Bernadotte Family Foundation Verdict: Not bridal

Napoleonic Cut Steel Tiara
Part of Bernadotte Family Foundation
Verdict: Not bridal

The Swedish Royal Family also has a second cut steel tiara that’s so unfortunate, no one has even bothered to give it a name other than the descriptive Smaller Steel Tiara.  I call it The Bear Trap Tiara because the crisscrossed metal work looks like metal teeth.

Crown Princess Victoria, Small Steel Cut Tiara

Crown Princess Victoria, Small Steel Cut Tiara

Crown Princess Victoria is the only one who even goes near this thing, according to tiara lore, she’s the one who found it being used as a door stop and decided it should be restored.  I think Victoria feels bad for tiaras no one else wants and wears them so they can fulfill their tiara destiny.  Once while swimming in Turks and Caicos, I came face to face with a six foot barracuda, it’s mouth open revealing enormous razor-sharp teeth.  Apparently, barracuda can mistake the shine from jewelry with a small fish appetizer.  Pretty sure this tiara would send a barracuda in the opposite direction.

Small Steel Cut Tiara Part of Bernadotte Family Foundation Verdict: Dive down deep to save your head... Oooo Barracuda

Small Steel Cut Tiara
Part of Bernadotte Family Foundation
Verdict: Dive down deep to save your head… Oooo Barracuda

Despite a complicated past that involves another graphic designing prince who wound up losing his title for marrying a commoner and a deal dispute, the Edward VII Ruby Tiara is once again able to be worn as part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation.

Queen Silvia, King Edward VII Ruby Tiara

Queen Silvia, King Edward VII Ruby Tiara

It is a beautiful romantic tiara, but because of its height, it’s intended to be worn with a lot of hair piled on top of the head, otherwise it sticks up like an ornate metal fence.  Sofia’s hair has the length, in the hands of a stylist with some tiara updo experience, it could work.  Tiaras with this kind of height can be difficult to wear, though, which might be why none of the other ladies in the Swedish Royal Family have given it a go.  Queen Silvia makes wearing these pieces look effortless, but she’s a tiara warrior.

King Edward VII Ruby Tiara Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation Verdict: Possible

King Edward VII Ruby Tiara
Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation
Verdict: Possible

Also in the Bernadotte Family Foundation is an amethyst tiara known as Queen Josephine’s Amethyst Tiara that was a necklace until Queen Silvia had it made into a tiara.

Princess Désirée, Queen Josephine's Amethyst Tiara

Princess Désirée, Queen Josephine’s Amethyst Tiara

There aren’t a lot of amethyst tiaras out there which makes this one somewhat unique.  Amethyst was considered to be one of the most precious gemstones up until the 18th century when an abundance of amethyst mines were discovered, devaluing the gem considerably.  No longer a cardinal stone, royal families weren’t interested in gems that were suddenly affordable to the masses.  The amethysts in this piece are spectacular, however the tiara is not terribly bridal.

Princess Madeleine, Queen Josephine's Amethyst Tiara

Princess Madeleine, Queen Josephine’s Amethyst Tiara

Perhaps it would be a more understandable choice if Sofia had been born in February, but her birthstone as a December baby is turquoise or blue topaz.

Queen Josephine's Amethyst Tiara Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation Verdict: Better on a wedding guest

Queen Josephine’s Amethyst Tiara
Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation
Verdict: Better on a wedding guest

The Nine Prong Tiara is also shared by the ladies of the Swedish Royal Family and it’s a dazzler but its size and construction make it not an advisable choice for those still in tiara training-wheels.

Queen Silvia, Nine Prong Tiara

Queen Silvia, Nine Prong Tiara

This tiara is not attached to a head, a head is attached to it, the frame is so rigid, it can be quite the skull crusher.  Queen Silvia, the tiara’s primary wearer, appears to have no problems with the Nine Prong Tiara, but the younger generation hasn’t even attempted it.  Its sunburst design might appeal to Sofia who has a sun tattooed on her back, but it might not fit her.  Sofia’s model card has her 165cm (5’4”) while Queen Silvia is 170cm (5’7”).

Engagement Announcement

Engagement Announcement

Queen Silvia’s head appears to have a significantly larger circumference which means on Sofia the tiara would fall lower which is where the tiara’s vice grip effect takes hold.

The Nine Prong Tiara Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation Verdict: Possible & potentially painful

The Nine Prong Tiara
Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation
Verdict: Possible & potentially painful

While the Nine Prong Tiara is surprisingly rigid, the Leuchtenberg Tiara can accommodate a wide arrange of craniums due to its construction of eleven separate pieces.

Queen Silvia, Leuchtenberg Tiara

Queen Silvia, Leuchtenberg Tiara

It’s believed the tiara came with a set of pearls that could be switched out for the sapphires, but the pearls at some point left the set, their existence and what exactly happened to them is a contested matter.

Queen Josephine, Leuchtenberg Tiara with pearls

Queen Josephine, Leuchtenberg Tiara with pearls

The sapphires are detachable and could always be swapped out with new pearls or different gems in the future.  The Leuchtenberg Tiara is a very grand piece and is one of Queen Silvia’s favorites.  It hasn’t been seen on anyone else in nearly four decades and while theoretically it could be borrowed, it would be highly unlikely.  Queens don’t loan out their favorite bling, especially to non-royal brides who are still commoners when they walk into the church.  It would have been like Kate Middleton getting married in the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, it just wasn’t going to happen.

Leuchtenberg Tiara Part of the Bernadotte Family Trust Verdict: Theoretically possible but highly unlikely

Leuchtenberg Tiara
Part of the Bernadotte Family Trust
Verdict: Theoretically possible but highly unlikely

While steeped in history, the Four Button Tiara and the Six Button Tiaras are widely considered to be the collection’s most disappointing pieces.  Because of the simple metal frame, the Four Button Tiara is often compared to Jeep lights.

Crown Princess Victoria, Four Button Tiara

Crown Princess Victoria, Four Button Tiara

The buttons are believed to be from King Carl XIV Johan’s gala uniform, with the buttons of the Six Button Tiara incorporated into his coronation crown.  The Six Button Tiara has two rows of diamonds added at the base but is only slightly less ridiculous.

Crown Princess VIctoria, Six Button Tiara

Crown Princess VIctoria, Six Button Tiara

It’s very possible one of these two tiaras could show up on Sofia.  A bridal veil might help with the tiaras looking like floating cookies suspended in space by tiara poltergeists.

Button Tiaras Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation Verdict: Possible

Button Tiaras
Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation
Verdict: Possible

The most bridal of all of the Swedish Royal Family’s tiaras is the Connaught Tiara and there are no restrictions on who wears it.  It’s already been worn by two brides: Princess Sibylla  and Princess Christina.

Princess Sibylla, The Connaught Tiara

Princess Sibylla, The Connaught Tiara

The construction of five detachable diamond drops hanging from forget-me-knot loops ups the degree of difficulty wearing it somewhat because of its higher center of gravity.

If Sofia borrows a tiara, I think it will be the Connaught Tiara.

The Connaught Tiara Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation Verdict: Most likely

The Connaught Tiara
Part of the Bernadotte Family Foundation
Verdict: Most likely

Swedish princesses don’t limit themselves to just traditional tiaras, though.

Crown Princess Victoria, Diamond Necklace Bandeau

Crown Princess Victoria, Diamond Necklace Bandeau

There is the not-quite-a-tiara Swedish Diamond Bandeau believed to be two separate diamond necklaces as well as an assortment of brooches, diamond rivieres, and hair pins incorporated into their updos.

Crown Princess Victoria, Diamond Arrow Brooch

Crown Princess Victoria, Diamond Arrow Brooch

While I am a huge fan of tiaras, my absolute favorite piece from the royal collection is the Bernadotte Rose Brooch.

Princess Madeleine, Bernadotte Rose Brooch

Princess Madeleine, Bernadotte Rose Brooch

This piece has the potential to be breathtaking with a veil.  When Princess Charlene opted to go tiara-less on her wedding day, the result was spectacular and memorable.

Princess Charlene of Monaco

Princess Charlene of Monaco

The Bernadotte Rose Brooch is smaller than the piece Charlene borrowed from Princess Caroline, but given the 6″ height difference between brides, the Bernadotte Rose Brooch would probably be the perfect scale for Sofia, impactful but not overwhelming.

Surprisingly, in a collection wrought with history, not a lot is known about this stunner, making it the perfect piece for Sofia to make her own.

Bernadotte Rose Brooch Verdict: Perfection

Bernadotte Rose Brooch
Verdict: Perfection

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The Traditionally Less Examined Royal Groom

Despite marriage being a union of two individuals, two halves becoming a joined whole, weddings have always been viewed as the bride’s day.  There is very little about a modern wedding that is actually modern, most ceremonies represent centuries of tradition, superstition and out-dated beliefs.  Many iconic elements incorporated in the weddings of today were initially devised to protect the bride and groom from evil spirits.  Veils were thought to conceal the bride’s identity from evil spirits, bridesmaid’s dresses were once similar to the bride’s to further confuse spectral wedding crashers, wedding bells were rung to chase away bogeymen who apparently prefer much softer tones and brides were carried over thresholds because ancient cultures believed that the threshold was the preferred hangout spot for malignant spirits who could hijack a bride through her feet.  Other wedding traditions are hold-overs from the days when arranged marriages were far more common and the bride and groom didn’t meet until the wedding ceremony.  It was deemed unlucky for a groom to see the bride before the wedding because the bride’s family feared that if the groom got a peak at her ahead of time and didn’t think she was pretty enough, it would give him the chance to flee and bring shame to the bride’s family.  Great care went into the bride’s appearance so she would look her very best as added insurance the groom wouldn’t try to back out of the arrangement.  Not all brides got the chance to primp for their ceremonies, though, because their weddings weren’t a joining of families so much as they were a kidnapping.  The role of best man traces back to the Germanic Goths in towns where potential grooms outnumbered potential brides and single men needed help stealing women from neighboring towns, the job of the best man was initially that of an accomplice.  In addition to helping with the abduction, the best man also had to act as body guard, standing next to the groom at the alter in case the bride’s family tried to steal her back during the ceremony.  Of course nowadays, the only woman a best man is expected to procure for a groom is the stripper at his bachelor party.

Most of the old superstitions surrounding weddings focused on what kind of future the couple would have together, they were intended to ensure happiness for the duration of the union.  Even though the traditions are still honored, ceremonies today are more about the immediate celebration.  Many women view their weddings as the “happiest day” of the lives so modern weddings have become lavish affairs with the average wedding in the US costing $30,000.  Hope chests have been replaced by Pinterest boards where individuals immerse themselves in virtual fantasy weddings.

Not surprisingly, royal weddings, which are like regular weddings on steroids, tend to garner a lot of global attention with most of the focus traditionally on the bride.  Even those who do not follow royal gossip pay attention.  In the coverage of the upcoming Swedish royal wedding, much has been discussed about the bride-to-be, Sofia Hellqvist, while the future groom, Prince Carl Philip has been relegated to the descriptive term “playboy prince”.

In Sweden, the press tends to less voracious with its royal family than in other countries with monarchies.  Prince Carl Philip manages to stay under the radar more than his UK counterparts because while the role of the monarchy in Sweden is a ceremonial one, the Royal Family seems to still yield some influence with the press.  He also doesn’t get a lot of press for his charity work because he rarely does any.  Despite the image advantages his position affords him, he still manages more than his fair share of scandal.  Since I’ve discussed Sofia’s past at length, I thought it only fair to focus some of the attention on the groom because when royal dish is being served, what’s good for the gander is good for the goose.

The image of the Swedish Royal Family has taken some hits in recent years, but for quite some time, it had managed to avoid the kinds of scintillating headlines that plagued other royal families.  The first mark on a fairly clean record came courtesy of Prince Carl Philip who had his very own nude scandal.  Because I only vaguely remembered the story about Prince Carl Philip displaying his royal jewels at a retreat (I think he was 14 or 15 and he decided to go streaking with some classmates which was deemed highly inappropriate by the press because it was a religious retreat and he wasn’t behaving in an appropriately spiritual manner…), I tried Googling it to make sure I had the facts straight, only to find that stories about Prince Carl Philip I remember seeing have also disappeared from the internet.  Perhaps it’s a sign of progress that the royal groom’s image is also getting a fresh coat of whitewashing.  The only thing I could find on the subject was a brief mention of it in a book What Every American Should Know About Europe by M.L. Rossi.  “The royal offspring are jet-setters but relatively scandal-free, except for the time Prince Carl Philip pranced around naked with his classmates at a religious retreat.”  The book appears to have been written during a far more innocent time, before the king’s sex scandal broke.

For a while, press criticism of Prince Carl Philip tended to focus on a lack of charity work, race car driving and partying at clubs.  There was speculation that he would marry long-time girlfriend Emma Pernald as well as rumors that he was gay.  Personally I don’t believe the gay rumors because of photos in which Prince Carl Philip looks at Sofia’s chest and bum the same way I look at cake and Sofia looks at cameras.  I’m not even sure how the gay rumors got started, maybe someone saw a picture of Prince Carl Philip holding an Olympic Torch, there was some kind of linguistic confusion and stories emerged that he was flaming.


There were also more believable but still unconfirmed stories that Prince Carl Philip was quite the fan of nose candy and other party treats.  Given the amount of partying he was doing, it’s doubtful he was powered simply by Flintstone’s vitamins.  While Prince Carl Philip was still involved with his girlfriend Emma, he was also spotted with a “mystery brunette” now believed to have been Sofia.  The official start date of his relationship with Sofia is a bit hazy which reportedly is by design since Prince Carl Philip comes off as quite the cad because he hooked up with Sofia a few times in 2008 and didn’t break up with Emma until 2009.  Around the time Prince Carl Philip’s relationship with Sofia Hellqvist was officially confirmed by the palace, he was spotted appearing quite cozy with several other women.  The adage of “if he’ll cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you” appeared to be true for Sofia as Prince Carl Philip was romantically linked in the press to several high-profile women, most notably Charlize Theron who had been photographed with the prince at a 2010 World Cup match.


Photos suggested it was not their first meeting, their body language revealing something amiss that had nothing to do with the game.  In one photo taken immediately after Charlize said something to the man next to her, Prince Carl Philip’s expression changed to one of anger and possible jealousy.


The relationship remained unconfirmed, the prince was reportedly also spotted attending a private party with the actress.  I tried to find a photo I’m pretty sure I saw of the two taken aboard a yacht, Charlize had her hair back and was dressed in black, but came up empty.  By all accounts, the relationship between Prince Carl Philip and Charlize Theron was said to have been more of a brief fling than a romance.

In 2012, Prince Carl Philip continued making press for conduct unbecoming a prince.  Following a string of stories of him drunkenly wandering the streets of Stockholm like a sailor on leave, Prince Carl Philip tried to keep his excessive partying under wraps by wearing an alien mask to clubs which wasn’t exactly successful in concealing his identity.  He continued to be labeled a party prince, the mask simply cast more judgment on his state of mind as he attempted to devise Lucy Ricardo-esque schemes to indulge in excess without repercussion.  The prince was so blitzed he lost his wallet one night and wound up having to hitchhike to a race he was scheduled to compete in, crashing promptly in the first race.  In August, Prince Carl Philip made international headlines for being attacked outside the nightclub Baoli in Cannes by a group of men.  The prince claimed it was a “happy slap” and that he had been randomly targeted, however witness statements contradict his claim that the attack was unprovoked.  Club bouncers confirmed reports that there had been a previous exchange between the two groups with Prince Carl Philip yelling, “What did you say about my girlfriend?”  In the ensuing exchange, one of Prince Carl Philip’s friends punched one of the guys in the other group and the attack that was filmed was the group’s retaliation.  Prince Carl Philip, then 33, was long past the grace period for youthful indiscretion that even the most supportive of royalists would grant.  Even though the prince’s pool has never been a particularly deep one, Prince Carl Philip’s reputation of being on permanent holiday was further tarnished by stories of his nocturnal hedonism.

In 2013, Prince Carl Philip was the focus of a plagiarism scandal when it was revealed he took credit for the work of at least one other designer.  Eric Ericson revealed he really designed the $2,230 Tre Kronor fireplace screen to which Prince Carl Philip signed his name, telling Svenska Dagbladet that his initial understanding was that he would work with Prince Carl Philip but eventually realized he was expected to do the work for the prince.  Despite numerous years studying design in Sweden and at the Rhode Island School of Design, Prince Carl Philip was a long way from his professed profession of designer because he lacked the necessary drive to apply himself.  According to Ericson, “He can become one, but it takes a lot of hard work to get there.”  Prince Carl Philip wound up removing his signature from the fireplace screen, replacing it instead with the name of his design company.

The plagiarism scandal story cast doubt on Prince Carl Philip’s other overpriced designs and on his character, design was like the one thing the aimless prince pretended to do.  While to date the fireplace screen has been his only confirmed case of signing his name to the work of another designer, I feel like this shot of Prince Carl Philip comes very close to being copyright infringement on George Michael’s look.


Unlike his future bride, Prince Carl Philip has benefited throughout his life from a palace full of staff to help try to keep less-than-flattering aspects of his persona from becoming tabloid fodder.  I suspect he’s got a lot more scandals packed into his man purse that have never seen the light of day, which might be why there doesn’t appear to be enough room for a comb.

I think that part of the reason why those who marry into royal families get so scrutinized is because of frustration that arises from hereditary monarchies.  No matter how unroyal royal behavior might be, the titled maintain their positions throughout their lives by virtue of birth, barring any significantly history-altering events, their performance record really doesn’t matter that much.  Additionally, royal families are linked to a nation’s identity so criticizing them can feel unpatriotic to some whereas scrutinizing those who marry in feels less so.  While I view Sofia as an anti-feminism figure, representing an objectifying perception of women that I have had to fight my entire life, Prince Carl Philip isn’t exactly a sparkling representative of his gender or of the endangered class of royals for that matter either.  Prince Carl Philip hasn’t been be inspired by the example set by his siblings.  While Crown Princess Victoria works tirelessly to serve Sweden and Princess Madeleine juggles motherhood and her extensive work on children’s issues, Prince Carl Philip appears most dedicated to serving himself, shrugging off noblesse oblige in favor of the most excessive indulgences his position has to offer.  With a work ethic that seems to be from the Kate Middleton House of Holiday, vices similar to those that many feel made Mette-Marit unsuitable to hold a royal title, his own nudity scandal, reported infidelities and design plagiarism, the Prince Charming of Sweden’s Slitzerella tale isn’t exactly up to Disney code either.



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The Objectifying Sofia Hellqvist

As shocking as Sofia Hellqvist marrying into the Swedish Royal Family is, she isn’t the first woman who has worked in the sex industry to wed royalty.  That distinction belongs to Theadora, a former actress, erotic dancer and prostitute who became a Roman empress when she wed Justinian in the 6th century.  Sofia won’t even be the first royal bride to have topless photos published prior to becoming royal.  In 1999, The Sun ran a photo of Sophie Rhys-Jones taken eleven years earlier by her friend, Kara Noble, and showed Chris Tarrant pulling up Sophie’s bathing suit top and revealing one of her breasts.  The public was so outraged over the publication of the photo, The Sun was forced to issue an apology, Kara Noble was fired from her job and eventually left England.  While Sophie was the victim of a friend’s betrayal, Sofia chose to take her clothes off for publications that objectify women as a means to obtain fame.

All depictions of the nude human form are not pornographic, there aren’t a lot of guys in bathrooms with a copy of Janson’s History of Art rubbing one out over Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe.  What makes material pornographic is its intent to sexually arouse.

pornographydefinitionThe men’s magazines that Sofia Hellqvist chose to pose provocatively for reinforce a very dangerous conception of women existing for the sexual gratification of men.  These magazines are a part of the sex industry linked to harmful societal effects such as “encouragement of human trafficking, desensitization, pedophilia, dehumanization, exploitation, sexual dysfunction, and inability to maintain healthy sexual relationships.” (Source Wikipedia on Sex Industry).

A 2013 study conducted by Washington State University revealed that “exposure to men’s magazines was significantly associated with lower intentions to seek sexual consent and lower intentions to adhere to decisions about sexual consent.” (Full study can be read at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23514364)

According to a 2011 joint study by the University of Surrey and Middlesex University, researchers discovered that subjects were unable to correctly identify which selected quotes came directly from men’s magazines and which were from interviews conducted with convicted rapists.   Additionally, the quotes from men’s magazines were deemed more derogatory than statements made by rapists.  Dr. Peter Hegarty noted, “There is a fundamental concern that the content of such magazines normalises the treatment of women as sexual objects.”  (Source: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/mediacentre/press/2011/69535_are_sex_offenders_and_lads_mags_using_the_same_language.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter)

Sofia has stated she doesn’t regret the photos she has done and has spoken favorably about the porn industry on different occasions, confessing in a Slitz interview she watches a lot of porn and that it’s “nothing to be ashamed of.”  I personally think there is a great deal of shame surrounding an industry that can be linked to crimes against women.

When Sofia marries Prince Carl Philip, the monarchy and people of Sweden will be represented by a woman whose photos are restricted by Google because of their pornographic nature.  As soon as the I Do’s are said, Sofia becomes a taxpayer expense so how she is perceived is very relevant to the people of Sweden and can’t be dismissed with the platitude that the past is the past.  The Palace has done an impressive job in getting information removed from the internet that portrays Sofia negatively.  Alarmingly, the most damning pieces have been those which were written by Sofia or contain direct quotes from her. Despite their best bleaching efforts, royal weddings create a lot of interest in the bride across the globe and no media outlet ever has wanted to know less about a royal bride.  It’s unrealistic to think the only parts of Sofia’s life will be covered.  Sofia’s past will inevitably be tied to her role as a Princess of Sweden and how Sweden is perceived of as a country.  Swedes have only to look as far as their neighbors Norway for an example of the standards society expects from the monarchy and how even those who can eventually forgive a royal bride’s past still won’t ever let her forget it.  Despite thirteen years of hard work and providing an heir and spare, Crown Princess Mette-Marit is still known as the scandalous royal bride because she had a child out of wedlock with a drug dealer and a partying past.  In 2013, Mette-Marit became a BrewDog Beer with the Norwegian-inspired India Pale Ale Hello My Name is Mette Marit, described by the Scottish brewer as “not as innocent as it appears.”  BrewDog beer provided a summary of Mette-Marit’s controversial past for beer-drinkers who weren’t aware of it.

As a member of the Swedish Royal Family, Sofia will also be involved in charity work.  Some feel it would be inappropriate for Sofia to work with women who are victims of violence or sex crimes given her work in and public support of an industry that has been proven to have a societal causal effect.  One of the main focuses of the Swedish Royal Family is on children’s issues.  At sixteen, Sofia was posing in semi-nude and bondage photos with parental consent.   Her work with children through Project Playground has also raised some concerns.  Sofia sparked controversy when she stated, “Lots of girls sleep with guys for a pair of jeans, a pair of shoes, a tjuga or just because the guys want to sleep with them. Many have been raped and their self-image is incredibly poor. Condoms do not help the poor self-esteem, so when we have them in the program and they feel safe with us as we work on getting the girls to respect themselves and their bodies.”  One way Sofia ‘helped’ these girls was by posting a photo of herself on the Project Playground website with a group of young teenagers who were going to be on South African television in July 2011 wearing bikinis that were deemed way too small and sexualized a group particularly vulnerable to sex crimes.  Sofia has also made some very upsetting statements about the disabled, describing in her travel blog how she and her friend Camilla Sundman laughed so much during their classes at a teacher who experienced a condition that left him with violent spasms she termed “crazy foot” that they almost got “six pack abs” by taking his classes.  (Her travel blogs were recently taken down because of the insight they provided into a shallow materialistic woman lacking in compassion.)  So what causes will Sofia be championing and who will be organizing a charity to help those who have been ‘helped’ by Sofia?

While Sofia may not regret her past, unfortunately many in Sweden are left regretting that soon a woman who has represented the porn industry will now be representing their country as a princess.


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The Objectionable Sofia Hellqvist

On Sunday in accordance with tradition, the Swedish Royal Family gathered for the reading of the marriage banns for the upcoming wedding of Prince Carl Philip to former softcore porn model and racy reality show contestant, Sofia Hellqvist. The reading of the banns affords the opportunity for any objections to be made to an upcoming wedding but all who were present on Sunday held their tongues.  Perhaps they were still speechless that Miss Slitz 2004, Sofia Hellqvist, will be styled Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland upon marriage.

Despite the lack of formal objections at the event held in the Stockholm Royal Chapel, there are many who find Sofia unsuitable as a future member of the Swedish Royal Family and representative of Sweden.  A recent Expressen poll reveals that only 45% of those who participated in the survey indicated that they are looking forward to the Royal Wedding with the majority answering that they are not.  When the engagement was announced in June of last year, Prince Carl Philip’s younger sister, Princess Madeleine, offered congratulations on her Facebook page while Crown Princess Victoria declined to publicly acknowledge the engagement or even answer any questions about the upcoming wedding in a recent interview.  Judging by the negative comments Princess Madeleine’s congratulatory Facebook post got, the general public is far less accepting of Sofia than the press claims.

MadeleineFBCongratsPrincess Madeleine left the negative comments about Sofia on her Facebook page until she deleted the entire post somewhere between January and April.  Anticipating that the criticism of Sofia would eventually disappear as part of the larger pre-wedding whitewashing campaign, I took screen grabs of Princess Madeleine’s Facebook page on which many commenters voiced their disapproval of the engagement, with several providing links to nude photos of Sofia and my What the Hell-qvist article.  Here is just a small sampling of the negative responses to the news that Sofia Hellqvist would be marrying into the Swedish Royal Family.

FB1 FB2FB3 FB4 FB5FB6FB7FB8FB10FB11FB12FB13FB14FB15FB16No matter how hard the media tries to spin Sofia’s story into a modern fairytale, it’s far from a Cinderella story.  The closest Disney comparison would be the film “Pretty Woman”, a tale of a rough-around-the-edges sex industry worker who proclaims she “wants the fairytale” and improbably lands a wealthy and powerful man.  In the original far darker version of “Pretty Woman” entitled “3000”, Vivian Ward is a drug addict who winds up back on the streets, however Disney, like the mainstream media, is far more interested in stories that sell.  As a society raised on “once upon a time” in an era of tabloid sensationalism, the only thing more entertaining to the masses than happily ever after is unhappily ever after.

Ultimately what I find the most objectionable about Sofia is the sales pitch.  In her attempts to be famous, Sofia posed nude, publicly supported the porn industry, appeared in men’s magazines, starred in a racy reality show, eventually tired of her sugar daddies and went after larger game.  If Sofia really doesn’t regret any of it as she has publicly stated and the Swedish Royal Family is truly accepting of her, then these attempts to fictionalize her past in order to create a more palpable princess image is pointless manipulation of the public’s perception, ultimately benefitting only the press which will eventually gleefully reveal the past it helped to conceal with provocative headlines.



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Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boobs: Timeline of Sweden’s Slitz-erella

Once upon a time, a prince who sort of looks like a homeless Orlando Bloom fell for a former Miss Slitz and Paradise Hotel finalist known to some simply as Meth Mouth.

The love story of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist is viewed by some as a modern Cinderella story while others see it more as belonging more in the genre of the Grimm brothers, with a future princess possessing a rode hard and put away wet look that even an arsenal full of Disney magic couldn’t make regal.


Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip at Nobel Prize Ceremony

Instead of addressing the past of the future princess, the Swedish Monarchy has opted to leave it blank, a story they seemingly would prefer to begin and end with simply “And they lived happily ever after”.  The Sofia character in the official version remains undeveloped, save for mention of charity work and some education allusions.  By omitting the future bride’s pre-prince pursuits, the official account strips away the main conflict of this story, whether or not Sofia Hellqvist is a suitable representative of the Swedish Monarchy and the people of Sweden.  As a love story, the palace’s version doesn’t really work either because it tells little of the woman with whom the prince falls in love.

And yet, the whitewashed version is no more poorly constructed than the Disney stories girls across the world are read before bed.  In Cinderella, the prince falls in love with his future princess without even knowing her name.  A simple introduction any well-raised prince would have made before a dance floor spin would have removed the conflict which was ultimately resolved by a pair of shoes that illogically didn’t return to their previous state like everything else cast under the exact same spell.  No wonder that fairy godmother didn’t even bother showing up until Cinderella was a teenager, she was probably ashamed of her shoddy spell casting.  And naming a cat Lucifer is just lazy storytelling.

Whether or not Sofia Hellqvist lives happily ever after is still unwritten while her story to date remains largely untold in the Swedish media.  While the Swedish Royal Family try to repackage the future princess, I’ve put together a timeline as a reference guide to the life of the future Swedish royal which unblurs some lines such as the convenient timing of Sofia’s sudden interest in charity work.



Sofia Kristina Hellqvist born in Täby


Attends Hultsfredsfstivalen, has arm & stomach autographed by Håkan Hellström and Ola Salo, met photographer Lennart Sjöberg


16 year-old Sofia poses in Thailand for topless and bondage photos taken by Lennart Sjöberg for which parents gave consent & aunt served as guardian


Poses topless with boa constrictor in men’s magazine Slitz


Participates in Miss Slitz photo shoot with other contestants shot by Tony Kollberg  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2s7do3sNjY


Voted Miss Slitz 2004 by readers


Release of Slitz X-mas Dance Party featuring Sofia Hellqvist singing “Bjällerklang”


Appears in racy reality show “Paradise Hotel”, making it to finals


Brags to Aftonbladet about making out with pornstar Jenna Jameson in Las Vegas


Master of Ceremonies for Miss World beauty search


Taking classes at Institute of English and Business in New York, training at Yoga to the People, presumably in US on an F-1 Student Visa


Blogs about fast living in NYC with Camilla Sundman  http://nouw.com/magazine/i-staden-som-aldrig-sover-63


Sofia Hellqvist appearance with Paradise Hotel contestants Camilla Sundman, Matthew Miceli, Christian Larsson & Jim Roslund at Toshi’s Halloween Masquerade Ball in NYC


Meets Prince Carl Philip. Mutual flirtation


Sofia allegedly carries pic of prince on her cell phone, bragging to friends she’s going to steal him from Emma, marry him and become a princess


Prince Carl Philip and girlfriend Emma Pernald announce end of 9 1/2 year relationship to friends


Prince Carl Philip & Sofia already dating


Sofia travels to Ghana through organization SYTO, there into October doing volunteer work


Blogs appeal for donations, noting “I promise that every penny will be tremendously useful.”


Blogs asking for donations to personal Swedish & American bank accounts, Bank of America Account # 004831149848, Nordea Bank Account #4114006269-3


Blogs for those reluctant to donate, “You dont know where it goes or what your help will do. With me you will. If you donate money, please write an email to; sofiainafrica@gmail.com With First and Last Name, Amount of your donation and your email. I will be able to keep track and let you know exactly were your money goes.” Indicates deadline is Oct. 16th


Blogs she can’t access her gmail account but knows people are donating


Sara Hellqvist blogs Sofia’s gmail account was “inactivated for some reason” and that a new one has been set up sofiainafrica1@gmail.com


Sara Hellqvist blogs “It’s still possible to donate.Banks are available in the North, so it’s still possible to donate!”


Sara Hellqvist blogs “Today is the last day to donate.Sofia will be taking care of everything tomorrow!”


Angelina Jolin posts blog entry that she styled nude photo shoot with Antoine Verglas and Prince Carl Philip’s girlfriend, Sofia Hellqvist  http://www.angelinajolin.com/sofia-h…f-the-day/2113


Paperwork filed for Project Playground, Signatories Missing, Business Information Missing, registered by welder LARS Vesterberg, WATER BEDSTRAW WAY 1, Upplands-Vasby, same address Frida used to file her nail company


Project Playground domain registered to Sofia Hellqvist, address for Project Playground given as Kallskrsgatan 6, Stockholm, SE, Phone +46.760236400, e-mail s.hellqvist@gmail.com


Photos published of Sofia & Prince Carl Philip leaving his Royal Palace apt. early am  http://www.expressen.se/noje/extra/sofia-hellqvist-sover-over-hos-carl-philip/


Project Playground posts thanks to Peter Hargitay for first big donation. Peter Hargitay was arrested by Interpol for fraud, indicted by the US for cocaine trafficking, involved in Australian World Cup bid scandal & is friends with Frida’s boyfriend Mike Jeffries.


Prince Carl Philip releases statement regarding Sofia Hellqvist nude photos  http://nyheter24.se/noje/kungligt/435322-hovet-rasar-mot-nakenbilderna


Sofia meets King, Queen & Princess Madeleine at family’s Öland island summer house


Sofia speaks about Project Playground at Bern’s Lounge, Prince Carl Philip makes out with Sofia in front of guests at Micael Bindefeld’s party in Stockholm


Queen Silvia walks away from reporters asking about Sofia’s work with Project Playground


Sofia & Prince Carl Philip move in together at private residence in Djurgården, Sweden


Sofia attends baptism of Princess Estelle


Sofia attends wedding of Princess Madeleine


Sofia attends baptism of Princess Leonore


Prince Carl Philip announces engagement to Sofia.   Princess Madeleine congrats her brother on Facebook (now removed entirely perhaps due to the negative response), no official acknowledgement from Crown Princess Victoria


Svensk Damtidning publishes notification that it will no longer permit negative comments about Sofia


Sofia attends Nobel Banquet as future royal


Crown Princess Victoria refuses to answer reporter questions about upcoming wedding or Sofia joining the family


Announcement Sofia will be replaced by Daniel Madhani as General Secretary of Project Playground, will continue affiliation in “honorary” capacity



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From Porn Model To Princess

The wedding between softcore porn model and reality television star Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden is scheduled to take place on June 13th at 4:30pm in the Chapel of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, followed by a reception at Drottningholm Palace.

While Sofia’s title won’t be announced until June, it’s anticipated that the bride-to-be will be styled as Her Royal Highness, Princess Sofia of Sweden, Duchess of Värmland.  There’s some speculation that Sofia will only receive the title of Duchess because of her scandalous past, however the decision will ultimately be made by Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, who has a weakness for “strip clubs, illegal clubs, rented ladies who are naked under their fur coats,” as Katrine Kielos described in Aftonbladet.  The King is presumed to be less likely to cast stones over his future daughter-in-law posing nude, starring in a racy reality show and bragging to the press about making out with pornstar Jenna Jameson because of his own scandalous past.

Whether Princess or Duchess, Sofia’s title will be an upgrade from the one she earned in 2004, “Miss Slitz”.  Slitz is a now-defunct men’s magazine, the term “Slitz” being a derogatory term for both female genitalia and Swedish slang for “whore”.

Slitz Definition

Sofia was voted Miss Slitz because of the sticky-page popularity of the spread for which she wore a boa constrictor, beating other 2004 Miss Slitz runner-ups who can be seen in this video, along with Sofia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2s7do3sNjY 

Sofia also became a stocking stuffer when Slitz released a Christmas CD with Sofia singing Bjällerklang (Jingle Bells).  Nothing says Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus like softcore porn models singing Christmas classics.  Sofia’s rendition can be heard here over some Paradise Hotel footage:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU-snaXK-FM

In a documentary for Project Playground, a charity co-founded by Sofia, Prince Carl Philip’s future bride stated, “I find it hard to say that I regret anything in my life. I did not think I would have to sit here in the end and defend my choices in life.”  While she may not regret her past, the Swedish Royal Family has been actively trying white-wash it as much as possible.  Not surprisingly, Sofia Hellqvist’s Official CV does not mention nude modeling or her days as a reality show contestant.

While it’s believed Sofia never actually graduated high school, much of Sofia’s CV focuses on education, such as her studies at the Institute of English and Business in New York which offers certificates as opposed to degrees.  Sofia enjoyed the Institute of English and Business in New York immensely, blogging, “Bellyaches after every lesson from all our laughing fits. Our teacher had something as funny as “crazy foot” that is, cramps in his legs. We are talking violent spasms, we laughed so hard we almost got six-pack abs. Pleasure finds us even at the schoolbench”.  Other travel blog entries written by Sofia Hellqvist and fellow Paradise Hotel contestant Camilla Sundman, detail other experiences of living in New York, such as the “desperate” men who bought them jewelry and other gifts, their new mantra “Now I am perched on top 
Hehe, could bite off your penis”, their electricity being turned off due to non-payment, drinking until they became sick and accepting rides from strangers.

Sofia’s official CV already needs to be updated to reflect that she will be replaced by Daniel Madhani as General Secretary of Project Playground despite past statements to the press that she would continue her charity work and be a part-time princess.  Sofia will only be affiliated with the charity as an “honorary president” so her name can be used for fundraising purposes.  Recent reports indicate Sofia will be working for the King as of this spring, although it hasn’t been announced yet in what capacity.

Pre-wedding coverage has been comparing Sofia Hellqvist to another royal bride, Kate Middleton, both brunette now that Sofia has lightened her hair from black.  Similarities have been drawn between their fashion and it’s been reported that like Kate, Sofia has been undergoing “Princess Training”.  It’s possible there’s one more similarity between the two, discrepancies in the official timeline of when both met their prince.  While the relationship of Sofia and Prince Carl Philip reportedly started in July 2009 (with reports of a mystery brunette spotted with Prince Carl Philip suggesting it was even earlier than that), Sofia may have already met Prince Carl Philip by the time she was living in New York.  It’s rumored that before returning to Sweden, Sofia had a picture of Prince Carl Philip on her cell phone and that she bragged to friends in NYC that when she got back to Sweden, she was going to steal him away from his girlfriend at the time, Emma Pernald, marry him and become a princess.

Sofia has claimed that Prince Carl Philip’s family embraced her from the very beginning despite reports to the contrary.  However, in 2011, a photographer reported that at Patrick Sommerlath’s wedding, Prince Carl Philip’s sisters tried to put as much distance as possible between themselves and Sofia to avoid being photographed too closely to her.  Crown Princess Victoria has yet to release any official congratulations to the couple since their engagement last summer and in a recent interview would not answer any questions about the couple or the upcoming wedding.  When the interviewer persisted, she replied, “No, I will not answer that.”  When asked again to at least comment on Sofia joining the family, Crown Princess Victoria declined again, indicating, “We will talk again.”

As with other royal brides, details about the wedding dress are being closely guarded, with speculation that the bride will opt for lace and a more fitted silhouette.  While it’s unknown if Sofia will be lent a tiara from the Swedish Royal Family, the general consensus is that a new tiara will most likely be purchased for Sofia.  Even though this union has been approved by the King and the Swedish government, many feel it would be inappropriate for Sofia to wear any historically significant jewels on her wedding day.  So while a fame-seeking softcore porn star can become a princess, she’s not allowed to borrow a tiara… that seems like a reasonable line to draw in the sand.



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