Swedish Royal Family Christening Gowns & Traditions

The Swedish Royal Family has confirmed the date for Princess Estelle’s christening. The  statement dated March 25th reads,

It was decided today at a meeting held at the Royal Palace of Stockholm that the date of Princess Estelle’s christening will be 22 May 2012. 

They also released some more cute pictures. I like this one the best:

There will be two royal christenings that week. The new little princess of Denmark will have her christening on May 20th, so that will be a newsy couple of days to look forward to. (Side Note: our post on Danish Royal Family Christening gowns has been updated. To check it out, click here.)

It has been almost thirty years since the last Swedish royal christening (Princess Madeleine was the most recent back in ’82) and there isn’t a lot of information out there about the Swedish Royal Family’s christening gown(s) or traditions so we have to piece things together. We’ll start with the christening font, and then move onto gowns, and dabble in godparents.

The Christening Font

The Royal Family’s official website explains,

The silver baptismal font was commissioned in 1696 – when Karl XI was of the opinion that the new Royal Chapel, in the old palace, was in need of a new baptismal font. It took all of 11 years to complete and following Gustav III’s baptism, almost all of the royal children have been baptised in it. The baptismal font is still used today, most recently for Princess Madeleine’s baptism in 1982.

It is kept in The Treasury at the Royal Palace in Stockholm and is on display for visitors.

This is the Royal Palace, which is the official residence of the King and Queen of Sweden.

Christening Gown(s)

I can’t confirm this, but there is some speculation that the swedish royals have a gown that has been worn by royal babies since Prince Gustav Adolf’s christening in 1906. Let’s take a good look at some pictures to figure out if this is true, and please sound off in the comments if you know more.

Prince Carl Gustav

Here is Carl Gustav with his parents Prince Gustav Adolf and Princess Sibylla on his christening day in 1946:

The pleating on the gown does look similar to the one Princess Victoria is wearing below, as does the lace edge, so so far, so good…

Crown Princess Victoria

Crown Princess Victoria was christened on September 27, 1977 at the Palace Church. She was born two and a half months prior (on the 14th of July) and they brought out the big guns to be her godparents. They include King Harald V of Norway, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Ralf Sommerlath (her maternal uncle), , and her aunt Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld.

Here is the font in action:

(Note: This photograph comes from the Royal Family’s official website)

We can get a better look at the gown here. The lace trim is gorgeous:

Prince Carl Philip

Next up, Prince Carl Philip was born on May 13, 1979 and was christened on August 31, 1979. His godparents are H.R.H. Prince Bertil (King Carl Gustav’s brother who passed away in 1997), H.R.H. Princess Birgitta of Sweden (King Carl Gustav’s sister), H.M. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (not too shabby),  and H.R.H. Prince Leopold of Bayern (a member of the Bavarian Royal house and a friend of King Carl since their youth).

Bear in mind that at this point, he was the Crown Prince of Sweden as the next in line to the throne. The 1979 Act of Succession made Princess Victoria the heir apparent and Prince Carl Philip was downgraded to third in line. This Act went into effect on January 1, 1980 before he would have had much of a clue about what was going on.

Anyway, we haven’t tracked down a good picture of the prince in the gown, but it does look nice and fluffy here:

Check out Princess Victoria watching it all in her little pink dress and tiny chair:

Princess Madeleine

Princess Madeleine was born on June 10, 1982 and was christened on August 31, 1982 so her brother shares the same christening date, just three years earlier. The Swedish royals definitely like ‘same day’ traditions. Princess Victoria married Daniel Westling on June 19, 2010 and her parents married on June 19, 1976.

The Swedish Royal family reported that Princess Madeleine’s godparents are H.R.H. Princess Benedikte of Denmark, H.H. Prince Andreas von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (current head of the house of Sax Coburg and Gotha), Princess Christina aka Mrs Magnuson (the King’s younger sister), and Mr Walter L. Sommerlath (Queen Silvia’s father, he passed away in 1990).

Adorable family shot with an impish Princess Victoria:

Ok, so what do you think – is it the same gown for these four royals?

Before we end, let’s take a moment to think about godparents for Princess Estelle. I think it’s safe to assume that she will have some European heirs as her godparents. To me, the most likely contenders are Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Crown Princess Maxima of the Netherlands may be included as well;  after all, Princess Victoria is godmother to the first-born children of all of these couples. She is also godmother to Princess Eleonore of Belgium, the second daughter of Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, so this couple could be in the mix as well, though my guess is they are more likely to be included next time. I also predict that at least one each of Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s siblings will also be included.  It’s a bit of a stretch, but does anyone wager a guess that they will ask the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well?  I think it’s highly unlikely, but who knows. It would be delightful.

We’ll report back in May and maybe we’ll have some more info on the christening gown by then. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

UPDATED: Our post on Princess Estelle’s christening can be read by clicking here.

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Categories: Crown Princess Victoria, Royal Family of Sweden

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2 replies

  1. It would be so cool if either the Duke or Duchess of Cambridge were one of the Godparents. I think you’re right that either Prince William or Princess Maxima of the Netherlands will make up one of the Godparents. There is a very close relationship between the two royal houses and Queen Beatrix, after all, is also one of Victoria’s Godmothers.

  2. I think there is only a very, very small possibility that either or both of the Cambridges – from the British Royal Family – would be chosen as a godparent to a child of a European Royal Family.

    However, I am fairly certain Daniel’s sister will be a godparent – it’s almost unthinkable that she would be excluded.

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