Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist Tie the Knot in Fairytale Wedding – with a Few Very Modern Twists!
Introducing HRH Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland!
Wedding bells are ringing in Stockholm – along with Rihanna and Coldplay!
Coldplay’s “Fix You” – perhaps a nod to Carl Philip’s recent comments that “love can change a person” – and Rihanna’s “Umbrella” were among the songs specially selected by the former reality-TV star bride and her racecar-driving groom to play inside the Royal Palace chapel on Saturday.
The music continued as the ecstatic newlyweds left the church hand-in-hand, with a full choir clapping and singing a gospel version of “Joyful, Joyful” based on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in what may be the unabashedly exuberant royal wedding ever.
After the ceremony, the groom addressed the adoring crowd from the palace balcony, saying, “You want to celebrate the love, and that shows that Sweden is a warm country.” A 21-shot salute followed.
The stunning bride, whose royal title is now HRH Princess Sofia, Duchess of Värmland, was breathtaking in a gown by Swedish designer Ida Sjöstedt, who previously created the dress Sofia wore for the Nobel celebration in Stockholm last year. The sunburst tattoo on the back of her neck – now there’s a change from Princess Kate! – was visible under her veil. Her sparkling emerald-and-diamond tiara was a gift from her new in-laws, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.
Her hair was styled in an updo by her close friend, Lebanese-born hairdresser Marwan Hitti. (The two previously competed together on the Swedish version of Paradise Hotel.)
The groom, 36, could be seen breathing deeply as an Enya song played while the bride, 30, made her way down the aisle. The pair lovingly smiled at each other as they exchanged vows in an emotional ceremony before family, friends and other members of European royal families, including Britain’s Prince Edward and his wife Sophie.
There were laughs, too: Sofia’s ring appeared to be a bit too tight – an echo of a similar unscripted moment during Prince William and Kate’s 2011 wedding – and the preacher mentioned Carl Philip’s love of race car driving in his sermon.
As predicted, the groom’s 3-year-old niece, Princess Estelle, served as a flower girl, also wearing a dress by Ida Sjöstedt. Sofia carried a peach-colored bouquet.
Heavily pregnant mom-to-be Princess Madeleine, who is due to give birth any minute, attended the ceremony with her husband Christopher O’Neill and their 1-year-old daughter Leonore.
The bride and groom will celebrate with guests in a lavish palace reception tonight to be broadcast live on Swedish television.
“The whole country is in a party mood,” Johanna Lejon, royals reporter at Svensk Damtidning, told PEOPLE.
Sofia, who was spotted getting ready for the big day on Thursday, said recently that although she didn’t attend “princess school,” she has been gaining “knowledge and experience about my future as the wife of a prince.”
The former reality TV star, who appeared on Paradise Hotel in 2005, had to quickly get used to attention from the press when she struck up a romance with the prince in 2009. Both Sofia and Carl Philip have been vocal in defending their love.
Sofia recently told Swedish channel TV 4 that she and her groom experienced “love at first sight,” while Carl Philip gushed: “I don’t think I knew the magic of love before I met Sofia.”
Grattis (congratulations) to the newlyweds!
• Reporting by Kathrin Kellermann