Princess Madeleine’s marriage to Christopher O’Neill on 8 June will be the third time in a century that a Swedish princess marries a Catholic. In the June issue of the British monthly magazine Majesty (Vol. 34, No. 6), which went on sale in Britain on Thursday and will soon be on sale in other major European cities, I write about the trouble with the Vatican on the two previous occasions.
Both in 1926, when Princess Astrid married the heir to the Belgian throne, Prince Léopold, and in 1961, when Princess Birgitta married Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern, there were delicate negotiations between the families and the Catholic Church, which on both occasions forced the families to back down on their plans for the wedding, allowing only a civil ceremony to take place in Stockholm instead of the religious ceremonies wanted by the families. In 1926 the Swedish Archbishop, Nathan Söderblom, apparently thought he had found a way of fooling the Vatican, but this seems to have backfired when the situation next arose, causing some bitterness to Princess Birgitta.