The eagerly-awaited wedding between Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling will finally take place in Stockholm next Saturday.
Even in Finland, many people are looking forward to the televised wedding of the future Queen of Sweden. The President of Finland is also expected to attend the ceremony, as well as certain other Finnish citizens who have been lucky enough to receive Victoria’s wedding invitation. Moreover, wedding frenzy has also spread from Stockholm to Helsinki.
Looking for special wedding items decorated with Victoria and Daniel’s photos, we started from the Academic Bookstore at the Stockmann department store in downtown Helsinki. ”Excuse me, where is the Victoria and Daniel table?” we asked a sales assistant. ”What is Victoria and Daniel?” the confused assistant replied. ”The royal couple?” the colleague said, offering a hint. ”Oh, them”, the sales assistant laughed, adding: ”I thought you meant a brand of clothing”. This does not look very promising. Are the Bernadottes not a kind of our own royal family?
Any Daniel T-shirts or Vickan dolls? ”No, there aren’t any, and there won’t be”, Jaana Puustjärvi snorts at her souvenir stall in Helsinki’s Market Square. All she has is reindeer. Even the doors to the Embassy of Sweden by the Market Square are locked. In the Rikhardinkatu Library, a table display is promoting football books. Hey, where are all the princess books? ”At the moment, the World Cup is closer to the Finns’ hearts than the Swedish royal wedding”, librarian Jyrki Heinonen believes.
In the district of Kruununhaka we finally find something! Victoria Cake EUR 3.25, says a sign on Mariankatu outside a confectionery store. ”Raspberry mousse and jam, with vanilla cream”, sales assistant Mari Heikkinen explains. The first spoonful is heavenly, but then it starts to become overly sickly-sweet. This could be a metaphor for the fate of the wedding ceremony itself - the TV coverage on Saturday is set to last all of three hours. In glass cabinets there are white V & D cakes which do not look very royal, to tell the truth. Nevertheless they will be suitable to celebrate the ordinary-looking wedding couple. But would a fitness entrepreneur who is watching his weight accept such a cake? ”It is a low-calorie cake, as are all our cakes”, Heikkinen laughs, saying that someone had seen Vickan glasses and chocolate in the Stockmann department store. We did not find any such glasses, but we bought a box of chocolates which have been personally approved by the wedding couple. SEK 1.50 of the price is being donated to a children’s charity. That is so Swedish!
In the Esplanadi office of Handelsbanken, one of the biggest banks in the Nordic countries, we finally find a real diamond. A genuine Victoria is sitting behind the counter! ”And my husband is Daniel”, she says. This Victoria is admittedly Victoria Pasternack, an official in charge of the bank’s corporate clients. However, this is about the closest one can get to a real princess in Helsinki.
A book of wedding congratulations will be available for signing at the Embassy of Sweden on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00, as well as on Friday from 9:00 to 12:00. Address: Pohjoisesplanadi 7 A, Helsinki. For those who are eager to participate in the wedding fenzy in Stockholm itself, there are only a few scattered seats available, as the ferries of Viking and Tallink Silja have been fully booked. In order to create the right atmosphere, eight couples will be getting hitched on the Tallink Silja in Finland’s territorial waters on Friday. Flight tickets to Stockholm are still available, but hotel reservations in Stockholm might be quite another matter.
When it comes to wedding presents, the royal couple has hoped that people could make contributions to their foundation. Other presents may be sent to the address: Kungliga Slottet, 11130 Stockholm, Sverige. On Saturday, it will be possible to watch Victoria and Daniel’s wedding live on a large screen at the Elisa shop in Helsinki’s Lasipalatsi. Moreover, the Ikea furniture store in Vantaa will celebrate the wedding day of the Swedish Crown Princess with a special programme.